I recently was awarded my Ed.D. in adult education from Walden University. I also received my published copy of my dissertation, "Military Veterans' Perceptions of Barriers to College Completion Using the G.I. Bill," by ProQuest. The travels I experienced in this journey were most definitely something not for the faint of heart. I have found that I am the only family member to have accomplished this. I was finishing my master's degree when I heard other classmates talking about possibly getting their doctorate. How strange for me to suddenly decide that I also wanted this, without any hesitation. And so, shortly after graduation, I applied and was accepted into the Ed.D. program.
From when I was accepted into the Ed.D. program to when my last semester ended was 10.5 years. During this time, I experienced two setbacks. I was assigned to three chairs. The first one retired. I was with this chair throughout developing my proposal. After a year of being appointed to the second chair, I let her go. It seemed that she was more confused about what she was supposed to be doing. I ended up with probably one of the best chairs one could ask for. With my third chair, his goal was to get me straightened out and finish the journey. We had numerous Skype meetings to make sure I was straight with his directions. My literature review was so old that I had to delete most of it and replace it with newer research within five years of graduation. My next most significant setback was changing my methods from quantitative surveys to qualitative interviews. I was never able to receive enough survey responses. The committee suggested, and I also decided, to switch to interviews.
It was pretty much all downhill from there. I needed help drafting my interview data and connecting this data to the literature review. It was not just the information, but how the research supported and refuted the results. I then had to have a complete proofread to make sure everything was ironed out and made sense. It still seemed a long time as the final draft went through the last reviews by the committee and another editor. The initial and final oral defenses were probably the easiest to accomplish, as you become the expert before preparing the PowerPoint.