Community Development On line Master s Program Student Handbook

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1 Community Development On line Master s Program Student Handbook A program of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Consortium (IDEA)

2 Community Development On-line Master s Program Student Handbook Contents I. Milestones at a Glance II. Introduction III. Program Objectives IV. Application Process V. Financial Assistance VI. Acceptance and Advising and Forms VII. Course work VIII. Faculty biographies IX. Capstone Experience X. University Procedures on Capstone Project and Graduation XI. Opportunities for Student Participation XII. FAQs 2

3 I. Milestones as a Glance Application: Advisor: Must be accepted into a program before you take courses, or before you reach your non-degree course limit. Assigned when you are accepted into the program. If you are not assigned one, contact your campus representative. Orientation Course: Should be taken your first semester Major professor: POS committee: Identify during second semester (ideally) Identify during second semester (ideally) Program of Study (POS) form: Submit by the end of second semester Prospectus for thesis or capstone project: As you sign up for thesis/capstone credit-- must be approved by major professor and POS committee Submit draft to major professor: We recommend 3 months before desired graduation Apply for graduation: Must be done 6 months or so before desired graduation date check university calendar Application for oral defense: As you work on revisions also work with your major professor to submit the application for an oral defense. Submit revisions Oral defense: Last semester but with plenty of time for additional revisions; check the university calendar for particulars. Submit final thesis or capstone project Graduation and party! 3

4 II. Introduction This handbook is a guide for potential, new, and existing students in the Community Development On-line Master s Program. This guide should help you navigate the program from the beginning steps of the application process all the way through your capstone and graduation experience. Another place to look for information is the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) site, This site has information about the consortium where this program is housed, as well as about the Community Development Program in particular. A few great aspects of the Web site are the newsletter editions about the program published on-line monthly, and the audio files of students and faculty discussing the program. The Community Development Program began in the fall of 2005, and it was initially funded through a USDA Higher Education grant. Since the grant has ended, this program continues to flourish and support itself. Students in the program are from all over the United States, as well as other countries. Our faculty members, who come from five different universities: Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are motivated and proud to be a part of this award-winning distance program. If you are a potential student and would like to discuss your application process with someone in person, please feel free to Susan Fey, program coordinator, at 4

5 III. Program Objectives The following matrix is the evaluation rubric that committee members will use to review a student s capstone project will be reviewed. The creative component, thesis, or final paper should show that a student has reached the Exceptional level (3) in Community Development by the end of the program. Assessment of Levels of CD Competency at the end of the Program Maturing 1 Knowledge and comprehension only Standards for Student Learning Outcome Development Mature 2 Application knowledge, comprehension and analysis Exceptional 3 Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation Outcome 1: Knowledge of the Community Development Field Understands of how communities work and take action Broad understanding of community and organization decisionmaking processes and strategies Identify forms of existing social capital Identify successful models of community development Broad understanding the communities need to balance development among all of the community capitals Understand how social capital is enhanced or depleted Translates elements of successful community development in a new context Identifies, designs and evaluates communities to achieve balance among all community capitals Analyses impact of community change attention to theories of change, indicators, and measures Designs strategies based on social capital Outcome 2: Planning and action for community change Can identify tools and strategies for promoting broad based decision making and action. Can locate sources of data on the current state of community economic security, quality of life, and ecosystem health Uses tools and strategies for promoting broadbased decision making and action Use of existing tools and strategies to assist communities in making change Identifies strategies to improve economic, social, cultural, and environmental conditions Designs and evaluates strategies to improve economic, social, cultural, and environmental conditions Analyzes the appropriateness of Uses tools and strategies for promoting broadbased decision making and action Identifies strategies for including marginalized groups Uses existing tools and strategies to assist communities in making change Identifies strategies to improve economic, social, cultural, and environmental conditions Designs and evaluates inclusive strategies to improve economic, 5

