COE

Current Students

Program of Study & Course Sequence
Examinations and Committees

During their tenure in the program, students with their Advisors, will assemble two separate examination committees. The first is the Candidacy Examination Committee, and the second is the Dissertation Committee. Each committee has a distinct mission in the program of the student and specific membership criteria. At least one Curriculum Studies faculty member must be a member of each of the committees described below. The membership of these committees may or may not be comprised of the same individuals. The following is a description of the mission and membership requirements of each committee.

The Candidacy Examination

Following the completion of the prescribed minimum course work and before a student is formally admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the Candidacy Examination must be passed. This examination evaluates both the work to date and the student’s qualifications for advanced research. If a student fails the Candidacy Exam, she/he has one more opportunity to re-take it. If the student fails the second attempt, she/he will be excluded from the program.

The Candidacy Committee

The committee will be comprised of three faculty, each responsible for one of the examination blocks (Core, Research, Advanced Doctoral Core/Emphasis Areas). All committee members must hold Graduate Faculty status. If the committee is larger than three (at the student’s request), there may be only one dissenting vote in order for the candidate to pass. Upon successful completion of the Candidacy Examination, the student is formally admitted to candidacy and will begin work on the dissertation.

The Dissertation Committee

The Preprospectus Defense, Prospectus Defense, and the Dissertation Defense are proctored by at least four members of the Graduate Faculty and conducted in a public forum. The membership is as follows: the Director of the dissertation and three readers, one of whom must be from outside the College of Education. Candidates, in concert with their chair, will choose the individuals of the committee. Three of the four members must approve the dissertation and the final examination in order for the candidate to receive the doctoral degree.

The Preprospectus Defense

The dissertation is simultaneously the last requirement in the program and the first research project as a curriculum scholar. There are two check points in the dissertation process, the first being the Preprospectus Defense. This is to ensure the committee’s agreement with the project and to elicit any preliminary suggestions and/or redirection of question, context, method, and/or analysis.

The Prospectus Defense
This is to provide formal feedback on the first three chapters of the dissertation (or the introduction, theoretical framework, literature review and methodology) before the student begins the “data collections” stage of the dissertation.
The Dissertation Defense
The defense will be undertaken once the project is complete. Although there are traditional formats for dissertations in education, the Department requires no template for construction. There are, however, certain tenets of educational research which should be addressed in some manner in the work depending upon the general theoretical structure (quantitative or qualitative), and the methodological approach chosen from within that theoretical paradigm. The role of the dissertation chair is critical in this process and candidates should carefully choose the individual with whom they wish to work.
Distinguished Off Campus Scholar

Having a highly respected scholar from another institution or research center serving on your dissertation committee can be very valuable.  Therefore a person who is a nationally or internationally recognized scholar may serve as a reader on a dissertation committee.  The individual may serve without being appointed to the Graduate Faculty provided the following criteria are met.

  1. The individual must be invited to serve on the Dissertation Committee by the chair of the Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading.  The chair will provide the Dean of Graduate Studies evidence of the scholar’s willingness to serve and a copy of the individual’s vita.
  2. Approval will be granted or denied by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies.  If the scholar is a faculty member at another institution he or she should hold the highest level appointment on the Graduate Faculty of that institution and will have a record of service as a voting member of graduate examination committees.  If the scholar is not a faculty member his or her record of scholarship must justify appointment as a voting member of a Dissertation Committee.
  3. When a distinguished off campus scholar is included in the membership of a Dissertation Committee, that committee must include the requisite number of Graduate Faculty from Georgia Southern University bringing to four the minimum number of committee members.  Under this arrangement there can be no more than one dissenting vote for the student to pass the dissertation defense.
Committee Protocol
Candidacy Examination

Prior to convening the Committee, the Chair will determine that:

  1. The student has completed the required course of study in the Core, Research and Inquiry, Strand, and Concentration, and any additional course work required by the Admissions Committee;
  2. The oral portion takes place between two and four weeks following the student’s conclusion of the written portion of the examination; and
  3. Copies of the written examination questions and answers have been distributed to all members of the Committee, and

Upon convening the Committee, the Chair will:

