Today was orientation for CMU's Ed.D. program! Over the past two weeks I have been mentally preparing for this moment, a return to CMU to finish my educational journey. Of course this step would not have been possible without the support of my peers at San Diego State, where I recently finished my M.Ed. program, along with the support of my Compass team, and most importantly, my family. The journey continues with a new group of peers in cohort 22.
As I flew back to Michigan from LA, I started reading some of the materials for our first course, EDL 899, which is the Doctoral Seminar. Luckily I had two flights back to Michigan (luckily so I could grab a coffee during my layover in Salt Lake City), which allowed me to read and pace my reading for the upcoming week. I spent time on my first flight looking over the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association." While not one to tab pages, it was suggested by our professor and so I did use three different colors of tabs to check back on. Blue was used for some of the high points, such as the changes that were made to this edition, especially with the changes in the use of technology to conduct research. Two important parts for me, as someone who struggles to Tweet in 140 characters or less, and also adds in fluff to my writing, I was reminded that "the optimal length of a manuscript is the number of pages needed to effectively communicate the primary ideas of the study, review, or theoretical analysis" (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 2010). I was also reminded to "say only what needs to be said." I used yellow tabs to remind me of the location of the various checklists within the publication, and pink for those sections which will help with citations and referencing citations in my future writing.
There is more reading in store for this week. In addition to number articles, including one I am excited to read ("Credentials Versus Performance: Review of the Teacher Performance Pay Research" by Michael Podgursky and Matthew Springer), I will be reading "Education and Social Change: Contours in the History of American Schooling" by John Rury. If this program is anything like San Diego State's, these materials, and the discussion with my cohort, will help expand my thinking greatly and will challenge me in ways I could never have imagined. I know I will be able to grow if I am open-minded to change and growth, and if I am, Compass Charter Schools and the organizations I support will benefit.
Today was a great day, especially getting to know my new cohort. A special thanks to Dr. Dani from the Leadership Institute and her staff from Leadership Safari. We spent time getting to know each other in unique ways, which I know will help us come together and allow us to support one another along this journey. The doctoral path is a long path, a challenging path, and it's important to know we are here to support one another. I also took a photo in the room where one of our activities took place, which is a quote from Jesse Jackson: "Never Look Down on Anybody Unless You're Helping Them Up." I think that speaks well for this journey we are starting. We are here to support one another, learn from one another, and grow together.
This will be challenging. It will take balance, determination, support, struggle, celebration, and reflection to be successful. I cannot wait to see what the future holds, what my future holds, thanks to this new chapter.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.