Plymouth State University Boasts First Class of ABDs
Plymouth State University’s first – cohort in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program reached a milestone this fall. They are officially ABD, or, All But Dissertation. The acronym indicates that the EdD cohort members, admitted in the spring of 2009, have successfully completed all of the required coursework in the doctoral program and passed their comprehensive examinations. They are now PSU’s first official doctoral candidates and have entered the dissertation development phase. Permission has been granted for them to begin the process of creating original research in their areas of professional interest.The first cohort has been anticipating this milestone with mixed emotions. While there is excitement and relief that the formal coursework and exams are over, some anxiety has entered the picture with concern about the next steps in the dissertation process. Michele Craig reflects, “It feels like a mix of relief to be done with classes and being overwhelmed with the fact that the real work has yet to come with the writing of the dissertation.” There is apprehension that without the formal structure of courses and meeting times, it will be easy for the dissertation work to slide letting other life issues take precedence. However, the cohort is motivated to not remain ABD. Along with the doctorate committees, cohort members are committed to continue supporting each other.
The dynamics of this group have evolved into a supportive culture of professionals with the common goal of earning their doctorates. Shawn Powers concurs, “I cannot conceive of this process without my cohort. The fact that 11 out of 12 have remained steadfast in this program is a testament to the cohort’s effectiveness in developing cohesion and retention.”