PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

The Dissertation House (DH)

Official Dissertation House Website:


The Dissertation House project consists of a series of residential and non-residential workshops and seminars for Ph.D. Candidates who are working toward finishing their dissertations.  The Dissertation House  is loosely based on the successful Scholar’s Retreat by Dr. Sonia K. Foss at the University of Colorado at Denver (Feature article in: Scott Smallwood (2004) “A Week at Camp Dissertation,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 16, 2004.) PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, one of the nation’s 21 AGEP programs of the National Science Foundation, adapted some of Dr. Foss’ methods and incorporated them into strategies that UMBC‘s Dissertation Coach, Dr. Wendy Carter, uses in her “TADA: Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished – Finally Finished” books and software. Dr. Carter’s materials are used throughout the U.S. (Website:

TADA Finally Finished

The first successful pilot of the PROMISE Dissertation House was held at the PROMISE Community Building Retreat at the Coolfont Conference Center in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, during the winter of 2006. The second successful Dissertation House was held in March 2007 at the Rocky Gap Conference Center in Cumberland, Maryland. The Dissertation House staff at Rocky Gap included Dr. Wendy Carter, Dr. Chris Carlton of the UMBC Counseling Center, and Dr. Tracey Wayne, a PROMISE Alum from the University of Maryland College Park. Based on the success of these PROMISE Dissertation House experiences, the successes experienced by students who have worked with Dr. Carter, and drawing upon the experience of Dr. Foss and the staff at the University of Colorado at Denver, the Dissertation House expanded to include “Dissertation House – On Campus” week-long, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. programs in July 2007.


Visit the main website for the Dissertation House:

Archival information can be found on an older version of the Dissertation House:

%d bloggers like this: