Retraction Watch

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Dissertation in transition: Plagiarism leads to delisting of education thesis, lost PhD

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ccjThe author of a doctoral dissertation on veterans education has lost the paper — and a mention of the work in a roster of theses — because he lifted text from a previously published dissertation from a student at another institution.

Here’s the notice:

We, the Editor and Publisher of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, are retracting the listing for following dissertation from an article published in 2011, as this dissertation and its associated degree have been retracted by Montana State University with the author’s knowledge:

Lolatte, T.E., “Veterans in transition: The implications of higher education,” Montana State University, Ed.D., 2010. DAI, 71 (4), 1207A. (Accession No. AAI3398589).

The aforementioned dissertation was listed in the following article:

Recently Published Dissertations on Community and Junior Colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 35(10), 817-823, DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2011.567180

The dissertation list containing the retracted dissertation will remain online to maintain the scholarly record.

Lolatte is Timothy Lolatte. The abstract of his dissertation is available online. It reads:

College choice is a socially constructed process that shapes individual educational and occupational mobility, resulting in a reproduction of the existing societal class structure. The complexity of the college choice process is especially apparent among the veteran population where most perspective college students belong to lower socioeconomic status, participate in military and working class socialization, and are impacted by organizational habitus. A considerable number of veterans transition from the military each year and are eligible for significant educational benefits, yet an examination of their college choice is absent from the current literature on institutional choice. Sixteen enlisted veterans enrolled at Montana State University and four educational counselors, one educational official, and one Veteran Administration official were interviewed regarding the college choice process of veterans. The vast majority of veterans interviewed in this study stated they were encouraged to enroll in a community college rather than a four-year institution. The research data also indicates that veterans are heavily socialized by military supervisors and education officials who encourage the development of practical skills, focus on the collection of miscellaneous credit hours rather than actual degree attainment, and encourage community college attendance. Based on the research data, the following recommendations are made: (1) Educate veterans and educational officials about the structure of the higher education system including types of degrees, how to utilize educational benefits, and outcome differences between community colleges and four-year institutions. (2) Provide enhanced academic and support services to veterans. Support and academic services need to realize the special needs that veterans have when attending an institution of higher education. The creation and designation of a single advisor for all freshman veterans would ensure consistent and expert advisement services that address problems known to affect student decisions about retention.

It bears a striking resemblance, in parts, to the 2004 dissertation of Tara McNealy, titled “Veterans’ college choices: A process of stratification and social reproduction,” from Arizona State University:

College choice is a socially constructed process that shapes individuals’ educational and occupational mobility, resulting in a reproduction of the existing societal class structure. The complexity of the college choice process is especially apparent among the veteran population where most prospective college students belong to lower socioeconomic statuses, participate in military and working class socialization, and are impacted by organizational habitus. A considerable number of veterans transition from the military each year, eligible for significant educational benefits, yet an examination of their college choices is absent from the current literature on institutional choice. In an attempt to gain insight regarding veterans’ college choices, this study aims to answer the following research questions: (1) Do veterans intend to utilize their G.I. Bill benefits when they separate from the military and what factors influence their intentions? (2) What type of institutions do veterans plan to attend and what are the major factors that influence their choices? (3) What types of messages do veterans receive about attending higher education? A total of 30 enlisted veterans transitioning from one U.S. Army installation and 12 educational counselors, education officials, Veteran’s Administration representatives, and Army officials were interviewed. The vast majority of veterans interviewed in this study stated an intention to enroll in a community college rather than a four-year institution. Veterans acknowledged two salient reasons for selecting to attend a community college: the perception of financial resources and ability to bank extra financial resources. The research data also indicates that veterans are heavily socialized regarding the value of higher education and institutional selection by military supervisors and education officials who encourage the development of practical skill, focus on the collection of miscellaneous credit hours for the promotion point system rather than actual degree attainment, and encourage community college attendance. Based on the research data, the following recommendations are made: (1) Educate veterans and education officials about the structure of the higher education system including types of degrees, how to utilize educational benefits, and outcome differences between community colleges and four-year institutions . (2) Refine the Army’s current promotion system to emphasize and reward degree completion.

A message to Lolatte’s Montana State email address bounced back as undeliverable.

Written by amarcus41

September 11th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Comments
  • Gary Morley September 11, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Unbelievable. Why? If your going to plagiarise someone’s work surely you would not do it in the abstract where its immediately noticeable?

  • Keith DeHavelle September 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Did he hand-type the work into his own document? The original got “prospective” correct, instead of the mistyped “perspective college students.”

    So, you see, it wasn’t an exact rip-off. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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