Category Archives: Proposal

How I Did It-School Approved Proposal!

May 4, 2010

I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! Thank you Lord! I did it. The School approved my proposal. It seems like I had to recreate the entire thing, but I did it! OK. Now I have to get the IRB applications finalized. I couldn’t really be confident that they were ready until I got the OK from the School. I did not want to redo them if the proposal had to be revised again. This is surreal. This means I am so much closer to data collection. The IRB process, let’s get to it.


How I Did It-Still Waiting

May 1, 2010

I finished my revised proposal and sent it to my mentor to give to the School two weeks ago. I’m still waiting. Some pressure was relieved last week when I found out I was approved for a Grad Plus loan for the summer and fall quarters. I originally had to reach Milestone 13 by July 11th to apply for graduation to prevent from having to pay for extra quarters. My new timeline has this ending at the end of September. Come on School, get back to me.

Date Due By Action(s) Milestone
5/3 School of Education Proposal Approval 5
5/6 Arrange and Complete Conference Call 7
5/8 University IRB Approval/ 6
5/14 GCS school district Approval/Begin Data Collection  
5/21 Data Collection completed  
5/28 Transform Data into codable form  
5/28 Data Coded  
6/5 Submit Draft of Sample Analysis to Mentor Ask for approval of late graduation application submission
6/11 Draft of Ch.4-

Submit Draft to Editor

6/14 Submit Ch.4 to Mentor  
6/22 Mentor Approval of Ch.4 8


Graduation Application Submitted (10 days late)  
7/2 Draft of Ch.5 -Send all 5 Chapters to Editor  
7/6 Produce Front/End Matter-Submit to Mentor  
7/16 Mentor Approval of all 5 chapters 9
7/30 Committee Approval of Dissertation 10
8/12 School Approval of Dissertation 11
8/17 Final Revisions before Defense 12
8/27 Have Conference Call Completed 13
9/2 Revisions Completed per Conference Call 14
9/23 Publication 15
9/30 Dean’s Approval 16
9/30 Degree Confer Date  



To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-Getting Teaching Experience

April 10, 2010

I started faculty training with University of Phoenix online last week. My logic in adding to my load is that I need more teaching experience to add to my CV. Having evidence of online teaching and on-campus teaching looks great. I’ve been an adjunct and student teacher supervisor at UNCG, but I have never taught online before. This training lasts four weeks. While I do this, I have to change the entire IRB application to show the changes I had to make to the proposal. I also have convert the school district’s IRB application to show the new proposal since I have to get approval from BOTH places. At this point, my plan is to get this proposal back to my mentor to send to the School next week. I can’t stress over it anymore. I’m really ready to move on to do my own research. I heard the IRB approval process can be a headache and I have two to look forward to.




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How I Did It-Topic Hits the Fan

March 27, 2010

I worked on redoing my Chapter 3, I did. Turns out I have to revamp Chapter 1 at the same time! That means double work. I also have to add another section into my Chapter 2 to correlate with the reasoning behind changing the methodology to a case study. I had to add in a section about Alternative Teacher Certification too. My title had to change from THE PERCEPTIONS OF NONTRADITIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: A STUDY OF LIVED EXPERIENCES AS A RESULT OF THE NCLB TEACHER MANDATES to A STUDY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF ALTERNATIVELY CERTIFIED SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS RELATED TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT OF 2001. Not only did this topic evolve because my School didn’t approve it, but the problem is occurring as I rewrite. About a week after my proposal was denied, special education teachers in our school district found out that special education teachers teaching on the secondary level in North Carolina were not highly qualified according to No Child Left Behind. Turns out the US Department of Education audited the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction  and decided this back in May 2009. I wish I had known then. My original topic referred to teacher quality of special education teachers with nontraditional backgrounds. It didn’t change  a lot, but the new problem was significant enough to do a case study instead.



To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-Accepting the Changes

March 9, 2010

OK, so I wrote for an hour this morning, but I am writing again tonight. I am ready to get this done and I am nowhere near an end to these revisions. Taking it a little bit a day is better than not doing it at all, but the thought of having to redo a chapter is discouraging. I acknowledge that I feel inadequate right now. How did I work so long and hard on something that wasn’t even right? Problem is, it was right to me. Ultimately I need to realize that although this is my dissertation, my completing this is it’s not up to me alone. I have to accept these changes just like it were a paper in a course where a professor used Microsoft Word Track Changes to comment on it. I’d fix it and accept the changes. OK. I will accept the changes.




To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-Proposal DENIED

February 25, 2010

There was a reason why it took so long to hear back about my proposal. The School did not approve it. The reviewer did not agree with my methodology at all. I wanted to use phenomenology and I loved the idea. It worked for my mentor and my committee. Everything seemed to fit, but I now have to do some serious revisions, basically rewriting my entire Chapter 3.  Ugh!!!