6 the methodological approach for the context Critically assesses different sources of data social, cultural, and environmental conditions Analyzes the appropriateness of the methodological approach for the context Critically assesses different sources of data Outcome 3: Communications, Leadership and Engagement Skills Appreciation of the norms and values of the profession Identify community power structure Identify contextual factors that help determine successful tactics in addressing power structure Effective presentation of information and analysis Evidence of application of the norms and values in CD work Evidence of addressing power structures for equitable community development Designs strategies to include marginalized groups Overall, the faculty hopes that you achieve these objectives through your coursework: Communities/Community Action: Apply critical thinking skills to understanding and evaluating how communities work and take action, as well as to use, design and evaluate tools and strategies to assist communities in making change. Promoting broad based decision making and action: Have a broad conceptual view of community and organizational decision-making processes and strategies and can identify, use, design, and evaluate tools and strategies for promoting broad-based decision making and action. Strategies to improve economic, social, cultural, and environmental conditions: Apply critical thinking skills to identifying, using, designing, and evaluating strategies to improve economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions. Understand and practice the importance of balance: Have a broad conceptual view of the need for communities to balance development among all the community capitals and identify, use, design, and evaluate strategies to assist communities and organizations in seeking balance. Appreciate the norms of behavior for the profession. 6

7 IV. Application Procedures If you are reading this portion of the handbook, then you have probably decided to apply for the program. One of your questions may be, Which university should I choose and does it matter? Ultimately, in terms of curriculum and fees, it does not matter. The fees per credit hour are the same, no matter where you matriculate. Courses are the same as well. What does matter is where you best fit, in terms of your background and goals for the future. Our advice to you is to look through the faculty bios and think about who has interests much like your own. Feel free to contact some of them to discuss your research and community development history and/or goals for yourself in the program. Once you have done this, you will know which university to apply to. Your major professor needs to be from your home institution, so if you know where the faculty members are that best meet your needs, you will definitely want to matriculate at that university. Once you have made your decision, you then need to find out how to apply. There are a few ways to go about this. One way is to contact a faculty member at your chosen university, or the campus coordinator at that university. There are Great Plains IDEA campus coordinators at all of the participating institutions, and they are a wealth of knowledge. Campus Coordinators: ISU: Carrie Brus: Lori Youngberg, KSU: Jessica Stemmer, NDSU: Karen Murie, SDSU: Lanida Czekus, UNL: Diane Wasser, Finally, you can also navigate through the processes yourself, with the help of the following links: ISU: KSU: NDSU: SDSU: UNL: Aside from the actual application forms, all of the universities ask for your undergraduate transcripts and require a GPA of 3.0 in your undergraduate work. However, if your undergraduate was years ago, you can enter on a provisional basis with a lower GPA. Generally, Community Development Masters Degree students enroll for a Masters of Arts degree. However, there is an option of a Master s of Science degree, which will not require an oral defense, but still require a 6 hours capstone course with your major professor. An MS at KSU requires students to complete an oral defense and a 2 credit hour master s report. 7

8 V. Financial Assistance Many students ask about financial resources to support their participation in the program. Although the program does not offer scholarships or grants at this time, we urge you to contact the financial aid office at your home institution for information about funding opportunities. To be eligible for financial aid, you must be enrolled in 7 hours of study per semester. It is a policy in this program that no student can take more than 7 credits per semester without their advisor s approval. We do not recommend taking more than 7 credits if you are a distance student who is working full time and has other obligations such a family or community work. It may also be worthwhile to look into scholarships or funding from your place of work. Financial Aid Offices at the Participating Universities: ISU: KSU: NDSU: SDSU: UNL: Periodically, we will send out notices about scholarship options to our students, so be on the look out for those! 8

9 VI. Acceptance and Advising and Forms Upon being accepted into the program, you will receive your temporary advisor s name. When you decide who will be your major advisor and they agree, that person then becomes your advisor.. It is very important that you stay in close contact with your advisor while you complete your course work. This person will help to ensure you are taking the necessary amount of credits, and that you are not taking on too much at once. As a new student, you should enter the programgradually, perhaps only taking one course your first semester, unless you are extremely used to the online environment. The courses in the program are rigorous and time-consuming, so if you are working and have family obligations, you need to make sure you have enough time to complete the course work. We recommend that you take only the Orientation course and one core three-credit course your first semester. The first course in the program you will take is a one hour Orientation course. This course is extremely helpful for new students, as it welcomes you to the online environment, gets you acquainted with other students, and helps with time management goals. You should begin filling out your program forms and ideally choosing a major professor within the first two semesters. This will be the faculty member who oversees your program of study and is your main advisor on your capstone experience. Your major professor must have graduate faculty status at the University where you are matriculating. It may turn out that your faculty advisor you are assigned to ends up being your major professor, but in most cases this is not the same person. You want your major professor to be the person who best lines up with your research interests. Committee members can be from other participating institutions, and you want to also choose them based on your shared research interests. Here are some forms you will find useful: ISU: Committee Appointment Form: Program of Study Form: Any other forms needed are located at: KSU: Program of Study Forms: NDSU: SDSU: UNL: 9