  1. Inquire of the members present if there is any reason the meeting should not proceed and adjudicate any reservations so stated;
  2. Request the student depart the room while the members determine a sequence and time frame for questioning (usually deference is shown to outside members, then institutional members by descending academic rank) and briefly discuss any issues which may require particular attention in the student’s written responses;
  3. Request the student reenter the room and provide an opportunity for him/her to make any opening statements deemed appropriate or necessary regarding their written portion of the Candidacy Examination;
  4. Initiate the oral portion of the examination;
  5. Determine when all questions have been exhausted and invite the student to depart the room while the Committee deliberates upon the student’s performance;
  6. Moderate the discussion on the student’s performance and call for a formal vote on the student.  Options include “pass,” “pass with recommendations,” or “fail.”  Two of the three members must vote for approval in order for the student to pass.  If the Committee is larger than three, there may only be one vote for failure in order for the student to pass;
  7. Secure the appropriate signatures on the appropriate documents and dismiss the Committee.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to inform the student of the decision of the Committee and, if necessary, to prepare a course of action to satisfy any deficiencies noted by the members.
  8. Ensure that all proper documentation is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies of Georgia Southern University.
Pre-prospectus and Prospectus Hearings

Upon convening the Committee the Chair will:

  1. Inquire of the members present if there is any reason the hearing should not proceed and adjudicate any reservations so stated;
  2. Request the student depart the room while the members determine a sequence and time frame for questioning (usually deference is shown to outside members, then institutional members by descending academic rank) and briefly discuss any issues which may require particular attention in the student’s pre-prospectus/ prospectus;
  3. Request the student reenter the room and provide an opportunity for him/her to make any opening statements deemed appropriate or necessary regarding the pre-prospectus/ prospectus;
  4. Initiate the oral portion of the hearing;
  5. Moderate the discussion on the student’s pre-prospectus/prospectus and call for a formal vote.  Options include “pass,” “pass with recommendations,” or “fail.”  Three of the four members must vote for approval in order for the pre-prospectus/ prospectus to pass.  If the Committee is larger than four, there may only be one vote for failure in order for the student to pass;
  6. Secure the appropriate signatures on the appropriate documents and dismiss the Committee.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to inform the student of the decision of the Committee and, if necessary, to prepare a course of action to satisfy any recommendations voiced by the members; and
  7. Ensure that all proper documentation is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies of Georgia Southern University.
Dissertation Defense

Prior to convening the Committee the Chair will determine that:

  1. The research has been approved by the Georgia Southern University Institutional Review Board;
  2. Ensure that the members have received copies of the work in progress so as to determine any issues which might be addressed prior to the defense; and

Upon convening the Committee the Chair will:

  1. Inquire of the members present if there is any reason the meeting should not proceed and adjudicate any reservations so stated;
  2. State that the purpose of the meeting is to conduct an examination of  the student’s research, dissertation, and overall competence in the field of study;
  3. Proceed with the student’s oral presentation of the research and the dissertation to the Committee;
  4. Moderate the Committee’s questions and the student’s responses regarding the substance of the research and the written dissertation;
  5. Retire the Committee to deliberate on whether or not the dissertation is of acceptable quality and that the student possesses overall competence in the field of study. Options on which a formal vote should be taken include “pass,” “pass with recommendations,” or “fail.” Three of the four members must vote for approval in order for the student to pass.  (If the Committee is larger than four, there may only be one vote for failure in order for the student to pass.)  Record the decision and secure the appropriate signatures on the Dissertation Defense Report;
  6. Return with the Committee’s decision, have the Committee members sign the Dissertation Signatory Page (unless delayed until changes are approved), and adjourn the meeting. If the student fails the defense, the Chair will immediately discuss any options and/or recommendations; and
  7. Ensure that all proper documentation is submitted to the College of Graduate Studies of Georgia Southern University.

Electronic Defense: All doctoral Candidates are now required to submit their dissertations after a successful defense in an electronic format to the College of Graduate Studies. To understand the procedures in creating an electronic dissertation see the College of Graduate Studies webpage.

Eligibility to chair Candidacy Exam or Dissertation Defense Committee

Chair must have:

  • substantial publications within the past five years in the field of curriculum studies, or related fields reflected in the concentration areas;
  • background in or substantial knowledge of the Curriculum Studies field or related fields reflected in the concentration areas;
  • an in-depth understanding of the modes of educational inquiry relevant to the dissertation topic and/or the Curriculum Studies field.
Eligibility to serve on Candidacy Exam or Dissertation Defense Committee

Committee members must have:

  • publications within the past ten years in their field of expertise;
  • taught graduate courses, courses related to graduate studies, a significant number of courses in their field of expertise.
Advisement Policy
Temporary Advisor

Students in the Ed.D . in Curriculum Studies program are assigned a Temporary Advisor at the time they are admitted to the program. The temporary advisor is identified on the acceptance letter which comes from the Program Coordinator.

