CDS Alumni Collaborative Projects - 2020 and 2021

CDS Alumni Collaborative Projects - 2021

Team 1 - CDS Doctoral Student Needs, Experiences, and Issues Title:  Strategic Partnering to Develop the Dissertation: A Correlational Study

Team Leader:  Dr. Matasha Murrell Jones - Team Members:  Dr. Imani Akin, Dr. Erika Burton

Attrition from doctoral programs has consistently remained high over the last 50 years, even with the introduction of new programs and opportunities for success. Approximately 50% of all doctoral students drop out of their programs before completion . This rate includes those doctoral learners whom have earned fellowships.  Research in the area of the attrition of the doctoral learner has primarily focused on the doctoral experience from the perspectives of the completion and attrition rates, time to degree, socialization processes, dissertation logistics, supervisory roles and relationships, gender and race, and disciplinary differences. This study is necessary to help universities cultivate effective mentorship programs and decrease doctoral attrition while increasing doctoral persistence. This study can add value to the research through an investigation of doctoral persistence as demonstrated through successful Dissertation Chair and candidate relationships to understand and suggest possible models of success.
Progress:  IRB approval granted.  Data collection is underway.
Team 2 - Post Covid-19 Ramifications for Healthcare:  The Psychosocial Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Compromised Individuals and Family Members as Caregivers.
Team Leader:  Dr. Pamayla Darbyshire - Team Members:  Dr. David L. Turner, Dr. Derek Roby
Abstract: While social distancing and isolation may slow the spread of COVID-19, it may also heighten stress and loneliness. This can contribute to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and have deleterious effects on social relationships. Although research on acute and widescale stressors has demonstrated implications for mental health, there is no precedent for understanding the mental health effects due to COVID-19.  Prospective studies investigating the effects of a pandemic are virtually non-existent.  This literature review will contribute to existing research on risk factors associated with depression, anxiety, and isolation among U.S. adults (over the age of 18) during the pandemic.
Progress:  Data collection is underway.
Team 3 - Impact of Covid-19 On K-12 Teaching and Learning in The Virtual Environment 
Team Leader:  Dr. MacDonald Chaava - Team Members: Dr. Diane Hills, Dr. Kym Grant-Horsey, Dr. David L. Turner, Dr. Mar Navarro
Abstract:  In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID19 outbreak a pandemic. As the pandemic progressed, governing authorities around the world took various measures to halt its spread including the closing of schools. School closures have affected hundreds of millions of students worldwide. Students, as well as educators, have been affected.  There are economic and social costs presenting dangers to educational institutions and surrounding communities. Studies have been conducted examining the immediate, short- and long-term implications of COVID19 for education. The studies help us to gain an understanding of the wider implications on society, at large. The exploration of teaching and learning in K-12 virtual environments during the-covid19 stage provides specific information about post-pandemic ramifications. Understanding the implications of the COVID19 pandemic, in general, is important. Contextualizing it to teaching and learning in K-12 virtual environments is essential to set the stage for readjusting the new normal if the pandemic does not come to an end, shortly.

Progress:  The purpose of this systematic literature review is to bring together scholarly sources and compile a critical list of their findings and recommendations for post COVID19 related studies and the impact on education. This study has economic value as the education of children demands the involvement of all society and investment practices of federal resources. Since the broader goal of public education is for all school-aged children, the distribution of national resources must be equitable. Without information regarding the distribution of resources including technology and staffing issues, remediation goes unfulfilled.   Data collection is underway.


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. Derek Roby, Dr. David L. Turner


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.
Progress Report:
The study presents service-learning as a means for educators to convey values of international change and foster qualities of closeness, equity, integrity, and personal growth to students.  A phenomenological approach is yielding insights on how educators transform students into international change agents and promote partnerships, enrichment, and academic achievement.
  • Team 2 – Professional theme, Title:  Career Ready Education: Doctoral Alumni Perspective on Employability in the Field of Education

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 a university in southwestern United States.  Research will concentrate on whether there is a relationship between the program content at this university and 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.

Progress Report:

Permission has been granted to benchmark a survey conducted by Golde and Dore (2001) as a tool for measuring the doctoral experiences for Ed.D. and Ph.D. graduates in the education discipline. This research study will  concentrate only on the content in the benchmark survey tool that specifically applies to the respondents’ perceptions about their abilities to achieve their career outcomes post-graduation from 2016-2019.  IRB approval is pending documentation of institutional approval; upon receipt of IRB approval, the pilot study and subsequent data collection will be completed.
  • Team 3 - Student Needs, Title:  College of Doctoral Studies Students’ Perceptions of Dissertation Preparedness: A Mixed Methods Case Study  

Team Leader – Dr. Rheanna Reed - Team Members: Dr. Alice Edwards, Dr. Jenn Sagon


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.

Progress Report:

After IRB approval was granted, data were analyzed and results summarized for presentation at The Qualitative Report 12th Annual Conference in January 2021.  The team is finalizing a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

  • 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. 

Progress Report:

The team has completed manuscript development for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.  The team has also submitted a proposal to the 2021 AECT conference in November 2021.