10 It is important to find out when these forms should be filled out and check with your advisor or major professor that you have filled them out correctly before submission. Otherwise, you may end up having to fill them out again or additional forms to change your original material. Thesis and Graduation Deadlines can be found at these sites: ISU KSU NDSU SDSU UNL 10

11 Course work All the courses are posted on the Great Plains IDEA site, as are the faculty bios. Each university has their own course number for the same courses. On your transcript it will list your home institution s number for the course, so that all of your courses will be from the same university, even though you took courses from five institutions. The following grid lists the core, required courses and track courses available. Core, Required Courses Orientation (1 Credit) Community and Natural Resource Management (3 credits) CD I (Principles and Strategies of Community Change) (3 credits) CD II (Organizing for Community Change) (3 credits) Community and Regional Economic Analysis (3 credits) Community Analysis (3 credits) Capstone Experience (6 credits) At KSU, it is 2 credits for a master s report and 6 for a thesis Community Development Master s Specialization Tracks and Courses Building Economic Capacity Working with Native Communities Natural Resource Management Non-Profit Leadership Courses Courses Courses Courses Economic Development Strategies and Programs Introduction to Native Community Development Ecological Economics Leadership Ecological Economics Building Native Community and Economic Capacity Building Native Community and Economic Capacity Indian Country Agriculture and Natural Resources Indian Country Agriculture and Natural Resources Sustainable Communities Grant Writing The Role of Tribal Colleges in Economic Development 11

12 VII. Tim Borich, Ph.D. Faculty Biographies Department: Community and Regional Planning Institution: Iowa State University Dr. Borich holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Iowa State University and currently works in the department of Community and Regional Planning at ISU. At ISU, he is also the Director of Graduate Education, an Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and the Associate Director of the Institute for Design Research and Outreach. His major focus areas are community and economic development, leadership development, rural sociology and development, multicommunity collaboration, public policy development, distance education, and citizen participation and planning. Tara Clapp, Ph.D. Department: College of Design, Department of Community and Regional Planning Institution: Iowa State University Mary Emery, Ph.D. (Co-Faculty Chair 09-10) Department: Sociology and North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Institution: Iowa State University Dr. Emery has taught numerous courses in Sociology as well as courses in conflict management, leadership, facilitation, and grant writing. In addition she has written several grants to develop on-line courses and trained faculty in course design for internet-based classes. Finally, Dr. Emery has over 25 years of field-based experience in applied sociology and community development. Currently, she is the Associate Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and program manager for the CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grant. Cornelia Butler Flora, Ph.D. (Co-Faculty Chair 09-10) Department: Sociology Institution: Iowa State University Cornelia Butler Flora is the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Sociology at Iowa State University and Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, a twelve state research and extension institute. Previously she was holder of the Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the University of Minnesota, head of the Sociology Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University, and a program officer for the Ford Foundation. A past president of the Rural Sociological Society, the Community Development Society, and the Society for Agriculture, Food and Human Values, she is author and editor of a number of recent books, including Interactions Between Agroecosystems and Rural Communities, Rural Communities: Legacy and Change, Rural Policies for the 1990s, and 12

13 Sustainable Agriculture in Temperate Zones. Her newest book is Rural Communities: Legacy and Change, Second Edition. Her current research addresses alternative strategies of community development and community-based natural resource management. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from the University of California at Berkeley in 1965 and her M.S. (1966) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees are from Cornell University, where she received the 1994 Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Science. She was president of the Boards of Directors of the Henry A. Wallace Institute of Alternative Agriculture and is currently serving on the boards of several organizations, CONDESAN (The Consortium for the Sustainable Development of Andean Ecorregion), the Midwest Assistance Program, the Northwest Area Foundation, Winrock International, and the National Community Forestry Center. The Secretary of Agriculture appointed her to the National Agricultural Research, Education and Economics Advisory Board. Jan L. Flora, Ph.D. Department: Sociology Institution: Iowa State University Jan L. Flora is a Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the National Agrarian University-La Molina (UNALM) in Perú. He teaches courses in rural development; community organization and leadership; U.S. agriculture in transition and globalization, agricultural policy; and rural development. His current research analyzes the relationship of community social capital to economic, community, and sustainable development. His extension work focuses on involving Latino immigrants in the affairs of rural Iowa communities. He is co-director of the ISU-UNALM exchange program that focuses on strengthening graduate training and faculty research in sustainable agriculture in both institutions. Previous positions include: fellow at Natural Resources and Environment in Victoria, Australia; program officer in South America for the Ford Foundation, senior fellow in Agricultural Systems at the University of Minnesota, and president of the Rural Sociological Society. Flora s Ph.D. is from Cornell University in Development Sociology. James J. Garrett, Ph.D. Department: Agriculture/Natural Resource Management Institution: Cankdeska Cikina Community College James J. Garrett, Ph.D. is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Tribe in South Dakota. Jim grew up along the banks of the Cheyenne River where he raised cattle and horses and is an honorably discharged veteran. He returned to college at the age of 38 and obtained his Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in After developing and implementing an environmental protection department for the Tribe, he entered graduate school at Humboldt State University and obtained a Masters of Science Degree there in Jim then went on to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and received his doctorate in He currently is employed at Cankdeska Cikina Community College in Fort Totten, ND and is teaching in the Natural Resource Management Degree Program and is also developing the Land Grant program there. 13

