Greenleaf University's ABD Program?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Dave Wagner, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Well, you're sort of wrong. These arrangements are usually off the record. There are a couple such programs that have a process for allowing you to enter the doctoral program at a stage where you prepare for your comps. After you successfully demonstrate that your coursework did prepare you for "their" process, you organize a committee and prepare a dissertation proposal. So, no, their is no place that will take a completed dissertation and hand you a diploma, but there are places (mostly DL that I'll not mention) that will let you enter mid-stream if you can come up to their standards. This is advanced standing beyond coursework but before formal candidacy. Ask around based on your research interests versus theirs.

  2. AuditGuy

    AuditGuy Member

    No, that's "Fight Club"

    1st rule of Fight Club, nobody talks about Fight Club
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, and others of its ilk.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OK, if I'm wrong I don't mind saying so. You say there are programs . . . but you won't mention their names. So, to me this means they don't really exist. Name names.
  5. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Friend, you are free to believe whatever you wish to believe.

  6. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Here's one legitimate ABD option that I'll mention because it is described in the catalog:

  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The Union Institute (pre-UI&U days) used to have an ABD program, I remember reading about it on their website several years ago. I have no idea if it's still offered.
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'll take your word on it Dave. I'm not going to read through a 211 page catalog. Merry Christmas.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It didn't:

    From "Person-Centered Graduate Education" by a Union-founder, Roy Fairfeild, in 1979:

    "Each student's program consists of a study component ("What do you want to learn?"), an experiential component (an internship or practicum, broadly defined), and a Project Demonstrating Excellence. (Emphasis added.)

    (Note: the Project Demonstrating excellence was/is the learner's dissertation, or equivalent.)

    Fairfield even briefly describes how the non-dissertation learning was documented. (It is now done so in a document called for years the "Program Summary.")

    It doesn't:

    From the UIU website:

    "Up to nine (9) semester hour credits (the equivalent of three (3) doctoral-level courses) from a regionally accredited university are eligible to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee for approval of transfer."

    Long-time readers will note that this is a change. In times past, Union accepted zero credit for prior learning. I suspect they've adopted the present policy since going to a system with courses and grades at the end of each term.

    I've been involved with Union since my application in 1985. I've never seen an ABD program. That doesn't mean it didn't exist, or that Bruce is mistaken. But I've been pretty close to the scene for more than 20 years, and their policy has always been just the opposite. It would be fascinating to learn otherwise.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2007
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you search for "ABD" the relevant bits are the first two results:

    Note: Individuals holding an Education Specialist degree or who are ABD (all but dissertation) may be eligible to transfer additional credits based on academic evaluation. All transcripts must be submitted for a complete evaluation of transfer credits.

  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Well Rich, the memory is the first thing to go so I very well could be mistaken, but I could swear I read that on their website in the pre-UI&U days. As I recall, it was described as being highly selective, and not many people were considered. The reason it sticks in my mind was because it was so unique, and I haven't seen anything like it since.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Steve - However, I have to say that this falls far short of what I would call an ABD program. They may let you transfer a few more credits, or they may not. Even if they give you a handful of extra credits the chances are good you'll still have to take a bunch of credits at their school. That's not ABD.
  13. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    What would you call an ABD program? From memory, you were asserting that there was no such thing as a legitimate ABD program. It would be interesting to know what you consider to be an ABD program, legitimate or otherwise. If you are willing, please describe the ABD program that you envision. Thanks.

  14. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    It might actually come pretty close (if not go all the way)... Here is some pertinent information from the NCU website regarding the number of credits required for a Ph.D. program in General Psych (most of the other programs have similar requirements): "The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with a specialization in General Psychology requires 81 graduate semester units. A maximum of 30 semester units in related graduate courses may be accepted in transfer. Courses are divided into required fundamental courses (18 units), specialization courses (18 units), electives (21 units), and dissertation-related courses (24 units). A comprehensive assessment is required prior to approval of the dissertation proposal. "

    Let's break down the above credits. If one were to receive the 30 semester units of graduate courses in transfer, that leaves 51 credits (17 courses, 8 of which are spent working on the dissertation). So that means 9 courses, plus the dissertation work. So, with the ABD option, one would likely take less than 9 courses, plus the dissertation. Not to shabby of an option. It would be interesting to see someone with ABD status, apply to NCU and see what kind of deal they could work out. I am no where near ABD, so I may not be the guinea pig! ;)

    - Tom
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen it, and Union has been adamant over the years about this subject, so its presence would surprise me. But I want to leave the possibility open because I can't possibly know every little thing.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Your probably right in that we are simply defining the term differently. Here's my idea of "an ABD program"

    You are enrolled in a Doctoral program at ABC University. You complete all your doctoral level coursework and so you are ABD. For some reason you withdraw from the school once you have completed all the coursework. You then enroll at XYZ University as a Doctoral student. In order to complete your PhD you only need to write your dissertation. No coursework is required at the new school.

    In your example there is potentially a whole lot of coursework still in front of you and that's why I disallowed it. It's almost like having to start from scratch (I'm exagerating but you get the point.).

    My reasoning for adopting that particular definition is that that is the definition employed by the illegitimate ABD programs that have been mentioned from time to time (IUGS and even places like Knightsbridge). They simply accept your doctoral level coursework with no added requirements and then you write your dissertation. That's why I said that I've never heard of a legitimate ABD program. I still haven't (according to that definition).
  17. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    OK, I see that we are strenuously agreeing... It would be a rare instance that the doctoral coursework in one university would wholly prepare one to complete the dissertation in another university, but I believe it is conceivable. Also, consider that there are some massive yet fragile egos among some of the individuals involved; the administrators of the receiving program would have to admit essentially that there might be another way besides theirs in which doctoral students could be prepared. Moreover, there are administrative hurdles that might be non-equivalent, such as competency exams vs. essays and proposal defense, etc. That said, the ABD options that I've seen involve demonstration of doctoral competencies, organizing a committee of topic specialists, drafting/defense of a doctoral proposal, and writing/defending the dissertation. In sum, the doctoral process doesn't neatly cleave into coursework and dissertation steps alone; there are more in-between steps that must be addressed by doctoral candidates and these challenge the notion of a one size fits all ABD / doctoral completion program.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2007
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Great thread.

    Some background:

    In "Authoring a Ph.D.," Patrick Dunleavy describes the differences between the UK model for the Ph.D. ("Big Book") and the U.S. model ("Little Book," also used in other countries, including the UK in "taught" programs).

    Big Book programs are dissertation-only. The dissertation is very wide in scope, and often approaches 100,000 words. These programs do not have a course content, but the candidate can take courses to fill his/her developmental needs, or at the direction of his/her advisor.

    Small-book programs are the ones we're more familiar with in the U.S.: courses, comps, dissertation.

    My take:

    ABD's might consider taking advantage of the Big Book Ph.D. programs available from UK schools. Such things are always negotiated, even for non-ABD applicants. I can see where an ABD could turn to a UK school, write a "big book," and graduate. He/She would leverage his/her prior learning, and would likely not need some of the foundational learning that new Ph.D. candidates face in Big Book Programs.

    Many UK universities have expressed their willingness to work with Ph.D. students living abroad. The amount of time needed to be spent on campus or in meetings with one's advisor is highly negotiable. The most recent Bear's guides discuss several of them.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Prospective doctoral students should also be aware that identical (or superior) conditions exist within other systems such as the Australian university system or the South African university system.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Superior? In what manner? Cost? Convenience? More prestigious schools? Better scholarship?

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