Another big, big milestone today. This afternoon I had my proposal hearing with my committee (Drs. Averbeck, Younger and VanGemeren). They accepted my proposal as is, which means I now qualify for PhD candidacy and am “all but dissertation,” or ABD–as they say.
The proposal hearing is the same format as the dissertation defense. The first reader (Dr. Averbeck, in my case) runs the meeting which he usually starts by asking the student to summarize the proposed project and explain its potential significance. Then the second reader (Dr. Younger) takes over. He’s kind of the attack dog, asking questions designed to probe the soundness of the proposal and expose any weaknesses. After the second reader then the program director gets his turn (Dr. VanGemeren) and at this point it becomes a bit of an open debate.
I was very happy about the process. There was a lot of constructive criticism that will help me sharpen my research and the whole process of developing my argument. In fact, there were so many constructive comments I felt sure I would have to revise my proposal document. Nonetheless, they accepted it as is.
Hence the milestone. I’ve already submitted the final copy of the proposal and the paperwork to apply for candidacy. Achieving the status of PhD candidate is a pretty big deal in and of itself. In fact, some schools will hire teachers that have not yet completed their dissertation but who are PhD candidates. Needless to say, I feel great. At the beginning of the program I wondered if I would be able to make it this far and now–here we are. With steps 0, 1, 2, and 3 completed all that’s left is to write the dissertation and defend! What a great feeling.
soli deo gloria