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Products and Demonstrations of Competence

In the Disability Disciplines PhD program, seven professional areas of competence constitute the comprehensive examination.

The purpose of these requirements within the comprehensive examination is to insure that graduates will be proficient in the primary professional arenas expected of professors in academic positions in top-tier universities. All products must be completed prior to the student's dissertation proposal meeting.

Before proceeding to details of specific products and competencies, two important policies regarding the following requirements should be noted:

  • These guidelines present minimum expectations. Specialization areas may tailor these requirements to their own programs and extend them.
  • Students' doctoral advisors and advisory committees are responsible to make decisions about how each comprehensive examination requirement is to be met. However, waiver of a requirement requires approval of the doctoral program committee.
The seven areas are:

An Article for Publication

This requirement is intended to ensure that graduates have the critical scientific writing skills to be successful academicians and also to help students establish a record of publication that will enhance their marketability for academic positions upon graduation.

Some Guidelines

  • The article must be of quality to be published in a referred journal and must be submitted for publication. However, the article does not need to be accepted for publication in order to meet the project requirement.
  • The article used to meet this requirement may be related to the student's prior research internship.
  • The article submitted to meet this requirement may not be the same as that used to meet the literature review requirement.
  • The article may be a collaborative project; however, the student's contribution must merit first authorship.

Evaluation

The process for evaluation and approval of the article is as follows:

  1. Students send their manuscripts to all members of their advisory committees and inform them that they are submitting the manuscript to fulfill the comprehensive exam requirement of an article for publication.
  2. The student's advisor and at least one other committee member (appointed by the student's advisor) read and evaluate the manuscript. Any additional committee member who wishes to evaluate the manuscript may do so. All readers send their decisions and comments to the advisor within two weeks of receiving the manuscript. If additional committee members submit comments the advisor compiles the individual readers' decisions and sends them to all committee members.
  3. If all readers' decisions agree, that decision will stand. If there are irresolvable disagreements among readers, the entire committee will read the manuscript and meet with the student. Questions may be put to the student. The student should not be present for final discussion and decision making. The decision will be made by a majority vote of the committee. The committee may require revisions in the manuscript. Generally, the student's advisor supervises and approves the revision process and reports its completion to the advisory committee.

Forms
 Article for Publication (31.5 KB)
 
 

Literature Review

Reviewing literature is an extremely important scholarly skill. It is the key to critically understanding a body of literature. It is in the review of literature that the dots are connected and coherent patterns are identified; equally importantly, this is where weaknesses in a body of literature are identified. Systematic and critical understanding of bodies of literature is a necessary basis for drawing practical conclusions from research and for developing important questions for further research.

The literature review requirement has several purposes:

  1. it is intended to precede the literature review for the dissertation and ensure that students have experience with comprehensive reviews before taking on that project,
  2. along with introduction of the publishable article and the dissertation, this product is intended to ensure that students have extensive experience with this important form of scholarship,
  3. it is intended to provide an additional publication for students so that upon (or shortly after) graduation, their record of scholarship shows at least one published literature review,
  4. it is intended to provide students with an additional content area in which they are well versed, broadening their scholarly expertise.

Some Guidelines

  • The literature review should be of publishable scope and quality, and be submitted for publication if such papers are typically published in the student's discipline.
  • The literature review used to meet this requirement cannot be the same as the literature review for the dissertation; nor can it be the same as the article used to meet the publication requirement.
  • The literature review and article for publication may occur in either order or concurrently.
  • The literature review may be a collaborative project; however, the student's contribution must merit first authorship.
  • Multiple types of literature reviews including meta-analyses, evidence-based practice reviews, and narrative reviews are acceptable. The style of review should be matched to the nature of the literature and the purposes of the review.
  • It is expected that students will complete the literature review by the end of their second year of full-time study.

Evaluation

The process for evaluation and approval of the article is as follows:

  1. Students send their manuscripts to all members of their advisory committees and inform them that they are submitting the manuscript to fulfill the comprehensive exam requirement of a literature review.
  2. The student's advisor and at least one other committee member (appointed by the student's advisor) read and evaluate the manuscript. Any additional committee member who wishes to evaluate the manuscript may do so. All readers send their decisions and comments to the advisor within two weeks of receiving the manuscript. If additional committee members submit comments the advisor compiles the individual readers' decisions and sends them to all committee members.
  3. If all readers' decisions agree, that decision will stand. If there are irresolvable disagreements among readers, the entire committee will read the manuscript and meet with the student. Questions may be put to the student. The student should not be present for final discussion and decision making. The decision will be made by a majority vote of the committee. The committee may require revisions in the manuscript. Generally, the student's advisor supervises and approves the revision process and reports its completion to the advisory committee.

Forms

Literature Review (31.5 KB)

A Conference Presentation

The purpose of the conference presentation requirement is to ensure that program graduates will be proficient at presenting papers at professional conferences as expected of professors and other Ph.D. level professionals. Further, this requirement is intended to enhance the student's job marketability at graduation.

Some Guidelines

  • There is a strong preference for these presentations to occur at national conferences. However, under some circumstances, a doctoral committee could approve a presentation at a state or regional conference to meet this requirement.
  • It is not required that this presentation be of research data; however, it must be a scholarly/academic presentation rather than a workshops or presentation for a non-academic audience.

Evaluation

The advisor and at least one additional committee member will evaluate this product based on two sets of information:

  1. Materials the student prepared for the presentation. These may include slides or other presentation media, written presentation narrative or notes, and/or handouts.
  2. The presentation itself. At least one faculty member who advises doctoral students in the Disabilities Disciplines Doctoral Program must attend the presentation and write a brief evaluative statement. Generally, this observer will be the student's advisor or another member of their advisory committee. 


