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Dissertation Resources and Guidelines

Graduate Academic Services

Graduate Academic Services handles the Dissertation process, including forms and advising. Jo Nell Baker is the head of Graduate Academic Services, and can be reached at (909) 448-4504, or by email at

Mailing address:

1950 Third St.
La Verne, CA 91750
Office: Woody Hall

Organizational Leadership Department (Ed.D.)

Mailing address:

1950 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Office: Leo Hall Rm 101
Jason Balog, (909) 448-4378

Jason can give you direction on any question you may have about the process. If we do not know the answer, we will direct you to the person who does.

Remember, these are your Dissertation Guidelines. This document has the latest information regarding the University processes and procedures as of 3-13-2012.


The Organizational Leadership Department and Graduate Academic Services prepared this book to help you with the logistics of the dissertation process. We welcome you to call anytime for clarification or further information.

Included Dissertation Forms

Please feel free to use the Dissertation Forms found at the Graduate Academic Services website.


The quality of a dissertation reflects both the individual candidate and the University of La Verne. For this reason, the faculty shares your desire to make the dissertation worthy of publishing. The guidelines will assist you in the design and conduct of the study and facilitate the content aspects of manuscript preparation. If you’ve had these guidelines for a long time, this website will always reflect the latest copy.

Dissertation Procedures

This dissertation process moves according to the following sequence:

  1. Recommendations for Dissertation Committee Members (Form 1)
    1. Writing Styles
  2. Approval of Formal Study Proposal (Form 2)
  3. IRB – Institutional Review Board
  4. Do The Research
  5. Approval for Oral Defense (Form 3)
  6. Oral Defense Approval Status (Form 4)
  7. Revisions and Manuscript Review
  8. Final Approval with Dean’s Sign-off

These sequential steps must be followed in order. You, not the Dissertation Chair, are responsible for transmitting all forms and appropriate documentation to Graduate Academic Services as you proceed through the various segments of the dissertation process. Graduate Academic Services will not accept forms out of sequence; the office will not process one form if its predecessor has not arrived, i.e. Form 3, for example, will not be processed unless an appropriately signed Form 2 is found in your file. You must heed this mandate carefully; failure to do so could result in delay and frustration.

Recommendations for Dissertation Committee Members

After you have successfully completed your comprehensive review, you may engage a dissertation chair and constitute a dissertation committee. There are three members on each dissertation committee including the chair who is listed on the approved faculty dissertation chair list. You will first seek a dissertation chair and, in consultation with her/him, select two other committee members. The committee members must be approved by the chair, have an appropriate earned doctorate degree, and a CV on file with Graduate Academic Services. The dissertation chair may include a fourth member to enrich the research in a meaningful way. The department recommends the committee members represent academic areas related to the study and/or methodologists appropriate to your study. The dissertation chair and each committee member will note her/his willingness to serve on the dissertation committee by signing the dissertation committee Form 1 which is then sent to Graduate Academic Services. Graduate Academic Services will send a copy of the approved form designating the committee and will transmit contracts to the approved committee. Approved chairs who are full-time ULV Ed.D. program faculty may only serve as the chair of dissertation committees. The chair is directly responsible for the quality of the approved research proposal, the research process, and the dissertation.

Approved List of Dissertation Chairs: Ed.D.

This list is subject to change without notice.

  • Todd Britton
  • Sam Buenrostro
  • Kathy Duncan
  • Shari Fox
  • Dick Giese
  • Casey Goodall
  • Ron Hallett
  • MD Haque
  • Tom Harvey, Emeritus
  • Nancy Hogg
  • L. Hyatt
  • Shawn Judson
  • Linda Kimble
  • Yvette Latunde
  • Sunny Liu
  • Gwen Mathews
  • Barbara Poling, Emerita
  • Kristan Venegas
  • Kimberly White-Smith
  • Rich Whitney

Students who need help or suggestions about forming a committee and/or finding committee members may contact one of the Department of Organizational Leadership faculty members.

Meetings may be held any way the committee deems necessary. Because the University does not pay for travel for committee meetings, much communication is done virtually or by phone, fax, and/or email. The university will pay for travel for the oral defense {one flight/one overnight (two overnights if no timely flight out)}. Contact the Organizational Leadership Department office at (909) 448-4378 for information regarding expenses.

The expense report* and policies can be found on the University website and need to be turned in to the Department of Organizational Leadership with original receipts within 90 days of expenditures or they will not be reimbursed. Save all original receipts!

Questions dealing with style, format, copyrights, and other technical requirements of manuscript preparation are answered in the Department approved style manual. APA has been approved as the style manual to be used by Doctoral students at the University of La Verne. You need to be knowledgeable of the contents of the Manual as you write your dissertation.

APA Style – Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.

Turabian style may be used ONLY with the approval of your Dissertation Chair.

