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Dissertation Committees

Dissertation Committee Member, 2014 - Present

Topic: Understanding the Experiences of Adult Learners Who Participate in Prior Learning Assessment Programs

Angela Ryan, Benedictine University, Ed.D. in Higher Education and Organization Change

Topic: Understanding the Experiences of Adult Learners Who Participate in Prior Learning Assessment Programs

Dissertation Proposal Defense: Pending Spring/Summer 2015 

Summary: It is important to reflect on the impact and experiences that PLAs have on adult students and how it affects their progress and success as they could generate issues surrounding the implementation of PLAs and serve as the basis for future research in this area. The primary research conducted on the impact of PLA and the learner has been anecdotal (Thomas, 1995) and there is a lack of evidence in what adults find meaningful from their experiences with PLA.  The theoretical framework guiding this study will be experiential learning as it defines learning as, “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 41). David Kolb’s actual model consists of a four-stage cycle: (1) concrete experience is followed by (2) observation and reflection, leading to (3) the formation of abstract concepts and generalizations that result in (4) hypotheses to be tested in future actions, which in turn lead to new experiences (Hunsaker, 1981). The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the learning experiences of adult learners who participate in prior learning assessment programs that support persistence and academic success in a large, private, urban, faith-based institution in the Midwest.

Dissertation Committee Member, 2013 - 2015

Jessica Murphy. PhD in Higher Education, Loyola University Chicago

Topic: A qualitative case study in the social-constructivist paradigm investigating an international service learning/alternative breaks project between five American universities and Haitian organizations focused on rebuilding efforts.

Dissertation Proposal Defended: Spring 2014

Dissertation Completed and Defended: April 2015


Following the January 2010 Haitian earthquake, five American universities associated with Break Away organization for alternative breaks formed the “Haiti Compact: Higher Education with Haiti.” The Haiti Compact endeavors to assist and empower Haitian rebuilding efforts by channeling a collective response of American higher education student volunteerism and activism. This dissertation will examine the effectiveness of Haiti Compact model as a mechanism for cooperative engagement, mutual benefit and sustainable rebuilding efforts in Haiti after the 2010 natural disaster. A two fold investigation of the Haiti Compact model will be conducted by examining (1) processes of conception, development, implementation and future planning and, (2) historical, political and social contexts of Haiti and America. The examination of processes and contexts of the Haiti Compact will be conducted to explore the direct impact of the Haiti Compact model at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of participating Haitian communities and American schools of higher education.

Dissertation Committee Member, 2010 - 2011

Christine Celio, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology

The Effect of Participation in Experiential Learning Programs on Personal and Civic Attitudes

Recommended Citation:

Celio, Christine Inez, "The Effect of Participation in Experiential Learning Programs on Personal and Civic Attitudes" (2011).

Dissertations. Paper 223.



Author: Patrick Green
Last modified: 12/20/2019 12:05 PM (EDT)