As you read the requirements for earning a Doctor of Commissioner Science degree (available in Section III, Chapter 4 of the current Administration of Commissioner Service manual), you will find a fair amount of information on writing a thesis but there is scant mention of doing a project. A team is currently updating that chapter of the manual with additional information on doing projects.
Although that section is not ready for publication, there have been a number of questions about doing a project in lieu of a thesis. The following guidelines below are recommended for doctoral projects until the manual update has been approved and released:
- The project should be related to the enhancement or improvement of commissioner service in the council. Examples include conducting an effective recruiting program or facilitating the next council commissioner conference. Conducting a weekend camporee or a merit badge midway are great projects, but they are not commissioner-related.
- A project plan should be created with specific objectives, timelines, measurable goals, resources required, etc. Doing a project requires a written project plan that should be followed.
- The project plan should be submitted for review by the Doctoral Review Committee, the doctoral dean, and/or the council commissioner. Each Council Commissioner College should have guidelines for an approval process for a project or a thesis.
- The project is then reviewed and approved by the Doctoral Review Committee, the doctoral dean, and/or the council commissioner.
- The project should be worthy of a doctoral degree and not part of a standard program. Recruiting three new commissioners would not be an acceptable project because each commissioner should always look for new commissioners. However, conducting a recruiting program that holds three group recruiting sessions in local companies and increases the number of commissioners councilwide by 25 commissioners would probably be a worthwhile project.
- Related to number 5, there should be an accounting of the amount of time required to perform the project. Just like Eagle Scout projects where there is not a specific time requirement, doctoral projects do not have a specific time requirement. But the amount of time spent should be equivalent to the time required to write a thesis.
- The completed project should have an after-action summary report stating that the goals of the project were met and the expected benefit has been derived.
The intent of doing a project is for improved commissioner service as well as personal growth. A well-executed project will have multiple benefits.