I heard back from my friend, Shelly. Not only was she supportive of my idea, but she shared with me that she was hoping to do a similar study on a much larger scale. I am more than excited now about the prospects of completing this research. Plus, my professors are in full support of my idea. I still need to speak to some high school principals and/or some school psychologists, but I hope I can get the go ahead.
Now is the difficult part. I am required to attend three in-person seminars as part of my educational program with Capella University, and they all must be completed before I can move on to my comprehensive exams and my dissertation. At this last seminar, there were nine classes on how to write the dissertation in addition to many statistics classes. I took all of them. While they were extremely informative, I must now put all that information on the back burner so that I can focus on my comprehensive exams. So, they got me all excited about doing research, and I can’t do research! I think they should have one more seminar after we finish the comprehensive exams, completely focussed on the dissertation, but it’s too late for such a decision to affect me.
So, on to the comps. At Capella University, we have the ability to nominate a mentor who will stay with us through the comprehensive exams and onto the dissertation. I selected my mentor based on my initial idea to conduct research in second language learning. Though I don’t plan to look at second language learning now, I still think I made a good choice. I found out at the seminar that this faculty member had the current chair of the Educational Psychology department as his mentor when he was doing his dissertation. I think that is pretty cool. Add to that, this faculty mentor I chose was apparently the most published student when he was completing his course of studies. As it is my intention to publish, I truly believe he will provide me excellent guidance.
The comprehensive exams consist of two weeks of preparation, four weeks of intense writing — answering 3 questions in a maximum of 50 pages (not including title page and references — and then waiting to find out if I passed. If I fail any section, I have two more weeks to revise. If I don’t pass a second time, I am out of the program. It’s a scary thought, but I was told that 90% of the students pass the first time, and of the 10% who must revise, 95% of them pass the second time. I’m really hoping I won’t have to revise at all!