by Mark Larson | March 25, 2010
The dissertation research process at Capella is based on a set of 16 milestones which measure learner progress. Unlike in coursework where there are weekly assignments, learner’s progress in dissertation is measured by milestone completion. Milestones have set timelines that are not tied to quarters. For example, when learners receive a six-week timeline for completion of the dissertation committee process, it means that learners should immediately set about contacting prospective members via email. In a previous post, I described a method that seems to make the process go more smoothly.
Since that post, I have heard from learners who are frustrated because the process is not going as smoothly as they wish and that that their milestone deadline is approaching. A first extension is available and is for half of the original number of weeks. Learners contact their mentors to request this extension. For example, the committee nomination milestone first extension is for 3 additional weeks. A second extension for milestones, with the length of the extension left to the discretion of the mentor and advisor, can be approved. Learners need to demonstrate that they are attempting to make progress.
Completion of dissertation milestones such as the dissertation committee nomination is like any other research project requiring a trial and error approach. It can happen quickly or take longer, depending on the availability of particular faculty members. If learners do not follow the process correctly it can also result in delays. It is always best to discuss the process with an Advanced Learner Doctoral Advisor during the initial dissertation advising session. Advisors welcome follow-up questions and are standing by to explain and clarify Capella’s many processes and procedures.