Formation of a Dissertation Committee

The Graduate School requires that the Dissertation Committee be composed of a maximum of five faculty members, three of whom must be from the Department of Educational Administration and be members of the Graduate Studies Committee, and at least one of whom must be from outside the College of Education, but within the university. The fifth member may be from the Department, from outside the Department, or from the field of practice represented by the dissertation.

After at least 3 long semester of coursework, the student should explore with the Faculty Advisor and other Graduate Faculty members their willingness to serve on a Dissertation Committee and possibly as the Dissertation Chairperson. Each student's nominees for the Dissertation Committee will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). The most important characteristic of a Dissertation Committee is the match between its members' interests and fields of expertise and those of the student. The GSC will normally assume that a student's nomination and the member's willingness to serve means that there is a good match in interests and abilities. The GSC will, therefore, pay special attention to two additional matters: 1) the number of Dissertation Committees the nominees are currently serving on (particularly the Chairperson); and 2) the extent of their current involvement in activities that are pertinent to the student's specialty. In the event that the GSC concludes that a student or the faculty would be better served by the appointment of someone other than the student's nominees, the Chairperson shall be so advised. The Chairperson will consult with affected faculty and the student until a mutually acceptable Dissertation Committee can be recommended by the GSC to the Graduate School.

Once a Dissertation Committee has been formed, the remainder of the student's graduate career should be viewed as having two complementary parts: (1) mastery of theoretical and methodological models for dissertation proposal; and (2) the conduct of field-based activities, culminating in a dissertation, by which the student demonstrates an ability to translate knowledge into creative, scholarly activities.