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Author Topic: Dissertation  (Read 6005 times)

Offline me again

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Dissertation
« on: March 25, 2005, 06:43:53 PM »
This is just chit chat. :)

When I was in graduate school (at the Masters level), we were told that for those who proceed forward into doctoral studies, there is about a 50% attrition rate.  :eek:   That is a very high failure rate and my first thought was that doctoral studies must be extremely difficult.  While I've oftentimes dabbled with the idea of pursuing doctoral studies, I don't want to be one of those failed statistics.  :doh:

That means that about 50% of those who begin doctoral studies finish all but  the dissertation -- or ABD for short.  It is a great waste of time, effort and money to end up ABD.  :nervous:  Thus, I have been extremely attentitive to the reasons for the failure rate for ABDs.

My brother is a professor who just got tenure.  Good for him.  Before I go any further, let me point out that he is my little brother.  He is my baby brother.  Ok, now that that's settled.... :snicker:

He is extremely intelligent, far more than what I will ever be, unless the Lord performs a miracle on my comprehension level.  For example, I took a class called "quantative methods" and oh what a nightmare it was.  I worked on one particular problem for over two weeks, but could not arrive at a solution.  I presented the problem to my little brother, expecting him to find a solution in a week or two -- but he provided a solution in less than two hours.  I was stunned!!!  Well, now you know why he is a professor and I am not.  LOL :snicker:

Last week, I asked him what the attrition rate is for doctoral students at his university and he said it was about 50%.  Then I asked him why it was so high and his answer was pretty interesting.  He said that:   Most people are able to do the coursework that leads up to the dissertation without any problem, but when they get to the dissertation stage, many of them quit.  They don't fail, contrary to popular opinion.  They quit because the dissertation is a totally unstructured process[/b] and most of them aren't used to that.  They are used to the structured environment of a classroom and many of them cannot operate outside of that structured environment.  They are unable to structure their own time and they are unable to grasp what needs to be done because they are used to being told what to do.  During the dissertation phase, no one tells you what to do.  You are on your own, for the most part.  Most students have never operated under this type of academic environment and, thus, many of them simply quit at this final unstructured hurdle.  His comment was very enlightening.  If the structure of the dissertation is totally dependant upon me, then I might be able to complete it.  Now that I understand the basic concept of the dissertation process, the fear is gone.  With tutilage and feedback from a dissertation committee, I could complete a dissertation.  I say that now -- but what about when the dissertation phase actually arrives???  ;)

Still thinking.  No commitment.

:idea:
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

cdhale

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Dissertation
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2005, 01:36:00 AM »
Two things.

First. ABD isn't a total waste of time.  I see many colleges/universities allowing ABDs to apply for jobs.  So it could potentially get someone's foot in the door in an academic setting.

Second, I don't know about the reason so many people quit.  I expect your brother is right on the money.  If so, then there is no reason for me not to get my doctorate, if I finish the Masters I am working on right now.  It is also "independent learning" and writing of a dissertation.  

You know, I think you really want the doctorate and are just hoping to get talked into it.  So I figure that if you don't have any other issues (money or whatnot), then go for it.  It would be better, even if you don't finish it, than being 95 and regretting that you didn't try.

clint

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Dissertation
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2005, 07:35:21 AM »
Quote from: cdhale
Snip...
I don't know about the reason so many people quit.  I expect your brother is right on the money.  If so, then there is no reason for me not to get my doctorate, if I finish the Masters I am working on right now.  It is also "independent learning" and writing of a dissertation.  
Independent learning? Good point. :idea:

Talking about this is good because it is very informative.  A doctoral dissertation is supposed to contribute something new to the academic world.  That is probably where "independent learning" occurs.  If we actually discover something new... or if we actually make a contribution to the academic world... then independent learning is occuring.  

Quote from: cdhale
Snip...
You know, I think you really want the doctorate and are just hoping to get talked into it.  So I figure that if you don't have any other issues (money or whatnot), then go for it.  It would be better, even if you don't finish it, than being 95 and regretting that you didn't try.
LOL :crackup:

I do have "issues," to include finances, time management and willpower.  All three of those issues are part of a three-legged stool in any doctoral program.  Currently, the financial issue is a 100% stumbling block, as I simply don't have the money, but that will change in about a year.

Obviously, finances have to be considered, to include:

-- the ability to pay up front or to get a loan (I'd never go into debt for an education).

