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Can We Talk? Semi-Structured Interviews With Members of an All-Female Cohort From a Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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In 2015, I began a dissertation research project as part of my doctoral program in educational leadership and supervision through American International College, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. I wanted to explore aspects of the cohort educational model, which was being utilized by a bachelor’s degree completion program, through a partnership between my employer, Elms College, and a local community college. I decided to conduct semi-structured interviews with graduates of the program to investigate how membership in the cohort for an intensive, 20-month period of time had influenced both their personal and professional lives. I was particularly interested in how the cohort experience influenced the women’s communication and leadership at their places of employment. I also collected qualitative data relating to personal traits of grit and perseverance and overlapped these data with the participants’ professional outcomes. Pervasive use of the communicative style of learning combined with the success of the cohort model brings in to question the underlying approach to education and the idea of using these styles on all-female settings.

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Semi-structured interviews

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