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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

Second Year Doctoral Student: What Courses Am I Taking?


 August 30th was the beginning of my second year as a doctoral student in the Higher Education program! I honestly have no complaint on my first year and I’ve learned so much since then. Since I’m always talking about education I thought I should tell you about the classes that I am currently taking. This semester I am enrolled in Law in Higher Education and Qualitative Research. Since I work full time and my university pays a stipend for two courses I keep my load light. My academic advisor also informed me that this semester may be tough so six hours should be fine.

Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video on “Second Year Doctoral Student: What Courses Am I Taking?” where I am smiling while seated in my office wearing a black shirt.

After reviewing both of my syllabi y’all this Law in Higher Education course may be a tough one! There are multiple weekly readings of at least 60 pages EACH, discussion posts, and a large paper. The professor is also a stickler for APA format and has already sent out an email warning people to adhere to this. He recommends you spend at least 9-12 hours a week on the course. 

Figure 2: This is a photo of a gavel with brown law books directly behind it. 

Now, my Qualitative Research course seems a little more manageable with weekly shorter readings, discussion posts, and a large paper broken down into four parts. This class is particularly important since I will be competing a qualitative dissertation. I have also had this professor before and she is great to work with. I’m hoping that I can use a previous topic that I’ve already worked on which would make this class so much easier! 

Figure 3: This is a photo that has a picture of a lightbulb with the word qualitative underneath surrounded by little square boxes and a picture of a funnel with quantitative underneath where little square boxes are being placed in and pushed out on a blue colored background.

With a full time job, classes, and a world of other things I’ve got going on your probably wondering how I stay organized. My planner is my holy grail! I write down everything and sometimes use my phone to stay on top of assignments and dates as well. I recommend a planner to everyone and even teach students how to use them effectively. Are you taking any courses this semester? Interested in a doctoral program? Drop down in the comments and let me know what your taking and any questions you have! Be sure to check out my latest video below!

Second Year Doctoral Student: What Courses Am I Taking?

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