Sunday, July 31, 2016

It's More About Perserverance

I've been on this PhD journey since fall of 2012. At the time I started I was living 400 miles from Texas Tech University and I commuted one weekend a month for 12 hour long classes. I never took a sick day at work, but had to use all my personal days to be able to travel to Texas Tech. Early in the Spring 2013 semester I met my husband (at Starbucks!) and ended up moving up to Lubbock. In the middle of the summer semester in 2014, I got married and by the end of that fall semester I was done with course work and was able to take my doctoral qualification exams. At that time I was also working as a School Counselor with Lubbock ISD and was absolutely drained!

I didn't do much work on the dissertation process until early this summer when I finally felt like I had a solid research proposal. I've spent weeks developing my project and now it's finally time to present it to my committee. If they approve it, then I'll be able to start my study this fall. Getting the proposal approved is a huge part, but there are so many more steps in the process. I think the only way for me to not be overwhelmed will be to follow my lists. Here's the first, ultimate list:

Dissertation Completion List

  1. Present dissertation proposal to committee at Texas Tech University
  2. Complete final edits by my committee and submit final proposal draft
  3. Complete CITI research training
  4. Get initial permission from LISD to conduct study at LISD campuses
  5. Submit study to IRB
  6. Get final permission to conduct study at LISD campuses
  7. Send study invitation to Principals in Lubbock ISD
  8. Schedule intervention module sessions at 6 LISD campuses
  9. Recruit participants at staff meetings after school 
  10. Collect consent and pretest information
  11. Separate participants into control and treatment groups
  12. Invite treatment participants to treatment sessions and complete posttest
  13. Send posttest information to control group participants
  14. Analyze data using MANCOVA
  15. Write up Chapters 4 (Results) and Chapter 5 (Discussion)
  16. Schedule final dissertation defense
  17. Graduate Spring 2017

I think that's my exhausted list, but I'm sure there are steps in there that will be tricky. Doing the PhD coursework and the internships is the ;east challenging part of this process. The dissertation study is absolutely the most difficult challenge I have attempted in my life. A PhD is most definitely more about perseverance than anything else!