Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp

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The School of Graduate Studies at East Tennessee State University started the first Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp program in the fall of 2012 by organizing a team of dedicated faculty and staff to help promote the Boot Camp and to run its sessions. Boot Camp at ETSU has since had great success with participation, positive student feedback, and student success. We have had 268 total registrations and 178 unique participants in Boot Camp from all stages of the writing process and of those who were close to finishing, 94 have graduated, many of whom have credited the Boot Camp program with their success. We advertise 21 to all ETSU graduate students, local and regional institutions, and although they were always welcome, we have recently expanded our advertising to Capstone Project students. Students from all of these groups have participated.

Boot Camp provides dedicated space and time to write free of distractions, with a variety of resources in the same room or just steps away. In this presentation, I will detail how, what, when, and who is involved in setting up and running our boot camps and provide an overview of our optional mini-workshops that are offered during each session. I will also provide an update on how our boot camp has evolved over the past five years and share some data that I am currently working on correlating boot camp attendance with graduation rates. Boot Camp models at other institutions will also be presented for comparison along with tips for setting up a boot camp at your institution.

Another update for this presentation is a personal one. I would like to credit Boot Camp for my own professional growth. Working with boot campers through personal, professional, and academic challenges has tested my ability to be a leader and inspire others to persevere. Boot Camp continues to be a source of pride for me and the School of Graduate Studies at ETSU and I would love the opportunity to share the program again with representatives from other institutions.


Washington, D.C.

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