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Current and Prospective Doctoral Students: Attend the Holmes Research & Dissertation Retreat

 AACTE will host its annual Holmes Program Research and Dissertation Retreat in Boca Raton, FL on November 9 – 10. The event, co-sponsored by the PNC Foundation and Florida Atlantic University, is AACTE’s annual flagship event to advance research and scholarship of graduate students of color who are pursuing doctorate degrees in education.

During the retreat, Holmes Scholars from across AACTE institutions will gather to discuss their research agenda, learn about important aspects of research in social sciences, and strategies for successful scholarly writing. Scholars will also participate in writing workshops to develop an impactful research proposal. The sessions have been curated to focus on topics that are relevant to the academic advancement of scholars in these three tracks:

  1. Prospective and First Year Doctoral Students
  2. Doctoral Students Approaching or Starting Candidacy
  3. Doctoral Candidates

Below is an overview of the retreat agenda. Although this event is organized for the Holmes Program, graduate students of color at all AACTE institutions are encouraged to attend. Register today.

Wednesday, November 9

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast & Welcome
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Opening Speaker
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.   Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.    Concurrent Sessions
  • Developing a Research Agenda (Track 1)
  • Writing a Literature Review (Track 2)
  • Understanding and Using Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks (Track 3)
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Networking
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
  • Preparing for a Successful PhD Journey (Track 1)
  • Developing a Research Proposal (Track 2)
  • Understanding the Peer Review Publication Process (Track 3)
2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Break
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
  • Research Methodology: Choosing the Right Method for your Study (Track 1)
  • Designing, Conducting and Evaluating a Qualitative Study (Track 2)
  • Quantitative Research Designs and Policy Research Methods (Track 3)
3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Scholar Panel: Overcoming Writer’s Block


Thursday, November 10

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Plenary: Advancing Social Justice through Scholarship and Service
10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Break
10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
  • Prioritizing Self-Care (Track 1)
  • Establishing and Working with Your Dissertation Committee (Track 2)
  • Navigating Microaggressions in the Academy (Track 3)
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Writing Workshop
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Writing Workshop
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closing 


Some of the presenters and speakers for the retreat include:

Valerie Hill-Jackson    
Texas A&M University  

Diandra Prescod   
University of Connecticut       

Bianca Nightengale-Lee
Florida Atlantic University

Melanie Acosta
Florida Atlantic University

Evandra Catherine
Arizona State University  

Sabrina Sembiante
Florida Atlantic University  


Breakfast and lunch will be provided throughout the retreat. Below are further details about hotel accommodations and the retreat site.


Renaissance Hotel Boca Raton

2000 NW 19th Street

Boca Raton, FL

(561) 368-5252

Single or Double Occupancy: $169 per night

Retreat Location:

Florida Atlantic University

777 Glades Road

Student Union – Boca Raton 203

Boca Raton, FL 33431

Are you interested in learning more about the Holmes Program or starting a chapter at your institution? Contact, Weade James, senior director, development and research at wjames@aacte.org.

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Weade James

Vice President, Organizational Advancement