“It’s just another piece of paper. It’s another step I have to take to prove to society that I’m educated and worthy of being respected in the field of academia. It’s the last contributor to my student loan debt.”
I can only imagine how often I have heard comments like this about the quest to a doctorate. Although I have not pursued the endeavor of earning a doctoral degree, I have obtained much insight about the journey. It is important for multiple perspectives to be shared with others that are considering the #SADoc. This is an overall gist of what I have been told about obtaining a doctoral degree:
- Enroll in, and complete 60-70 hours of coursework
- Successfully complete comprehensive exams
- Successfully defend dissertation proposal
- Gather, code, and report dissertation research findings, and implications in a written dissertation, which typically consist of five chapters (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings Discussion, and Implications)
- Secure dissertation committee signatures
- Forward completed dissertation to institutional manuscript office for formatting edits
- Upon receiving clearance by institutional manuscript office, deposit complete, edited dissertation
These 8 steps are easier said than done, and the purpose of this February’s series is to have individuals share their experiences about the hustle and struggle of the doctorate. However, it is not only about the negative; we also want everyone to showcase the rewarding experiences they have had.
For those that are considering the#SADoc, everyone has different reasons for wanting it. For me personally, it excites me to have the opportunity to create new knowledge, publish and contribute to current literature, and get involved with students both inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, it’s an accomplishment no one in my family is familiar with and I want to change that; this achievement is obtainable for people like me. Navigating through a system that was not designed to include me is a constant challenge, but all that matters is that I’m finding ways to excel academically so I can thrive professionally.
My quest to the doctorate is going to happen some day and I can’t wait to share my experiences with others. But for now, this moment is for the current students pursuing their doctorate and for those that have already earned them. Their stories are not meant to be painted as a monolith; everyone will have their own experience. Through this series, I want everyone reading to understand the #SADoc is more than just another piece of paper.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Stacy Oliver-Sikorski on Professional Development