To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-First Publication Prep

February 20, 2010

Today I didn’t do anything dealing with the dissertation because it has been three weeks and I STILL don’t have comments back from the School of Education. In the meantime, I developed a manuscript recycled from one of my course assignments for submission to an online journal, JAASEP-Research Based Journal in Special Education associated with the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). Approval should be a quicker turnaround than non-online journal since I submitted it electronically. I can put it on my CV now and just add (In Press). I didn’t have to change it much, but I did update some of the literature. I followed the submission guidelines and emailed it.

A Comparison Between Collaborative and Authoritative Leadership Styles of Special Education Administrators 





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How I Did It-Committee Approves Proposal

January 26, 2010

I met Milestone 4: Committee Approval! My deadline was January 20, but six days late is better than a month late. I really hope all those revisions paid off because now my mentor will send it to the School of Education. Whoever reads my proposal at that level can potentially tear it apart. As much I can prepare myself for that, I really don’t want to deal with it. In reality, who does?





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How I Did It-Freezing but Working

January 8, 2010

I had a trying day at work. I lived through it. Tonight I am blessed to be somewhere I can work on my revisions. I wanted to go the library, but it wasn’t open. I am at Wendy’s freezing, sitting next to a window,  just so that I can have an outlet for my laptop cord. Boy, the things we do. I tried another restaurant, but they didn’t have an outlet in the lobby. I plan to get something accomplished tonight. My fingers are cold…






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-A Good Day

January 4, 2010

Today was a good day. I heard back from my mentor and my two committee members about my timeline I created a couple of days ago and that is impressive. Now that I have my plans out there I have to stick to what I say. So I must continue to fix this proposal. The new quarter starts next week and it would be nice if the proposal could be approved, but one of my committee members wanted more revisions. If she doesn’t find anything else I can move on. Tonight I plan to do 1 1/2 hours of revisions.




To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-New Timeline for a New Year

December 31, 2009

This is the last day of 2009! I spent countless hours complaining, procrastinating and simply not being productive. No More! 2010 IS going to be my year of completion. We are given seven years to complete a dissertation and some people take the entire time and longer.  I will NOT be doing that. My life can’t continue like this because my family needs me back at 100%. God is still with me, even though I continue to slack off and be inconsistent. I have to rekindle the power that flowed through me this past summer after I passed Comps. It was all by the God’s grace and I know that.

Capella uses specific milestones for us to complete to keep up with progress on our dissertation. I created a newly revamped timeline that is more detailed and incorporates the milestones. This is what I will go by. I WILL GET DONE.

Date Due By Action(s) Milestone
1/20 Chapters 1-3 Proposal Approval by Committee 4
2/1 School Approval 5
2/11 Arrange and Complete Conference Call 7
2/22 IRB Approval 6
3/9 Data Collection completed (3 interviews)
3/12 Transform Data into codable form
3/16 Data Coded
3/22 Draft of Sample Analysis to submit to Mentor
3/24-29 Attend Writer’s Retreat in AZ
3/29 Draft of Ch.4 Completed-Submit Draft to Editor
3/30 Submit Ch.4 to Mentor
4/9 Mentor Approval of Ch.4 8
4/10 Graduation Application Completed
4/12 Draft of Ch.5 Completed-Send all 5 Chapters to Editor
4/13 Produce Front/End Matter-Submit to Mentor
4/26 Mentor Approval of all 5 chapters 9
5/28 Committee Approval of Dissertation 10
6/16 School Approval of Dissertation 11
7/8 Final Revisions before Defense (my birthdayJ) 12
7/14 Have Conference Call Completed and Form Submitted to School for Milestone Completion 13
7/20 Revisions Completed per Conference Call 14
8/5 Publication 15
8/20 Dean’s Approval 16
8/31 Degree Confer Date

How I Did It- Missed Deadlines Suck

November 30, 2009

I didn’t think the comments from my committee would cause me to put so much more work into correcting this proposal, but they have been. I am so grateful to have the mentor I have. She is moving along with getting things back to me quicker than I thought. One of my committee members takes longer than the other, but I survived that so far. My problem is I miss my own deadlines. I could see if someone else caused me to miss them. My teaching job and family keeps me doing everything but work on this dissertation, but I am the only one at fault for not turning the revisions back in to my committee yet. The IRB application took some time, but I can’t even send that until I get the School of Education approval and that is after the committee approval. This is taking longer than I thought. If the School asks for revisions, I think I will scream.






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-Proposal Approved

October 13, 2009

I am not going to say how mad I am at myself for taking so long to get back to journal writing because I am still working on the dissertation. I just sometimes forget to write about it. I didn’t forget to write today because my mentor officially approved my proposal this morning! I got the references to her in time. She is sending it out to the committee members today. I hope they give me a quick turnaround. This feels pretty good. Just in case they get it back to me early, I need to have the IRB forms finished. I also need to start applying for faculty positions because this is real!






