Services: Overview

Let us help you unleash your creative intellect!

At Creative Adventures, our profile of services is intimately tied to three key components:  Our philosophy as process consultants and educators, at what phase of your program or capstone project you’re at (e.g., coursework phase; comprehensive exam; dissertation or thesis planning & proposal development, data collection, data analysis or interpretation, writing-up the results, editing services, or post-graduation), and the nature of the types of capstone experiences graduate students encounter in their master’s and doctoral programs.

Because each student’s situation represents both some unique and common dimensions, we offer several different service options, including consulting, more in-depth coaching, and editing.  Similar levels of support are available for faculty or professionals seeking personalized training and development services.  

 

Student Service Support / Topic Areas

  • Topic / problem / opportunity selection
  • Committee selection / working with committees
  • Library / Internet research strategies
  • Critically reviewing the dissertation or thesis literature
  • Research Philosophy
  • Research design / Dissertation Proposal development
  • Quantitative – including experimental and non-experimental designs
  • Qualitative – including interview / exploratory, phenomenological, ethnographic, case study, grounded theory, and content analysis
  • Mixed Methods – All types
  • Action Research
  • Program Evaluation / Evaluation Research
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Instrument design
  • Survey
  • Interviews
  • Observation checksheets
  • Ethnographic coding
  • Writing Coach
  • Editing
  • Document design / structure
  • Form & Style
  • APA (and other styles: Chicago Style, MLA, etc.)
  • Statistical analysis
  • Sample size determination
  • Power analysis
  • Variety of Statistical Tests
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Mixed methods data analysis / merging
  • Interpretation of data: Connecting back to theory
  • Dissertation defense preparation
  • Manuscript preparation
  • Dissertation Proofreading & Editing
  • Building a post-graduate research agenda

As process consultants, our work is founded on core principles of transparency & collaboration, shared problem solving / opportunity finding, and teaching and learning with the intent to provide dissertation / thesis consultation, coaching, and focused training that provides solutions and builds your knowledge and skills.  Our dissertation / thesis consultants are educators, first and foremost, who possess a deep understanding of and appreciation for the developmental nature of learning around a full array of core competencies that professionals, researchers, faculty, and scholar-practitioners need to be successful in managing the complexities of the 21st Century, and that graduate students need in order to successfully complete their program’s capstone project.

We are also keenly aware that the type of support you’re seeking and focus is intimately tied to which phase of the capstone project you’re currently in, from the various stages of planning, implementation / data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, and report writing, as well as activities based on your project post-graduation.  We are equipped to support you in any phase of your project, and to meet you where you’re at, developmentally, in each competency domain, and with respect to your professional goals.

Let us help you make sense of the many design decisions
that you face, and move forward in completing your project!

In addition, we recognize the evolving nature of many graduate student programs’ capstone projects—various types of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations—from the more traditional (e.g., Plan A / Plan B master’s theses, 5-Chapter dissertations), to alternative types of capstone projects (e.g., action-oriented projects, intervention-based projects, needs assessment / systems analysis, curriculum design & development, systems design, etc.). Given our broad and eclectic training and experience, we can provide support to those undertaking a wide variety of projects.

Dissertation or Thesis Consultation services tend to focus on either short-term support for a specific and often narrow focus of needs and problem-solving (e.g., topic selection, sample size determination / power analysis, data analysis, editing services), or longer-term consultation focused on such things as critically reviewing the literature, research design and dissertation proposal development, instrument design and development, or strengthening one’s own academic writing skills.

Thesis or Dissertation Coaching services frequently accompany longer-term consultation, and move beyond a focus on the technical dimensions of scholarship into the higher-order dimensions of critical thinking, reflective practice, and the socio-emotional dimensions associated with an emerging self-concept as a master’s or doctoral-level professional, scholar-practitioner, and/or researcher. Coaching is typically a required component when addressing the development of your writing skills—both expository and scholarly academic writing competencies—as writing and critical thinking go hand-in-hand. The thesis or dissertation coaching relationship is that which comes closest to mentoring, where the potential exists to guide your development as a future member of the community of scholars, researchers, and scholar-practitioners to which you hope to gain entry, and where we will facilitate your exploration of both the science and art of research and scholarship!

Focused and targeted training may be a part of short-term consultations, and is most often a part of longer-term consultation and coaching, and typically involves presentation of information through the use of synchronous virtual workshops, PowerPoint presentations, handouts / briefing sheets, and structured exercises or experiential activities intended build knowledge and skills in targeted competency domains.

All 3 types of services involve phone conferences which may take place through use of virtual meeting technology that allows for both audio and video conferencing, and virtual white boards.

Scalable consultation, coaching and training
that is driven by your needs, interests and goals!

E-mail is used to the extent that it supports certain types of written communication, and especially as a medium through which you submit documents for review and feedback (e.g., outlines, prospectus, draft proposals, completed training exercises, etc.).

