University of the Cumberlands Online PhD in Information Technology

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Marcus Aurelius, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    I'm going to second this one. One of the biggest regrets I had was taking two core courses concurrently before figuring out just how much less work there was in the specialty courses. Those core courses are really all about making you wasting time writing papers, whereas with the specialty courses, it was not uncommon to get two or three weeks done in an evening. Mix them up if you can.

    I also concur with the courses you found to be easier for the most part, although those pre-736 courses do a fantastic job in lulling you into a false sense of security before the wall :D
  2. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    I successfully defended my dissertation earlier this week, so I thought I'd give you my feedback on it.

    I can confirm there is absolutely a QC process! I was dead wrong, so big kudo's to Wingshot! After submitting my dissertation to my chair and with committee approval, it was sent to QC. This was the first time I was directly told my work would be sent to QC. They were super fast! I had feedback from the first part of QC (they called it QC1) in about 5 days. In an email to you, they will attach your dissertation which is full of comments from the reviewers that needs to be fixed or resolved as well as a criteria paper that basically grades your paper and what you have "met" and "not met" to move to the next QC process (called QC2). Once you make the changes, you resubmit to your committee for approval. They'll then resubmit back to the QC. If they say all is good, you'll be scheduled for defense. I would tell you that, based on what I was given back from the QC process, they are extremely granular about things. They will absolutely read your dissertation in its entirety and find issues. Things like bold and unbolded items, finding extra spaces where they shouldn't be, making sure tables/figures are in APA format, present tense/past tense issues, etc. Review the APA guidelines to help speed the process up.

    The defense process is straightforward but definitely gets the nerves going big time - after all, this is where all your hard work hinges, right? You'll be given a PowerPoint template when they schedule you for defense that you will use to brief. You make the presentation - i.e. grab snippets from your dissertation, use bullet points/talking points, etc. You will need to cover things like Introduction, Problem, Theory/Model, Methodology, Findings, Implications, Recommendations, etc. You will have a 10-15 minute window to brief this. I recommend practicing several times before your actual defense date, and printing out extra notes you want to talk about.

    Then, just make your pitch, so to speak, and they'll ask questions afterwards about your work. Those questions could be anything about your work. As long as you know your dissertation and the words you wrote, you'll be good. They'll then dismiss you from the call and they discuss everything. This took about 5 minutes for me. I was then invited back into the room where my chair called me "Dr. Atlas" for the first time!

    All in all, I was super anxious but it was a good time.
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  3. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    A huge congrats Dr. Atlas !!!

    Are you going to publish your dissertation in part or whole?
    Suss and Atlas like this.
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    Yeah, we'll see what that process looks like. Right now I think they're just focused on getting everyone through before the end of the semester so I haven't heard next steps.
  5. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    Big congrats on reaching the end! Well done!

    I also thank you a ton for your explanation of the defense/QC process. That helps a ton with what to expect :D
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  6. wingshot

    wingshot New Member

    Yeah, I knew QC existed. It says so in the new Doctoral Research site:

    Anyway, congrats on passing--that's the important part. What do you believe was the purpose or ultimate goal behind some of the questions? Was it just your chair and two committee members (and you) listening to your defense?

    Atlas likes this.
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    Yeah, I think since we had to go through both QC's in 931, we did not have ours sent in 930 like we should have. I saw it on the sharepoint but our Chair just never mentioned doing it and we were just insta-passed to the 931. The only feedback of any substance I got was through my chair and committee members until our chair finally mentioned having to send it to both stages of QC. Oh well! It all worked out in the end thankfully haha

    At defense, I think they're just trying to determine if you know your stuff and what you have in your dissertation. You shouldn't say anything in your defense that is counter to what you wrote and vice versa. Everything should align. The questions I was asked just revolved around my thoughts about my findings, what went right/wrong, etc. Nothing too over the top but it made me think a bit. I had my chair, both committee members and the PhD IT Program Director on my call. A classmate told me he had the dean on his call as well. I think it just depends on their schedule as to whether they attend.
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  8. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    I'm looking at the 930 syllabus and...definitely much simpler than 736 or 839. Yay!

    Did that add more pressure to the defense?
    Atlas likes this.
  9. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    Yeah, I mean the defense process already has your nerves racked hard and seeing him on the email confirmation as a "yes" for his attendance definitely added pressure. But he was very nice, encouraging and had some good questions which showed me he truly cared and had read through my work.

    930 and 931 are very easy overall. Just ensure you get your dissertation into QC ASAP because it can take a while to get their feedback, make fixes and seek committee approval to resubmit.
    learningnut likes this.
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Which are the courses are 16 weeks instead of 8 weeks? Do you take 2 courses or just 1 at a time?
  11. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    DSRT-736, 839, 930 and 931 are 16 weeks. Everything else is 8 weeks.