The temporary advisor’s responsibility is to advise students through the completion of Core and Research and Inquiry coursework, as well as any prerequisites, electives, strands or concentration area courses needed prior to completion of the Core and Research and Inquiry areas. The work of the temporary advisor is concluded once the student selects the Permanent Advisor.

Advisor Responsibilities:

      • Clarify the schedule of classes.
      • Clarify when, how, and where classes will be offered.
      • Provide advice on coursework and related issues in the program (re: electives, strands, concentration area classes, overloads, potential Candidacy Exam Committee and Dissertation Chairs and how to find them, etc.)
      • Keep the student advised of changes in the course schedule, POS, and/or Program Requirements
      • Respond to student inquiries in a timely manner
      • Develop a policy to meet the needs of your advisees when you will be absent for the university for an extended time.
      • Inform your advisees of this policy
      • Inform your advisees when you will be absent from the university
      • Follow the procedures of this policy

Student Responsibilities:

      • Make initial contact with the temporary advisor
      • Provide a reasonable “wait time” for advisor reply
      • Make at least 3 attempts (using different means: e-mail, phone, personal visit to office during office hours ), to reach your advisor before you contact the Department Chair
      • Consult with advisor before dropping a course or revising POS
      • Notify advisor and Administrative Coordinator of address changes (esp. e-mail)
      • Identify a Permanent advisor by the end of the second semester and notify Administrative Coordinator about his/her name.
Permanent Advisor

The permanent advisor’s responsibility is to advise students through the completion of the POS; including any remaining prerequisites, electives, strand or concentration area courses.

Advisor Responsibilities:

      • Provide advice on coursework and related issues in the program (re: electives, strands, concentration area classes, overloads, Candidacy Exam Committee members and Dissertation Committee members and how to find them, etc.)
      • Keep the students advised of changes in the POS, and/or Program Requirements.
      • Respond to student inquiries in a timely manner.
      • Develop a policy to meet the needs of your advisees when you will be absent for the university for an extended time.
      • Inform your advisees of this policy
      • Inform your advisees when you will be absent from the university
      • Follow the procedures of this policy

Student Responsibilities:

      • Make initial contact with a potential permanent advisor . Ask this person if s/he is willing to serve in this capacity. [Be prepared to describe your potential dissertation topic and your goals for the conclusion of the program.]
      • Once a permanent advisor agrees to work with you send the Administrative Coordinator an email identifying your permanent advisor.
      • Provide a reasonable “wait time” for advisor reply following all correspondence.
      • Make at least 3 attempts (using different means: e-mail, phone, personal visit to office during office hours ), to reach your advisor before you contact the Department Chair
      • Consult with advisor before dropping a course or revising POS.
      • Consult with your Candidacy Exam Committee Chair about additional members to your Candidacy Exam and Dissertation committees.
      • Notify advisor and Program Director of address changes (especially your e-mail)
      • Consult College of Graduate Studies Student Checklist for deadlines that are important to your progress in the program: i.e., dissertation defense and application for graduation
      •  http://cogs.georgiasouthern.edu/appsforms.htm
Candidacy Exam Committee Chair

Candidacy Exam Committee Chair is selected through joint efforts of a student and a permanent advisor from the College of Education faculty who has a Full Graduate Faculty Member status. The Chair leads the student through the Candidacy Exam process: asks the members to develop three questions, collects the answers, forwards them to the student, and selects the date for the Exam. It is often a case when the Chair of the Candidacy Exam Committee becomes the Chair of the Dissertation Defense Committee.

Faculty Dissertation Load

In order to maintain quality in the Ed.D . in the program, we have set the following limits to dissertation service: The maximum number of dissertations that can be chaired at any given time by a faculty member is set at 10. No faculty may exceed 10 dissertations to chair in any given semester.

Opportunities
Social Media

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Useful Links

Last updated: 9/25/2018

Curriculum Studies Doctoral Program • PO Box 8144, Statesboro GA 30460 • (912) 478-5091