Turabian Style – Turabian, Kate L. (2007). A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses
and Dissertations. (7th Edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press is another option.

Order of the Dissertation

  • Frontispiece unnumbered*
  • (University of La Verne signature page)
  • Title Page unnumbered*
  • Copyright Page (if applicable) unnumbered*
  • Blank Page unnumbered*
  • Table of Contents lower case Roman numeral i.e. at the bottom middle of page v
  • List of lower case Roman numeral i.e. Figures/Illustrations at bottom middle of page vi
  • List of Tables lower case Roman numeral i.e. at bottom middle of page vii
  • Acknowledgments lower case Roman numeral i.e. at bottom middle of page viii
  • Dedication lower case Roman numeral i.e. at bottom middle of page ix
  • Epigraph lower case Roman numeral i.e. at bottom middle of page x
  • Chapter I Arabic numeral at bottom middle i.e. of page for beginning of chapters 1 and at top right for text Chapter II i.e. 10
  • Appendix (ces) i.e. 65
  • Bibliography i.e. 81

*Every page is counted but may or may not be numbered.

Chapters: Most dissertations contain 5 chapters. However, this may vary depending on the type of research.

Approval for Formal Study Proposal – Form 2

After the committee has been determined, you write a dissertation proposal, which is to be approved by the committee; once approved, Form 2 is signed. The approval (Form 2) is placed in your file in Graduate Academic Services. Form 2 requires the Dean’s approval before you may proceed to the next step and may not be submitted with Form 3.

IRB – Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Participants

The University of La Verne believes in the value of research involving human participants, and accepts an ethical responsibility for safeguarding their rights and welfare with due consideration to ethnic and cultural issues (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45; Part 46, Department of Health and Human Services, Protection of Human Subjects, Revised, June 1, 1991). The EDD program abides by all IRB rules, regulations, and practices; for the most up-to-date policy, please visit the Institutional Review Board website.

LaFetra College of Education IRB Application Procedures

 The LFCE & University IRB: All research involving human subjects requires the approval of the University Institutional Review Board (IRB). All students planning dissertation research, regardless of the nature of that research, must submit an IRB application. Collecting data for exempt and expedited applications takes place after approval from the University and an electronic letter of approval from the University IRB Chair/Director will be sent.

The University level IRB consists of seven representatives (University IRB Chair/Director, one member from each of the four colleges, a staff member, and a community member) and reviews all standard review applications. Each College member reviews expedited applications along with the IRB Chair/Director. Collection of data for standard review applications may not take place until the University IRB’s concerns have been addressed and an approval letter is issued by the University IRB Director/Chair.

An exempt or expedited IRB application will typically take 2-3 weeks to be approved by the LFCE IRB, depending on the time of year (e.g. applications often peak about 4-6 months before graduation). If your study requires a standard review, it can take 4-8 weeks to be approved as it must be decided upon at a University IRB monthly meeting. Applications that are correctly completed tend to be processed quickly. Multiple rounds of corrections and review tend to delay applications, therefore please plan ahead.

The Process

  1. After the dissertation committee approves your study at the Form 2 meeting (assuming you’re an Ed.D. student), the dissertation chair of the committee should write an email to the chair of the LFCE IRB, Dr. Sunny Liu (, informing her that the student has passed the Form 2 meeting, and that the dissertation chair has reviewed the student’s IRB application and feels it can be sent to the LFCE IRB chair. Your IRB application will not be processed without this. (This step does not apply to faculty researchers.) Applicants are required to have completed IRB training, available at Organizational Leadership doctoral students typically experience this training as part of their research course curriculum.
  2. Access the IRB application forms. Once downloaded, you will complete them on your computer. The other forms and resources on that site can help you determine whether your study is subject to standard, expedited, or exempt review. Organizational Leadership doctoral students will find a “Tips for IRB Applicants” document for completing the application posted on the Community page.
  3. After completing the application the researcher, will then e-mail the following as a single document with item b-f as Appendices to Dr. Sunny Liu:
    1. IRB Application;
    2. Letter of invitation to subjects;
    3. Informed consent form;
    4. Copy of the instrument (questionnaire, interview protocol or other data collection instrument);
    5. In the case of copyrighted instruments, a copy of the permission for use;
    6. Letters of permission from organizations where research will be conducted, if necessary. If any permissions are still pending, please note that on your application (your approval will have a condition that permissions will be forwarded to the IRB before beginning research). Sometimes organizations will ask for the IRB approval letter before providing their permission.
  4. All forms should be completed in Word document format to allow the LFCE IRB Chair to make simple edits/changes rather than sending it back to the applicant and causing a time delay. Some hard copy documents, such as copyright instruments, may be scanned to PDF or included in your Word document as images (e.g. from a screen capture/print) in the appendices.
  5. The LFCE IRB Chair will check for completion and send all documentation by e-mail to reviewers on the LFCE IRB for their examination.
  6. All Standard Review applications are to be reviewed by the University IRB committee. They will need enough time to allow all members of the University IRB to review the application and the proposed treatment of human subjects. The University IRB prefers to receive standard reviews three weeks prior to their planned monthly meeting which currently is the second Tuesday of the month. In the case of expedited review and exempt review the LFCE IRB will review your application and approve. When the LFCE IRB approves the application they will email the University IRB Chair/Director for the final electronic letter of approval for the submitted application. Upon receipt of that letter you may implement the collection of data.

