Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 15 September 2007

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Einstein

I just finished several days of new student orientation (NSO) in Santa Barbara.  It was very intense, exciting and exhausting.  I’ll begin with the end: we stood in a circle, all 60 new doctoral students in Human and Organizational Development (HOD).  Each of us introduced ourselves as if we were six years down the road, already graduated from the program.  “Hi, I’m Dr. —–” 

So here’s my declaration:  Hi, I’m Dr. Dorianne Cotter-Lockard.  I live part time on the west coast of North America (between Santa Barbara and Vancouver) and part time in the south of France.  I am a published author, international speaker and consultant.  I am on the faculty of a well-known university.  My research focus is leadership development and the integration of the spiritual, emotional and intellectual aspects of individuals and organizations.  I am playing violin with a local chamber orchestra, leading a joyful life with my husband and enjoying our daughters as they enter into young adulthood.

We learned about how to “get there;” it’s a journey with some framework, but there’s lots of ambiguity.  Fielding’s learning model is student-directed learning.  A framework and set of policies concerning required knowledge areas (KA’s) is clearly defined, but the way in which the KA’s are achieved is up to the student. 

For example, I’m required to complete a knowledge area in Human Development and Consciousness.  There are three components to each KA: overview, depth, and applied.  I have a choice of approaches with which I can address these components.  My choices include a group online study, face-to-face (F2F) intensives, or independent study.  I write a contract with a faculty assessor of my choice.  The contract outlines the approach for each component, the literature to be covered, and the research topic that I will use for my depth component.  The depth component is usually a 25 page paper, addressing one area of the KA at a much deeper level, along with a research question.  The applied portion can take many forms.  It is usually a paper or presentation that ties the material studied during the KA with some aspect of the student’s professional or personal life.

This past week, I struggled with the Learning Plan (see attached).  How was I to outline each of the KA’s, deciding now, before I’ve experienced these different approaches to learning?  I had to identify potential faculty assessors by browsing their C. V.’s!  This is when I learned about the importance of networking through this program.  We are encouraged to email faculty and set up appointments at the national sessions (there are 4 per year).  This can also be accomplished via phone (SKYPE – highly recommended).

When you look at my plan, you will see that it becomes progressively more vague.  I just don’t know what electives I will choose, how I will approach them, and with whom I will work.  I’m allowing the river to take me there and looking forward to lifting my level of conscious through the process so I can bring new knowledge and understanding to the world (a lofty goal, but that’s why I’m doing it…..)




  1. I don?t even understand how I stopped up right here, however I believed this put up used to be great. I don’t know who you might be but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger should you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  2. Love the quote by Einstein at the top of your site!

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