CDS Alumni Collaborative Projects - 2020

CDS Alumni Collaborative Projects - 2020

2020 CDS Alumni Collaborative Projects

All four projects are in progress.  A total of 9 doctoral graduates and 3 faculty participated in 4 research teams in 2020.  

  • Team 1 – Scholarship, Title:  Transform Educators Into Courageous International Change Agents

Team Leader: Dr. Katherine Temple - Team Members: Dr. Anthony Patterson


Transformational educators as international change agents have become a significant influence on developing students intellectual, inspirational and individual leadership dimensions.
This study explores how educators transform students into international change agents by using the principles of service learning to transfer values that provide partnerships, enrichment, and academic achievement.
One reason educators transform students into international change agents is that students experience personal growth with a broaden worldview. The problem to be addressed is an incomplete understanding of the essence of the lived experiences of educators, who create global awareness, intercultural sensitivity, and mindfulness of domestic diversity by transferring service-learning leadership skills to students.
This study examines service-learning leadership as a means for educators to teach the values of international change, to foster the qualities of closeness, equity, integrity and opportunity for personal growth. The student and educator must develop skills in critical reflection and creative problem-solving as a means to transform themselves and their students by becoming global change agents.
  • Team 2 – Professional theme, Title:  Career Ready Education at the Doctoral Level: Are Universities Really Living Up to the Slogan?

Team Leader:  Dr. Gwendolyn Avington - Team Members: Dr. Charles (Mike) Cattermole, Dr. Wendy Kaaki 


The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study is to identify programmatic differences between doctoral programs in education, including PhD and EdD, at the University of Phoenix, Arizona State University, and Harvard University.  Research will concentrate on whether there is a relationship between the program content at these universities and the students’ ability to gain the desired career advancement, post-graduation. Results may provide direction for universities on how to better prepare their doctoral learners with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to obtain promotions within their organizations or transition to a newer advanced career.

  • Team 3 - Student Needs, Title:  College of Doctoral Studies Students’ Perceptions of Dissertation Preparedness: A Mixed Methods Case Study  

Team Leader – Dr. Louise Underdahl - Team Members: Dr. Rheanna Reed, Alice Edwards


The purpose of this mixed methods case study is to identify factors contributing to doctoral student attrition. Existing literature suggests the quality of student-faculty relationships may be the strongest predictor of student learning success. In this qualitative research supported by quantitative data, student evaluations of dissertation and research courses will be analyzed to better understand how course content and faculty interaction contribute to students' dissertation preparedness in an online University in southwest United States.  Results will benefit university administration by identifying strategies to promote students' persistence, retention, completion, and graduation.

  • Team 4 - Open Topic:  Early Care and Learning: Exploring Child-Ownership Pedagogy

Team Leader: Dr. June Cade – Team Members: Dr. Jan Otter, Dr. Francis Wardle


The purpose of this qualitative explanatory multi-case study is to determine what strategies are used to integrate child-focused pedagogy relating to children’s needs, interests, and capabilities within children’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) into classroom practices. The problem is that while the association between quality early care and learning has been established by the rating system of the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS-3), the Infant/Toddler Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS-R), and the Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale (FCCERS-R), little is known about how classroom practices meet the diverse needs, interests, and abilities of young children based on variations in children’s ZPD in order to develop and advance skills. The conceptual framework for this qualitative multi-case study is based on the contributions from early childhood pioneers. Data collection will include semi-structured one-on-one interviews, a focus group, and documentation which will include samples of child care centers’ program curriculum and children’s work samples. The population will include a purposeful sample of one childcare director, one toddler childcare worker, one preschool-3 childcare worker, and one preschool-4 childcare worker from four public and private child care centers that are quality rated as part of the Grow NJ Kids program in New Jersey, for a total of 16 child care workers. All interviews will be transcribed and import to NVivo 12 Pro. NVivo 12 Pro will be used to manage and organize transcribed data and assign codes, which will led to emerging themes.