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It- Starting the IRB

October 2, 2009

I hate that I am now moving at a really slow pace. This one hour a day seems to make progress drag. I’m not in the position to go slow, but at least I’m going. I will get the references perfected this weekend to make sure my mentor gets it before she sends me back my proposal.  I need her to send the correct references to the committee. I really hope they don’t take 10 days each. I took at look at the IRB forms. They have all the components of my Chapter 3 broken down into questions. I understand why the proposal has to be done first. I did all the legwork up front. Here’s where I am so far:

  • Step 1-Talk to my mentor about my preproposal
  • Step 2-Create the preproposal-5 hours
  • Step 3- Get Dissertation Committee approval-~2 weeks
  • Step 4- Complete CITI training-1 week
  • Step 5-Mentor approves preproposal-~2 weeks
  • Step 6-Collect the literature-40 hours
  • Step 7-Code the literature-60 hours (break down how later)
  • Step 8-Write the literature review-40 hours
  • Step 9–Finish writing the proposal-Chapters 1 and 3-Write 3 before 1.-30 hours
  • Step 10- Mentor approves proposal-~2 weeks (Work on IRB documents while I wait)
  • Step 11-Revise the proposal if necessary-6 hours
  • Step 12-Defend the Proposal
  • Step 13-Obtain IRB Approval-~2-3 weeks depending on school
  • Step 14-Collect the data-150 hours
  • Step 15- Transform data to codable form-40-60 hours
  • Step 16- Code the data-40 hours
  • Step 17-Create the matrix to explain the data-5 hours
  • Step 18-Write a sample analysis for mentor-5 hours
  • Step 19- Mentor reviews sample analysis-~1 week
  • Step 20-Write  Chapter 4 including sample analysis-40 hours
  • Step 21-Write Chapter 5- 30 hours
  • Step 22-Transform the Proposal into dissertation chapters 1-3 and create front matter-5 hours
  • Step 23- Edit the Chapters-60 hours
  • Step 24- School and Committee review of dissertation for  approval-3-4 weeks
  • Step 25- Revise the dissertation-25 hours
  • Step 26-Dissertation Approval-~2 weeks
  • Step 27-Make Formatting Revisions based on school editor-8 hours
  • Step 28-Review of the dissertation-~2 weeks
  • Step 29-Defend the dissertation
  • Step 30-Do any final revisions after defense-20 hours
  • Step 31-Submit the dissertation for publication-1 hour

How I Did It-One Hour a Day

September 21, 2009

I have to get on the ball and get back focused. I’m down to journaling once a week. There are so many things I need to do. I know I can do it though. I am going to do something with this dissertation for an hour a day. Right now I need to get back in the habit of writing so I can do my revisions. I plan to have them ready to turn in by Sunday. Journaling everyday is supposed to help keep my mind flowing as I work on this dissertation and get my stresses out. It is not summer anymore. I don’t have the luxury of being able to go to the library three to four times a week for four hours anymore. I read that writing at least 15 minutes a day helps with progress, but I want to commit to an hour because I refuse to drag this out forever.






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.



How I Did It-Proposal Finished!

August 30, 2009

I am officially finished with all three chapters of my proposal! It is now in the hands of my mentor. If she approves it before the quarter ends, I will be fine. She normally gets things back to me pretty quickly with only minor revisions. It’s the committee that may have something to say. If so, I’m ready. I’m just glad the hard part is out of the way and it only took three months! Next stop-IRB application. I heard it takes time and careful considerations. It has to be perfect to get approval the first time around.

It’s five days into the school year and because I have a good history with my principal and maybe because I am working on this PhD, I have taken on the responsibility of being the chair of my special education department. Ten special education teachers and 244 students with disabilities, all under my care. Did I mention this is my first year at this school?!…





To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.


How I Did It-There Will Always Be a But

August 25, 2009

I started work on the 18th and it is going to be a lot to chew. My mouth is already full with this dissertation. Today was the first day of school. It felt good being back in the groove, but my current groove is much more important and I can’t let it slow down.  I haven’t actually worked on the proposal for three days, but tonight I will write the background of the study for Chapter 1. I still need to add the info about teacher shortage and update my references for Chapter 2 and will do as much of that as possible. I knew working full-time again would be a bit much, but there will always be a but






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.

How I Did It-Chugging Along

August 17, 2009

This morning I’m back in the library. I haven’t been here in over a week. I hope to get the writing done today for this section. I have pieced together Chapter 1, but there is still work to do.

Done so far: background of the study, definitions, nature of the study

To be done: introduction, significance, and organization of chapters

I have to finish writing the section on NCLB and add to the teacher shortage section of Chapter 2. It would be nice to finish up the typing tonight too, but I doubt it. I have to start working on my new school’s things to do list starting tomorrow, so I am really glad I’m nearing the end of this proposal. I can start on my IRB application while my mentor and committee members review my chapters. I want to conduct my research for my Chapter 4 by October or November, and be able to write the final chapters by January. We’ll see. I have no plans to let this dissertation take more than a year of my life. I will keep chugging along to get it done effectively, yet as quick as I possibly can.






To talk to me privately about this or any other dissertation-related issue, email me.