Saturday, July 23, 2011

My doctoral journey continues...

I cannot believe how long it's been since I posted.  With the summer coming to an end and work beginning back up, I know I will have more time to post.  I have been in serious vacation mode.  Part of "vacation" this summer was attending my first residency for my doctoral program in Phoenix, AZ.  I was there for a week and stayed in a beautiful resort.  I didn't get to take advantage of the resort at all because I was so busy working!!!  I did get a chance to see the campus that I received my Master's degree from as well as working on my Doctoral degree at.  It was a cute campus!  I got to meet a lot of the professors as well and finally put a name to a face of SEVERAL of my classmates that I have been working with during the course of the program.  I have made several different friendships and have gained a valuable support system to help me continue along my journey. here's the low down.  My original research was going to focus on African American males and what drives some of them to be successful and others to not be.  I wanted to tie in mentoring programs and research if these programs and positive and meaningful relationships with adults made a difference.  It is my belief that they do but I have to remain unbiased during this process.  How hard is that???  Well, once discussing this with my professor during my residency and talking it over with my colleagues (which all thought that I had a very relevant topic and that I was ahead of them in my thoughts...although I didn't feel like it) I needed to add a leadership spin on top of my topic because my degree will be in Organizational Leadership.  What a mouthful!

With all of that being said, I brain stormed with some colleagues and thought that I might take a look at the leadership traits that successful mentors and mentoring programs possess that causes them to be successful.  Problem with this is that I wanted to preform a qualitative study.  Now that I have added this spin on my topic, I think that I am going to have to do a mixed methods study because I am going to have to have the data (graduation rates, attendance rates, etc.) to back up what I deem as "successful."

I have been working on chapter two for the past 6 weeks and the more I write and research, the more I think that I am going to have to rethink this.  I feel like my passion towards my new topic is not quite there.  I didn't originally want to look at the mentors and their leadership traits....I wanted to take a look at it from the students point of view.  ALTHOUGH....if I look at it from the mentors view, it would be easier as far as the approval paperwork when I get to complete my study.  As I'm typing this I am actually having a new idea...I could perform an online study through survey monkey for the mentors to collect their points of view on the traits, etc and collect the data from the school house.  Hmmm....I am really going to have to think this thing through.

So, that is where I am...Chapter 2 is kicking my behind.  It is really causing me to think outside of the box and narrow down my exact focus.  I have read sooooo much research on my topic and so many other dissertations and while there is supportive research about mentoring programs and that they do assist in academic growth, there is a gap in the research in terms of the leadership traits that they possess that make them successful.

We will see...thanks for reading as I continue on my doctoral journey!  Below are some pictures from my trip.

Me on the campus in front of a GCU bus...had to get the logo!

A closeup of me in front of the sign at the front of campus.

The GCU logo as well as the doctorate banner.

Tara, Me, and Debby.
These girls are amazing and will definitely be resources along my way.  Debby and I were in the same Master's program.  We have been interacting since 2007 and JUST met! 

This is Evelyn Nicole.  She is from California AND a coupon queen like me!  Another great support for me!

1 comment:

  1. Ced is in a mentoring group called Men of Distinction. I am sure I can set up a meeting with the adviser.