The aspect of the doctoral process that is most concerning is the Comprehensive Exam

At this time, the aspect in the doctoral process that holds the most confidence is the coursework.  I have generally been rather successful in completing tasks, and earning decent grades.  The history of coursework, grades, and determination to complete things that have been started provides the confidence to support the previous statement.

The aspect of the doctoral process that is most concerning is the Comprehensive Exam.  While I work “well under pressure”, I am concerned about the amount of work required for the rather short time frame provided to compete the Comprehensive Exam (28 days, 3 questions, each answer being 12-17 pages in length).  These requirements, at this point in the doctoral journey, are intimidating.

At this point in my life, career, and education, I have learned the value of asking for, and accepting help.  I believe that self-sufficiency is extremely important, but not to the extent that my health and sanity should be at risk.  While I feel more confident in many aspects of my life when I am doing well in other aspects, I am not beyond taking care of myself.  As I tell my clients often, you must take care of yourself, to be able to take care of others.  If I do not perform self-care, how can I care for my clients?  Ruscio (2006), in Critical Thinking in Psychology, referenced the “well-established correlation between self-esteem and academic achievement” (p. 99).  While there is controversy in this correlation, I personally feel that academic achievement increases self-esteem, rather than the other way around.  However, they both affect each other differently, for different individuals.  As most things in life, it is dependent upon the individual, rather than 100% one way or the other.

The sources of help in the process of doctoral learning that appears to be most helpful would be the dissertation mentor and academic advisor. These individuals would be helpful in providing feedback, support, answering questions, and helping to take the mystery out of the process.  The presentation “Welcome to Dissertation” provided insight on the process, and solidified the thought that they will be useful in the dissertation process.

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