Specialized Areas of Service Expertise

  • Critically reviewing the literature
  • Research philosophy
  • Research design – as a decision-making process
  • Alignment – between your study’s “focusing elements” (i.e., problem / opportunity statement, purpose statement, research questions), and between the focusing elements and specific research design
  • Mixed-methods, Action Research, Program Evaluation
  • The interplay between writing—both expository & scholarly—and critical thinking
  • Interpretation of data results
  • Visual literacy & use of thinking “tools”
  • Research ethics

While we provide essentially a full-slate of services covering all phases of most types of dissertation and thesis projects, our experience in serving as reviewers of dissertation proposals both for scientific merit and research ethics (i.e., as a member of an Institutional Review Board (IRB)), has led us to develop specialized expertise in many of the areas where graduate students most often seem to struggle.  

Central to this is in distinguishing between research design as both a noun (i.e., the various types of research design) and research design as a verb (i.e., the activity and process of making design decisions).  While a number of graduate students face some developmental challenges / limitations in foundational competencies (i.e., information literacy, expository writing basics, basic understanding of research methods or statistics), many more struggle with the more complex, sophisticated, and esoteric elements of having to make literally dozens of design decisions in navigating the landscape of design options.  We pride ourselves on helping you make sense of complex concepts, and to be able to map-out and manage the various design decisions needed to successfully complete your project.

Who We Serve

We provide support to graduate students primarily in the social and behavioral—and organizational / management—sciences, who most often are enrolled in degree programs in Schools of Business, Education, Psychology, Political Science, or Human Services, seeking Masters of Science, Arts, or Social Work, and both those seeking more practitioner-oriented doctorates (e.g., EdD, DBA, PsyD) and particularly those seeking the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (i.e., often seen as the “researcher’s”) degree.

We also provide training and professional development activities—coaching and consultation—for faculty to support them in their varied roles as dissertation or thesis chairs, as researchers, and as instructors.

In addition, based in part on an understanding of and appreciation for research done in the positivist, social constructivist / interpretivist, critical- / transformative-theorist, and pragmatist traditions, we are equipped to provide support to graduate students—and faculty / researchers–who choose to adopt a wide array of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs, as well as a variety of more applied types of research, including action research, program evaluation, policy analysis, and disciplined inquiry based on appreciative inquiry.

Finally, we recognize the evolving nature of graduate student programs and the various types of “capstone” experiences that both masters students working on their thesis, and doctoral students working on their dissertation, may have available to them, from the more traditional types of literature or data-based kinds of academic projects, to those that may involve designing and developing curriculum, intervention-based projects, conducting needs-assessment or systems analysis, organizational assessments, and various types of advocacy-based projects. We are also equipped to support those doing true experimental, quasi-experimental, and single-subject research in both field and laboratory settings.

One of the benefits of working within a scholar-practitioner framework, is that we can support a wide variety projects based on the diverse interests of today’s graduate student or researcher and emerging types of professional programs.

During our initial intake, we will work with you to determine the specific areas where you are seeking support, and the type of service—thesis or dissertation consulting, thesis or dissertation coaching, training, or academic problem-solving—that best meets your needs and goals.

Words shared by our happy clients...

To those considering Dr. Flor as Dissertation Consultant / Coach / Mentor:

I had had two other mentors prior to Dr. Flor and, while I gained some insights regarding the dissertation process from each of them, neither offered a holistic approach brought by him. He helped me to thoroughly understand and accept the whole dissertation process for what it was and always will be; very challenging but necessary! Early on in our mentor/mentee relationship, Dr. Flor helped me navigate through this incredibly daunting process that is wrought with complicated political and academic perspectives, unknown and ambiguous processes and procedures, uncertain timeframes, and then the arduous intellectual nature of preparing, writing, rewriting, editing, and crafting a dissertation.

Few faculty are able to accomplish this type of coaching and mentoring due in a large part because of their own workload and inability to emotionally and intellectually attach themselves to the work being done by their mentee. This entire research process can be compared to directing a huge movie production – from Titanic to Hurt Locker, depending upon your research approach respectively, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Unfortunately, the dissertation researcher is incredibly alone without any of the bit-players that help support this massive production. It is a lonely time except for your connection with a mentor who cares and can engage with you at the level and in the manner that Dr. Flor is committed to providing to those with whom he works.

What was incredibly helpful was Dr. Flor’s ability to see your work as well as you and understand the relevance it holds for the scholar/practitioner perspective while whole-heartedly cheering you on. His insight and vast knowledge of fundamental and contemporary literature is unsurpassed. As a novice researcher, I was tugged and pushed in multiple directions while easily distracted by other researchers, colleagues, teachers, and the plethora of literature, theories, and sample dissertations that were tossed my way to try to ‘copy’ by others in the program. Dr. Flor provided the subtle nudges to steer me through the mess of conflicting messages to a meaningful and valuable discussion about what made my own research relevant and then how to craft the research process to come to conclusions that made sense. Dr. Flor was my secret weapon to completing my dissertation and it is with heart-felt thanks and appreciation that I recommend to anyone looking to get honest and insightful feedback to consider him as a dissertation coach or consultant.

L.M.

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