The Impact of Early Prospectus Review
Approximately 40% of doctoral students are unable to complete their independent capstone research at the
conclusion of their coursework and of those who do complete the capstone, time to completion is often longer than anticipated.
At Walden University, students are often successful during their structured course work, but become overwhelmed with the
demands of their capstone research and fail to progress. In order to scaffold the capstone process, the EdD program has several
discrete steps in the completion and review processes such as prospectus (research plan) development, and later the proposal
and final study approvals by committee members and the University Research Reviewer (URR). The EdD program recently
added another early step to provide structured feedback and additional guidance to assist students in the development of their
research plans. This step is the prospectus-stage review by the Research Program Director (RPD) or designee. Grounded by
Hattie and Timperley’s model of feedback to enhance student learning, the purpose of this study is to assess the impact of the
RPD review by examining differences in the number of months to proposal approval between students who had their
prospectus reviewed by the RPD and students who did not. Differences in the number of URR proposal returns will also be
examined. Data analysis will include analysis of variances for the two dependent measures and descriptive statistics for the
Index Terms- Online doctoral students, prospectus review, prospectus feedback, completion time.