-- the cost-return factor.  Some people say that if a doctorate won't make you more money, then why go for it???? As we get older, this does become an important question.  In my own case, I must ask myself: "Do I want to go for the money (by working and making investments) or do I want to spend the 'time and money' to obtain a doctoral degree that may not increase my income"?  Tough question!!!!  If one is not pursuing a doctoral degree for money, then why is one pursuing it?  Naturally, if one is getting a doctorate in religion (such as you are considering), then it would better arm you to preach the Word, which is an excellent justification.  But for those of us who are not in collegiate-religious studies, the issue may be harder to justify.  

Just thinking out loud.  :)
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

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Dissertation
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2005, 04:58:31 PM »
Quote from: cdhale
Snip...
You know, I think you really want the doctorate and are just hoping to get talked into it.  
LOL -- No my friend, there is nothing that you or anyone else can say to me that will cause me to jump into the fire.  I seriously doubt that I will ever make the leap (into the fire of doctoral studies), but if I did, it would be a result of a lot of deep soul searching -- and not a result of what anyone says to me.  :)

My hurdle is my self -- and only I can cross that barren landscape. :nervous:
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Offline Tom

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2005, 06:06:36 PM »
Many times I think a doctorate is too much of a good thing. For some reason people get very strange when they become that educated.


Tom
John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me."
Sometimes the Gospel is not presented clearly enough for the non-elect to reject it.

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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2005, 06:57:09 PM »
Quote from: Tom
Many times, I think a doctorate is too much of a good thing. For some reason people get very strange when they become that educated.
You mean that strange people can become even stranger? :doh: :crackup:
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

North

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Dissertation
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2005, 09:56:24 PM »
One of my professors said something similar to 'Me Again'.  He said that when you get to the doctoral level it is not a matter of intelligence as the students have that.....it is the ability to be tenacious and persevere in spite of boredom, frustration and a feeling that you will never get done.  Many never do that and end up ABD.  It is like those who finish a Road March in the army in spite of being tired and sore and mentally exhausted.

A Rabbi friend of mine with an EdD said that the best advice he got was to work on it (dissertation) a little each day whether you felt like it or not....put something on paper, plod along, and eventually you get to the end of it.  He did it and got to the end of it successfully.

In my own case, I had the added inspiration of a school that was going under and therefore an impending deadline (was not going to let 51 credit hours of coursework go down the tube).  Would not recmmend that situation to anyone as it was rather stressful.  You have to pick a topic you are passionate about becuase you will get tired of it and you have to persevere.  It is difficult to create 200 pages of acadmic work and added to that is additional stress when you have job and family committments which many have.

To quote Churchill...."Never...Never...Never...give up".

I think you will indeed earn a doctorate some day me again.  Financially, your best bet is South Africa but then you get the hardest part (dissertation) right up front.

North

ShotoJuku

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Re: Dissertation
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 07:25:37 PM »
Hey Me Again -

I realize that this thread is nearly 3-years old now, but I am left wondering if you ever went for the PhD (ABD or Dissertaion Complete)?

I am myself at a point where I either going to go for it or not.  If I do, I will be pursuing a D.RE at South Florida Bible College (http://www.SFBC.edu).

Any thoughts?

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Re: Dissertation
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 01:35:02 AM »
Yessir, I finally finished. :boink:

I'm not familiar with the South Florida Bible College. I've never even taken a college bible course!!! However, I did read the bible from cover-to-cover, and then read the New Testament a few more times. It took me four years to read it from cover-to-cover. I read it because cult groups in Los Angeles kept proselytizing me. They would come up to me and would show a bible scripture and would say that it means thus and such, but since I had never read the bible, I didn't know if the context of the scripture was being presented correctly; so that's why I read the bible from cover-to-cover.

So wussup with you! :flypig:
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

ShotoJuku

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Re: Dissertation
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 04:43:09 PM »
Quote from: me again;43427
Yessir, I finally finished. :boink:

I'm not familiar with the South Florida Bible College. I've never even taken a college bible course!!! However, I did read the bible from cover-to-cover, and then read the New Testament a few more times. It took me four years to read it from cover-to-cover. I read it because cult groups in Los Angeles kept proselytizing me. They would come up to me and would show a bible scripture and would say that it means thus and such, but since I had never read the bible, I didn't know if the context of the scripture was being presented correctly; so that's why I read the bible from cover-to-cover.

So wussup with you! :flypig:


Well aside from work (PD) and wishing for retirement (in 5-years) I am also teaching Criminal Justice at Remington College and ShotoJuku (Karate) at USF-St.Pete.  I figured once I retire I will teach for another few years and then retire for good.  As I said, I toying with the D.RE at SFBC and may enroll in the next few weeks.

Wussup with you?

 

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