    I may not be the person you were asking but I'll respond on how I did it. I mostly took two 8-weeks courses per bi-term semester, equating to four courses per Spring/Summar/Fall term.

    Specialty courses tended to have noticeably less of a workload than core courses.

    You can mix 16-week and 8-week courses if you're in a position to do so, which can really only occur if you get to 736 and still have a couple of straggler requirements to take care of. For example, you'll have a 16-week 736 course for a Summer term, an 8-week course during the first Summer bi-term, and a second 8-week course during the second Summer bi-term, equating to a total of nine credits for the Summer term.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2024
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Oh, I don't intend to take two courses at the same time. I need to finish two more core courses in the summer of 2025. At the same time, I am satisfied with core courses and specialty courses. All I need is to focus on research and my dissertation.
  13. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    One of your masters should cover the requirement for a speciality
  14. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Oh, no, they did not take them. Because my course was deemed for a degree. I was even rejected for transferring my Doctorate credits from Nova Southeastern University. So, I chose Blockchain Technology as my specialty. I took the Blockchain classes while studying for my MBA at Imperial College London. I took a year off, and now I am back. They did not even give me credit for the CISSP. What I should have done was wait to finish core courses first before starting the specialty because I am now more interested in AI. But it is too late now, after this summer... I am starting research courses. I should be done by Spring 2026 if taking one course at a time, even 16-week course.
  15. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    Sorry about that, but I had to raise a stink about transferring my MBA credits. They were gung-ho about using my nursing master's as my speciality, which doesn't sense since I already have a DNP
  16. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    May I ask, which "approved" outcome did you receive for your defense? No corrections or minor corrections? I'm a little curious how a w/corrections scenario plays out if the defense is done close to the end of the semester (you may not know but figured I'd ask).
    Dustin likes this.
  17. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    You won't get feedback like that in defense -- at least I didn't. You get feedback in QC. In the first QC, they'll go through Chapters 1-4 and provide you 2 forms -- your dissertation with comments/fixes needed and then a "criteria" paper that shows what you met/didn't meet. Then, you make those changes and resubmit it to your committee. They approve and it moves into QC2 where they review Chapters 1-5 and rinse/repeat the process from QC1. After all changes, you'll get the green light to be scheduled for defense.

    I highly recommend traveling to the university and walking when the time comes to graduate -- I went this past week and it was nothing short of amazing! The campus is unbelievably gorgeous and you will meet a lot of your professors you had along the way and even possibly your committee members. Plus, you get to meet your fellow classmates as well and connect in person.
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  18. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    This is great info and I appreciate it.

    So I have to ask, just to get the perspective of someone who's fresh through this: By the time you got to 930, did you have any doubts about your work, or whether you'd make it?

    I'm in 930 now but can't shake the "I'm doing this wrong," "This study is all wrong will get me laughed out the door ," "I'm going to be perpetually stuck in 931-R rewriting everything" thoughts, even though I'm fairly sure I'm doing exactly what the school is asking for. I know it's probably normal to have those thoughts, but still.
  19. Atlas

    Atlas Member

    I had doubts all the way until I got the phone call to join back in and was called a Dr for the first time! lol

    Things to remember:

    You've already gotten IRB approval - this means they've blessed off on A LOT of things, namely the methodology/theory/framework/target population, etc. They’ve said you’re good to conduct research!

    You've already talked extensively (hopefully xD) with your chair and committee members who've all seen your work and provided feedback that has allowed you to get to 930. As my chair said to me, "I'm putting my name on this, and I value my reputation, so I won't let you go forward with something I don't approve of." Rely heavily on your chair & committee! I think I was on the phone or email a couple of times a week with mine just talking through problems/concerns, etc.

    In 930, you'll get your first look at the QC process (if you haven't already, not sure where you're at). Just know that they WILL provide feedback but it'll most likely just be things like APA formatting, past & present tense, using tables or figures incorrectly, check Grammarly findings, etc. They aren’t there to say ‘it sucks, start over’ because you’ve already been approved by the school to do it the way you presented it. They’re just making sure it looks good. You’ll make the changes they request and give it back to your chair & committee members who will approve you yet again. Then, you’re just waiting to go to 931.

    In 931, you’ll get the second look at QC. They may have a few more changes, but then you’ll make the changes and you’ll realize YOU are the expert in your niche area that you’ve conducted research in. Not your chair. Not your committee. Not the school or IRB. YOU!

    You’ll go into your defense super nervous but you’ll do great and you’ll get called a Dr and rejoice it’s all over!

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