The Doctoral Orientation to the Capstone (DOC): A Virtual Experience for First Year Online Doctoral Students

Concurrent Session 7

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Brief Abstract

 

The Doctoral Orientation to the Capstone (DOC) is a virtual real-time event provided for online doctoral students. The DOC events were designed to a) address the gap in the doctoral student experience associated with understanding and feeling prepared for the research process b) improve grade performance in the first research course, and c) increase next-term and two-term retention. Assessment results indicate that this multi-faceted real-time approach provided retention gains and enhanced student satisfaction.

Presenters

Dr. Rebecca Jobe is the Executive Director, Student Progress Initiatives for Walden University. Prior to joining Walden in 2003, she received three Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Missouri in Psychology, English, and Secondary Education, her Master’s degree from Western Illinois University in Experimental Psychology, and her Doctorate from the University of Tennessee in Psychology (emphasis in social and health research). Dr. Jobe has spent nearly 20 years working in higher education, teaching, conducting research, and serving in administrative positions. Her teaching spans both undergraduate and graduate education within the community college, 4-year public, 4-year private, and online for-profit sectors. She has won multiple awards for her teaching, including the Extraordinary Faculty Award for Walden University. In addition to teaching, she has also led processes for course design and development, and contributed to regulatory and accreditation reviews. Dr. Jobe has a solid record of research and contributing to the academic community. She has numerous professional conference presentations and publications in the areas of psychology and higher education administration, with her most recent work focusing on strategies to improve student progress and retention. She has also been a reviewer for several professional journals and served as co-editor for a special issue on retention for the Higher Learning Research Communications journal. Dr. Jobe’s administrative work includes academic positions of Faculty Chair for doctoral programs in Psychology, Assistant Dean for Student Success for the College of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, Executive Director for the Center for Faculty Excellence, and her current role of Executive Director, Student Progress Initiatives. In each of these roles, she worked to develop new processes and forge innovative approaches to better the student experience.

Extended Abstract

The Doctoral Orientation to the Capstone (DOC) is a virtual real-time event provided for online doctoral students at Walden University. It utilizes a virtual learning platform consisting of alumni and faculty panels and questions and answers via chat. The DOC events were designed to a) address the gap in the doctoral student experience associated with understanding and feeling prepared for the research process (as identified by institutional assessments), b) improve grade performance in the first research course, and c) increase next-term and two-term retention. Assessment results indicate that this multi-faceted real-time approach provided retention gains and enhanced student satisfaction.