Virginia State University is dedicated to the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding. In this regard, Virginia State University has developed a policy which is devoted to integrity and ethical practices of scholars conducting research at the university. These scholars (faculty, research personnel, and students) at Virginia State University are expected to be committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviors that govern activities and behaviors in society at large. Such behaviors include:

  1. Honesty
  2. Thoroughness
  3. Respect and fairness with others
  4. Skill and accuracy in collecting and reporting data
  5. Authorship credit
  6. Other principles that ensure ethical behavior in research

Every person involved in research at Virginia State University will be required to adhere to the University's manual, policies and procedures for conducting human subjects research. The University's intent is that every student involved in any phase of research must be committed to the principles and values that govern research activities.  Students should consult the research compliance guidelines outline by the university.

Included in the aforementioned document are “Procedures to Conduct Scientific Misconduct Inquiries and Investigations.” Failure to abide by the policies will be considered a violation and will be dealt with according to the guidelines cited in the manual. For the purposes of the policies, scientific misconduct in research means:

fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, deception or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting or reporting research; and material failure to comply with federal requirements for protection of researchers, human subjects, the public, or failure to meet other material legal requirements governing research.

Virginia State University, in compliance with Federal Regulation, Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46 (revised June 18, 1991), establishes the Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Human Research Subjects. This policy and its procedures apply to all research involving human subjects conducted under the auspices of a department, school, or research unit, regardless of funding status.

At Virginia State University, every person conducting research involving human subjects is expected to be aware of and to implement the University's Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Human Research Subjects. As a part of the University's primary mission of education, every person involved in any phase of research in which human subjects are included must be informed of the principles and values that govern such research activities.  The IRB application and supporting documentation must be attached to the dissertation proposal when it is submitted to the Coordinator of the Ed.D. Program. The required forms will be obtained from the Dissertation Chairs or the Coordinator of the Ed.D. Program.

The Dissertation Committee will assist the Human Animal Rights Committee (HARC), approve the dissertation proposal, advise the student in conducting the dissertation study, conduct and approve the dissertation defense, and approve the final copy of the dissertation. The committee shall consist of a minimum of at least three members to be constituted as follows:

  1. Chair (from Educational Administration and Supervision Program);
  2. Maximum of one other graduate faculty member outside the College of Education;
  3. Other members may be selected from VSU graduate faculty and other educational organizations with approval; and
  4. A majority of voting members must be from the Educational Leadership Program.

The committee chairperson and all members must have VSU Graduate Faculty membership status. Once the committee has been selected, the student must complete the Dissertation Committee Form and solicit the signatures of all members. The completed form must be approved by the Coordinator, Department Chair, Dean of the College of Education, and the Dean of College of Graduate Studies.

Dissertation Deadlines

Students in the dissertation phase of their program of study must follow the established guidelines by the Department of Educational Leadership and the College of Graduate Studies related to submission of their final dissertation document.  Students should always consult with the College of Graduate Studies website to ensure compliance with all deadlines related to the dissertation.  The fall semester deadline is the last Friday in October to defend the dissertation while the last Friday in March is the spring semester deadline.  All final revisions are due to the College of Graduate Studies within two weeks of the defense deadline.  In order to ensure the student has ample time to meet these deadlines, the Dissertation Committee will require submission of the final document for review no later than one month prior to the scheduled dissertation defense. In addition, the student should be aware that in no instance will the student be allowed to complete a proposal defense and seek IRB approval in the same semester as the final dissertation defense.

Graduate School Clearance

After committee approval of the dissertation, the document must be submitted to the Graduate Office through the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Education where it will be checked for discrepancies in format, style, grammar, spelling, and other mechanics of English and academic standards. Three (3) bound copies of the dissertation in final form must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies prior to graduation. Detailed information on form and organization is presented in the Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations that will be available in the College of Graduate Studies.  Candidates must also submit their completed dissertation to ProQuest, an online dissertation repository.