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My End of Year Doctoral Horror Story

  Hey guys! Ms. Duggan is back! I know it’s been awhile since I updated my blog but as you know I was working in Italy as a mental health clinician on an archaeological dig site. Don’t worry you will get ALL the details later. I’m finally back at work and getting back to my normal busy life and things are going well so far. But around the time I got back into the swing of things I had a major doctoral catastrophe! (Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video “My Doctoral Horror Story” where I am looking at the camera with a terrified look.) While I was away, I was still enrolled in two courses that had been going pretty well. I actually finished one while I was in Italy and received an A in the course.   The other course had one last assignment due that I planned to finish once I got back to the states. However, to my surprise it was due while I was in Italy and I was totally not prepared to finish it. (Figure 2: This is a photo of Ms. Jay, an African American male fashion

Summer Courses as a Doctoral Student

 I’ve done several summer themed videos where I focus on the things you should be aware of as a student who takes courses during the summer. Summer courses are a whole other ball game and if you aren’t up for the challenge it’s best to take a breather during the summer or be prepared to give it all you got.  It dawned on me that I hadn’t shared my own course load and how I’m handling things so far. As you know I am a doctoral student pursuing my EdD in Higher Education. This is actually my first time taking a summer course since summer 2018 and I’ve done pretty well so far.

Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my YouTube video “Summer Courses as a Doctoral Student” where I am holding an SPSS book with a worried face.

I am currently taking Diversity in Higher Education and Advanced Quantitative Research. My Diversity in HIED course involves watching a 3 part series on a PBS documentary called “Race The Power of an Illusion”. After watching the documentary you write a page length discussion post (with references) based on several questions from the professor and you respond to two classmates. The documentary is actually very interesting and has revealed to me a lot of the misconceptions that I had about race. With the emphasis on Critical Race Theory it’s definitely relevant in 2021!

Figure 2: This is a photo with a picture of 3 men that says “Race: The Power of Illusion”.

Advanced Quantitative Statistics… Jesus be a STRONG fence. This is where ALL my time goes. This class has a variety of assignments that are due by the end of the month. They include:

 A quiz: The quiz is untimed and can be taken more than once.

Discussion Post: You answer a topic in at least several paragraphs and you have to respond to ALL of your classmates. You also have to make sure you keep the conversation going by providing suggestions and asking in depth questions. 

Article Critique: You can choose from at least four articles and they are all at least ten pages with most being over 15 pages. There is a detailed APA format to follow which does make things easier.

Research Plan: This is fairly simple being that you only answer two questions based on the statistical measure you learned about and then give an example of how it will be used in your research.

Written Assignment: This is where you actually utilize a program called SPSS that helps you to analyze data for your quantitative research. It is not very user friendly and requires time and patience LOTS of it! By the way, I plan on doing a qualitative research proposal but I still have to take this course.

Now all of these things are not due the same week and you typically have about 2-4 weeks to do everything which is enough time but you still have to stay on top of things. Which brings me to my next point of staying organized. I stay organized by using a planner and reviewing my syllabus every day so I don’t get behind. Another tip I have is to find someone in the course who you can work with. I have a friend who is in this class and it has helped me tremendously. Two brains are always better than one!


Figure 3: This is a photo of a planner.

Are you a doctoral student who is taking summer courses? How are things going? What are your thoughts on SPSS? Drop down in the comments and let me know! Be sure to check out my latest video below!

SUBSCIBE: Summer Courses as a Doctoral Student


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