Note: This letter of approval from the University IRB Chair/Director will include your study’s assigned IRB number. Keep the letter for future reference. Doctoral students will need to include a copy of the IRB approval letter in the appendix of their dissertation and specifically list it in your table of contents.

Other Information

  1. Initial questions should be directed to Dr. Sunny Liu ( Until you have received approval from the LFCE IRB, the University IRB will not have a record of your application.
  2. Do not worry about signatures of the applicant or the advisor. The assumption will be that the student has submitted the form electronically. The dissertation chair’s approval e-mail message to Dr. Sunny Liu ( is accepted in lieu of his/her signature on the application. The email needs to state: “­_______ (student name) has my permission to submit his/her IRB application”.
  3. An exhibit of the Informed Consent to be distributed to any participant is needed for the application process. In the case of online questionnaires, an informed consent can be “Accepted” instead of signed.
  4. Where the researcher is using a copyrighted instrument, either a copy of the purchase order or a letter granting permission to use it is required. If using an instrument used by a previous dissertation researcher, a letter of permission from the researcher must be submitted.
  5. Don’t use the ULV logo on any document. To do so signifies it as an official University document. You are important, but you are not conducting official University research.
  6. Clarify that you are a doctoral student in any document (does not apply for faculty research). Don’t suggest that you are a representative of the University.

Approval for Oral Defense Date – Form 3

You work with your committee writing and revising drafts until all three members of the committee agree that the dissertation has reached final draft state and is ready for oral defense. The dissertation copy submitted to Graduate Academic Services prior to the oral defense must be bound. The binding should allow the document to be opened all the way and laid flat. Using a plastic spiral (comb) binding is a good way to bind the document.

Who Sets Up My Oral Defense?

In collaboration, the Dissertation Chair, committee members, and you decide the date, place and time of the oral defense. It is preferable for the oral defense to be held on the University campus but not necessary if there is a need to do otherwise.

It is your responsibility to make all logistical arrangements associated with the oral defense. These arrangements must be completed at least two weeks in advance of the defense. Never assume that equipment will be available in the room scheduled for the presentation.

Policy for Participation in Commencement Ceremony

Prior to April 1 of the year of Commencement:

  1. Student must have completion of, or enrollment in all program courses and requirements,
  2. Student must have submitted Form 3 requesting approval for the oral defense of the dissertation and required documents.

Prior to May 1 of the year of Commencement:

  1. Student must have successful defense of the dissertation. The graduate application must be submitted to the Graduate Academic Services Office.
  2. The cap and gown order form can also be found on line at the commencement website.

These forms may also be obtained by contacting Graduate Academic Services, Jo Nell Baker at (909) 448-4504.

Logistical arrangements include:

  • Scheduling the date, time, and room for the oral defense.
  • Arranging for all equipment needs through the campus Office of Information and Technology (x4130) if the defense will be held on the University of La Verne campus. Most classrooms are smart rooms and have a projector set up and already installed but you should confirm this at the time of reservations. If the defense is to be held off campus, you should discuss your equipment needs with your Dissertation Chair. Equipment needed might include overhead projector, screen, whiteboard, chalkboard, slide projector, video monitor/and player, and/or computer equipment.
    Assuring that all slides and/or photocopies are accurate and complete before the presentation – resources needed to create additional transparencies or copies may not be available you on the day of the defense. Remember, all equipment and materials for the oral defense are your responsibility.

The Graduate Academic Services Office must receive Dissertation Form 3 – Approval for Oral Defense, and accompanying documents at least two weeks prior to the date chosen for your defense.

Oral Defense Approval Status – Form 4

Graduate Academic Services will distribute the announcement of the oral defense among graduate faculty members on campus.

At the defense, you should provide:

  1. a copy of Form 4, and
  2. two copies of the Signature Page;

A unanimous vote of all committee members is required to pass the oral defense. At the conclusion of the oral defense, you may be:

  1. passed with no revisions necessary,
  2. passed with minor revisions,
  3. passed with major revisions,
  4. continued to another oral defense date due to the significance of the required changes, or
  5. failed, with recommended follow-up action.

