Partners pictured from left to right are Kathy Spencer, ECU LEED; Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation; Eric Bracy, Superintendent Sampson County Schools; Milton Chen, Chairman of the Panasonic Foundation Board; Matt Militello, ECU LEED Professor; Steven Hill, Superintendent Pender County Schools; and Michael Bracy, Superintendent Jones County Schools
This graduate certificate in Dual Language Immersion (DLI) administration provides teacher leaders, school leaders, and district administrators with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement successful DLI programs in schools.
A dissertation must be on a topic within the field of higher education and must indicate that the writer possesses the ability and creativity to perform independent, constructive thinking and research. When completed, the dissertation will be judged largely in terms of the ability of the writer to review the literature and state a researchable thesis or theoretical position; to formulate a problem; to plan a method of research or development; to develop a solution or materials; and summarize, draw and explicate conclusions. The quality of the writing and presentation of the results will also be important factors in the evaluation. The accepted style manual for the College of Education is the current APA manual and the ECU's Manual of Basic Requirements for Theses and Dissertations available from the Graduate School Website.
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The chairperson should be selected by the student when the student has focused on an area of research and can identify faculty with expertise in that area. The chairperson selected should be a faculty member in the higher education leadership program who has interests and/ or expertise in the dissertation topic of the student. Until that time, all faculty support the student's progress toward the dissertation through course work and individual conferences. The chairperson should be selected by the time a student completes LEED 8440 – Applied Research in Educational Leadership (the dissertation proposal course).
The dissertation committee will be composed of a minimum of four qualified faculty with signatory authority and with the following additional conditions met:
Do consult with your chair to ensure that all committee members are qualified. The Dissertation Committee Form should be signed by each committee member. One copy will be given to the committee chairperson and another given to the LEED Office for placement in the student's file; a copy of the form is forwarded to the Graduate School for notification purposes. When input is needed in the dissertation process, the chairperson will decide whether to call a committee meeting, discuss with committee members, or direct the student to meet with committee members individually. When providing any member of the dissertation committee with written material, a student should always allow a two-week period (minimum) for review and feedback. Defense drafts of the dissertation proposal and the completed dissertation should be provided to the committee at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the defense.
Responsibilities of the Chairperson
Responsibilities of Committee Members
Responsibilities of the Methodologist
Change of Committee Chairperson or Committee member
If there is a need to make a change to the committee membership, the student must contact the program coordinator or chairperson of the LEED Department to discuss and implement changes.
The EdD program culminates in a dissertation and a public defense as well as ultimate publication of the dissertation. By definition, a dissertation is an extensive independent research project conducted by the student with support from a faculty committee. The objective is for the student to independently identify a research topic, conduct a literature review, develop an appropriate methodology, collect data and effectively analyze and discuss the findings.
Because the dissertation is intended to allow the student to conduct independent research with the support of a faculty committee, the student should view all committee members as sources for guidance, direction and feedback. However, the student should not expect the methodologist, or any other committee member, to be prescriptive. Rather than relying on committee members to "tell" the student how to conceptualize the study, implement the study and describe the results, the student is expected to be a self-directed learner and take the initiative in identifying appropriate strategies, seeking feedback, engaging in thoughtful discussion, and seeking approval of the dissertation.
Toward that end, the following reminders will guide the student during the dissertation stage of the EdD program:
Upon completion of coursework, students will be required to successfully complete a qualifying examination. The examination measures student content knowledge, research aptitude, and readiness for dissertation study. Students will be given the opportunity to retake any section of the examination within one year, should the student not meet the first examination with success. Failure to successfully complete upon a second opportunity will result student termination from the program.
It is important for the doctoral candidate to be familiar with the theory and research in the area of interest in order to identify researchable problems and opportunities to contribute to the field. Throughout the program, course assignments provide opportunities to explore areas of interest. Early in the program, it is helpful for candidates to develop a system for collecting and organizing resources related to possible areas of interest for the dissertation research. Ideally, during the research courses, candidates will become more focused in an area of interest. In most cases, the proposal is expected to be a draft of the first three chapters of a traditional five-chapter dissertation. Successful completion of the qualifying examination and dissertation proposal defense advances a student to doctoral candidacy.
One month prior to proposal
2 Weeks Prior
Day of Proposal Hearing
Immediately after acceptance of proposal
The dissertation is defended in a public meeting. In the defense, the committee is concerned with the success with which the candidate executed the approved study and the ability of the student to explain and interpret the results of the study. The student must be registered at East Carolina University during the semester in which the dissertation defense is completed. If registration is for the defense of dissertation only, the student must register for an appropriate course (see the appropriate program coordinator). The dissertation defense must be scheduled within an academic term. In order for a student to graduate in a given semester, the dissertation must be submitted at least 10 days (Saturday and Sunday excluded) prior to the last day of classes of the student's final semester, and it must be submitted to the Graduate School by the deadline stated in the Graduate Catalog.
At Least One month prior to defense
At Least 2 weeks prior to defense
Day of defense
Day after defense
Students must be registered in the semester they plan to graduate. Once the student and the committee chairperson have determined that all the degree requirements for the doctorate will be completed during a specific semester, the student should file an Application for Graduation in the Registrar's Office. The specific deadline for submitting the Application for Graduation is established each year by the Registrar's Office, but it is usually no later than the beginning of the semester that the degree requirements will be completed. The student must apply for graduation by the deadline posted on the ECU Academic Calendar. Having applied, if the student does not graduate, the application rolls over to the next semester.
After the doctoral candidate has successfully defended the dissertation, the following steps should be completed: