Dissertation Evaluation Process: A Survey of Hispanic-Serving Institution Faculty
- Rose Colon, Ph.D. – College of Health Care Sciences
- Alicia Fernandez-Fernandez, Ph.D. – College of Health Care Sciences
- Stanley H. Wilson BS, PT, MS, Ed.D., CEAS – College of Health Care Sciences
Faculty engage in an evaluative process in an effort to identify successful dissertations and research-based master’s theses. Historically, this evaluative process has had limited transparency resulting in graduate students’ lack of understanding of the research-learning process. This evaluative process has a direct impact on program attrition and completion rates. This coupled with lack of program support decreases the likelihood of graduate student academic success. Hispanic graduate students’ successes have be seen in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). Despite HSIs graduate academic success, a significant gap remains in number of Hispanic doctoral degrees conferred as compared to White non-Hispanic students. NSU is a HSI and has demonstrated higher Hispanic graduate completion rates as compared to public HSIs. There is limited research on HSIs that may explain their graduate academic successes. This proposed pilot online survey study (n=500 HSI faculty) will contribute to the development of transparent performance-based measures that assess overall dissertation quality, examine graduate student risks to academic success, and explore the explanation of academic student successes at HSIs. The Trans-Theoretical Model of Change will guide this pilot study in which factors of readiness to change associated with faculty driven development of dissertation performance-based measures will be examined. Replication work on dissertation performance-based measures will be conducted using a rigorous statistical technique. Factors of program support and readiness to use dissertation performance based measures will be examined in a statistical predictive model of overall dissertation quality. To understand the uniqueness of HSIs, qualitative responses will be collected and undergo content analysis. This work will have the potential to increase transparency in the dissertation research-based evaluation and contribute to the national goal of reducing the academic gap between graduate White-non-Hispanic and Hispanic students.