COTC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director Earns Doctorate

NEWARK, Ohio, May 3, 2016, – Students in Central Ohio Technical College's (COTC) Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program will celebrate their graduation with a pinning ceremony this evening. However, they aren't the only ones marking a graduation milestone. One of their instructors and the DMS program director, Melinda Shoen, recently graduated from Capella University with her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Management.

"I have been working on my doctorate for four years," said Shoen. "There's always more to learn; I am a lifelong student."


Shoen said her students are very proud of her accomplishment, and she's excited to bring what she learned in her doctorate program to the DMS classroom.​

"My doctorate program focused on making data-informed decisions," said Shoen. "It taught me that educational leaders need to use data to provide the best opportunity for students to succeed in the classroom."

Shoen's dissertation was about the selective admissions process for health science programs. She conducted research to better understand what metrics are best to use to evaluate potential students to determine future success.

"Grade point average (GPA) is often considered above everything else to predict your performance in college," said Shoen. "What I discovered was that GPA reveals past behavior and is a reasonably good predictor of academic performance in the classroom, but it doesn't necessarily predict future behavior, especially in the clinical environment. Instead of just looking at GPA as our number one metric in selective admissions, institutions need to use a variety of metrics to measure success in soft skills such as communication and professionalism. Those skills are crucial to success in a clinical environment. Many employers care more about soft skills than a specific grade in a class."

Shoen said her students threw her a party to celebrate the completion of her degree. "I'm looking forward to celebrating the completion of their Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography with them tonight at our pinning ceremony."

Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.