Revisions and Manuscript Review After the Oral Defense

The following steps after the Oral Defense of the Dissertation will expedite the final signing of the dissertation by the Dean within the one-year time limit from the date of the Oral Defense.

  1. Submit Form 4 to Graduate Academic Services Office.
  2. Be sure to have your Dissertation Chair and Committee Members sign two originals of the signature page. These pages will be held by the Dissertation Chair until all revisions are completed.
  3. You will most likely have minor or major manuscript revisions to make. Make the changes in your dissertation as agreed upon by your committee at the oral defense. Submit to the Chair and Committee as specified at the Oral Defense.
  4. Once your committee has approved your revisions, type the dissertation in its final form following APA or Turabian format with Dissertation Chair approval and the University of La Verne Dissertation Guidelines. Follow the order in this booklet for the dissertation.
  5. Submit the following to the Graduate Academic Services Office:
    1. One copy of the dissertation – unbound on plain paper
    2. Two original signature pages with committee signatures.

Producing the Dissertation: Printing and Paper

The University of La Verne requires that the original of the final dissertation be typed on high quality typewriter or electronically processed on a word processor or computer that yields clear, dark, letter or laser-quality copy. Material from machines that produce dot matrix is not acceptable.
The type may be either pica or elite and most consist of upper and lower case letters. The right margins should be ragged, not justified.

Electronically processed material should be submitted in a 12-point size, preferably in Courier or a Roman-style font (e.g., Times) or a straightforward, sans-serif type (e.g., Helvetica). Script or elaborate, fancy type fonts are not acceptable. It is important to select a highly-legible font that holds up well to production. The dissertation will be photographically reduced and micro-fiched during the publication process. The clarity and readability of the original is critical to the success of this process.

The paper on which the dissertation is produced should be bright white, twenty-four (24) pound cotton (at least 25%) fiber bond. Erasable bond paper is unacceptable as the typed material may be erased with a common rubber eraser.

Laser printers are acceptable, but the style manual must be followed with regard to such features as size of type, bold face, options, italics, centering, and underlining.

At this point, your dissertation will be forwarded to the manuscript reviewer for final review. Expect that the reader will have your dissertation a minimum of two weeks, sometimes longer, depending on the volume of documents being submitted. Graduate Academic Services will return your dissertation to you for required corrections after the reading.

If the revisions are major, the APA/Turabian review will have to be redone after you make the necessary changes. The first review is complimentary. If the reviewer finds major errors and requests a second manuscript review, an additional $100.00 reviewer fee must accompany the revised copy. Since, in this circumstance, the dissertation will undergo a second reading and further correction, only one unbound copy and the pages showing marked corrections needs to be resubmitted. A third or fourth review may require even higher reviewer fees.

Final Approval with Dean’s sign-off

When the final corrections are complete, submit the following items to Graduate Academic Services:

  1. All pages marked by the manuscript reviewer
  2. One original and a high quality copy of the finalized dissertation
  3. Dissertation fee made payable to University of La Verne. (See current University of La Verne Catalog or call Graduate Academic Services for amount)
  4. Cashiers check or money order (if copyright claim is desired). Make the cashiers’ check or money order in the amount listed in the booklet payable to PQIL.
  5. Microfilm Form with the following:
    1. Title page ( no date)
    2. Abstract – 8 ½ X 11 – 350 words or less, two copies. The abstract will be reproduced by ProQuest exactly as it is received.

When the Dean signs the signature pages, grade change reports for 698a and 698b are sent to the Registrar’s Office to complete the credits for the doctoral program. This completes the dissertation process, and the doctoral degree will be posted if all financial obligations to the University are fulfilled and all other program requirements are met.

Commencement Information

The Organizational Leadership program participates in the formal Spring Commencement with the LaFetra College of Education. There is also a separate Hooding Ceremony for just the EDD class for that respective year. It consists of Ed.D. Doctoral graduates only. It is attended by faculty, graduates, families, and friends. The President and other university officials are ofen there to confer degrees and to celebrate in the festivities. As part of the ceremony, you receive your doctoral hood as a gift from the Organizational Leadership Department for attaining your doctorate. There are a maximum number of guests you may invite, depending on the size of the graduating class. Extra seats are given on a first come, first serve basis, after all graduate initial responses have been received. During this celebration there are light refreshments with your guests and a program that includes receiving your doctoral hood. You will have a one minute moment at the microphone and proceed to your seat.

Contact will be made via email and telephone after April 1, when all graduate applications have been processed. Be sure to update your contact information with the Organizational Leadership Office after your oral defense and/or if it changes anytime before graduation.


Continuous Registration, Inactivation, Leave of Absence, Reinstatement/Readmission, Extensions, and Re-entry

Please visit Graduate Academic Services for more information or if you have any questions. Remember, these guidelines are subject to change at any time. Thank you and Happy Dissertation!