Forms

Conference Presentation (32.5 KB)  

Participation in Preparation of a Grant Application

Faculty members in research universities are generally expected to prepare grant applications to fund their research and training programs and often model/development/demonstration projects, technical assistance projects, etc. Thus, the purpose of this requirement is to ensure that graduates acquire some proficiency and experience in the domain of grant writing. Further, this requirement is intended to enhance the student's job marketability at graduation.

Some Guidelines

  • Students are not required to prepare an entire grant independently. However, they are expected to make substantial, high quality contributions to a grant application under the supervision of a faculty member who generally serves as the project director or PI for the grant project.
  • The grant application must have the scope and magnitude of a federal RFP rather than the more restricted scope and detail of most foundation and state grant applications.
  • The student and the grant director will develop a written statement that specifies the expectations for the student's participation in the grant writing process.
  • The advisor must approve the RFP and plan for the student's involvement prior to the initiation of this project.

Evaluation

The project director or primary investigator for the grant project will supervise the student's work. The student will write short statements (a) describing the grant proposal and (b) describing their contribution.  The supervisor will write a brief evaluative statement about the student's contribution to the application and her/his competence in this undertaking.  The student will send these statements to their advisor and advisory committee members who will approve the completion of this requirement or request further work.

Forms

Grant Application (34.0 KB)

College Teaching Internship

Almost all graduates of this program will assume positions that require teaching undergraduate and/or graduate students in higher education institutions and/or inservice training and supervision to working professionals. Thus, the purpose of this requirement is to ensure graduates will be proficient in college teaching. This requirement is also intended to enhance graduates' marketability for academic positions.

Some Guidelines

  • Students must have the primary instructor role for a semester-long course. This should include responsibility for planning and managing the course (e.g. syllabus, presentation of most materials, assignments, student feedback, grading, and other miscellaneous activities related to college teaching). Students enrolled in the course should see the doctoral student as the primary course instructor.
  • Since students will usually be teaching courses that have been extensively developed by faculty members, it is not reasonable to expect them to independently create a whole new course (at least not from scratch).
  • Students may demonstrate course development skills in a variety of ways such as developing new course content, course units/modules, assessment tools, interactive activities and hybrid courses.
  • In meeting this requirement, students will be required to engage in some web-based technological support system (such as Blackboard).
  • The faculty member who is responsible for the course (and for whom it is part of load) is expected to attend at least 75% of the class sessions.
  • It is understood that in exceptional circumstances a student may be permitted to meet the college teaching requirement more independently. On these occasions, there are two issues to be considered. First, there is the question of whether the student has the experience and expertise to bypass the usual more intensive supervised teaching process. This decision is to be made by the student's advisory committee. Second, there is the question of whether those responsible for the program that is to receive the course are satisfied that it will meet their quality expectations. This decision is to be made by the appropriate Department Head in consultation with the relevant program faculty.

Evaluation

The faculty member responsible for the course will have primary responsibility to evaluate the student's teaching. Students will be evaluated at least twice during the semester-long course. Further, at the end of the semester, students will create a 1-3 page reflection paper about their teaching experience through which they will attempt to demonstrate their proficiency in college teaching. This paper should include data from course evaluations, their thoughts about the course and their teaching performance, and an explanation of how they would alter the course or the course delivery based on the feedback from student evaluations, from assessment instruments they used, and from the evaluative feedback of their faculty supervisor.

Forms

College Teaching Internship (33.0 KB)

A Research Internship

The purpose of this internship is to allow students to acquire foundation research skills to enhance their ability to complete subsequent doctoral program requirements (e.g. dissertation). The focus of this requirement is on the mechanics of data collection, recording, and analysis.

Some Guidelines

  • Students must have an active role in data collection, recording, and analysis.
  • Advisors must approve research internship projects.
  • The student's role in the research project will be specified in writing at the beginning of the semester.
  • At the end of the internship, students will write a brief paper that describes their activities, presents their data, and provides a brief synopsis of what they learned.
  • The director of the research project will evaluate the student's participation and proficiency in the agreed upon activities.

Evaluation

A Completion Approval Form must be signed by the major advisor and by the faculty mentor responsible supervising the research internship. Specialization areas may develop additional requirements and approval protocols as appropriate for students in their areas.

Forms

Research Internship (32.0 KB)

Supervision Internship

The purpose of the supervision internship is to ensure that graduates will have the proficiency in supervising professional trainees as expected of professors in their respective disciplines.

Some Guidelines

  • Since the way supervision/mentoring is carried out varies among specializations in the Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program, the specific supervision internship requirements, procedures, and evaluative criteria will be designed by the faculty in each specialization area.
  • Generally, the requirements in each specialization will address: (1) collecting and interpreting observations on professionals and/or preprofessionals; (2) identifying strengths and weaknesses in the performance of the supervisee; (3) giving feedback to supervisees and, as necessary, providing corrective training to supervisees to remediate deficit performance areas; and (4) evaluating the impact of the feedback and/or training.
  • The supervising faculty or staff member should co-observe with the doctoral student and check their supervision performance in each of the areas above.

Evaluation

A Completion Approval Form must be signed by the major advisor and by the faculty mentor responsible for the supervision training. Specialization areas may develop additional requirements and approval protocols as appropriate for students in their areas.

Forms

Supervision Internship (31.5 KB)