14 Gary Goreham, Ph.D. Department: Sociology Institution: North Dakota State University Dr. Gary Goreham has been a member of the North Dakota State University faculty since His primary teaching responsibilities are research methods, social organization, family, sociology of religion, and community development. Dr. Goreham's research interests include rural sociology, rural communities and churches, social and ethical impacts of agrobiotechnology, farm financial stress, sustainable agriculture, agricultural cooperatives, and rural poverty. He is also the Director of the Rural Social Science Education program, Codirector of the Center for Rural Studies, Treasurer of the Rural Church Network for the U.S. and Canada, President Elect of the Great Plains Sociological Society, and co-editor of the Great Plains Sociologist. Bruce Johnson, Ph.D. Department: Agriculture Economics Institution: University of Nebraska Dr. Johnson is a member of the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He teaches courses in environmental economics, agricultural appraisal and community economics. His research interests include: agricultural land valuation and land use dynamics, analysis of retailing patterns and trends, and rural economic viability. He is currently designing a textbook which integrates the environment, economics, and ethics into the decision -making framework. He is also assisting with the administration of the annual Nebraska Rural Poll. Al Keithley Department: Landscape Architecture/ Regional and Community Planning Institution: Kansas State University Professor C. A. Keithley is the Director of Graduate Programs in Planning at Kansas State University, and is the Associate Department Head, Department of Landscape Architecture / Regional and Community Planning. He holds a Master s Degree in Regional and Community Planning (1973), a Master s Degree in Architecture (Interior Architecture, 1973), and a Bachelor s Degree in Architecture (1965), all from Kansas State University. His areas of teaching and research emphasis is in Planning Methods/Analysis, including demographic and economic analysis using census data, trend analysis, and in Computer Applications. He has taught in the KSU planning program for over 30 years, and served as department head from 1985 to 1995, when the two departments merged. Teresa Trumbly Lamsam, Ph.D. Department: School of Communication and Native American Studies Institution: University of Nebraska Dr. Lamsam holds a Ph.D. in journalism with a related field in rural sociology, an M.A. in media management. Dr. Lamsam is Osage and grew up on the Osage Reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. She has worked with Native American audiences since the early 14

15 1990s as a tribal media editor. Since the late 1990s, she has worked with Native American communities and groups in developing communication strategies for development efforts. Dr. Lamsam s research includes attitudinal surveys, social capital in tribal bureaucracies, development communication, and development journalism. Larry Leistritz, Ph.D. Department: Agriculture Economics Institution: North Dakota State University Dr. Leistritz is a Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University. For more than 30 years, he has been actively involved in research on agricultural and regional economic development issues. In this context, he has authored or coauthored 12 books, more than 100 journal articles, and numerous research reports. He received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has served as President ( ) and Director ( ) of the International Association for Impact Assessment and as President ( ) of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. Gary D. Lynne, Ph.D. Department: Agricultural Economics and School of Natural Resources Institution: University of Nebraska Dr. Lynne currently teaches an undergraduate course in environmental, natural resource and ecological economics. He also teaches a graduate course in behavioral economics, and another in ecological economics. His research expertise works from a base in behavioral economics theory, methods and an approach relying heavily on survey based data. Currently, he is working on two federally funded research projects with foci on: 1) assessing the drivers to farming that lead to sequestering more carbon, and thus alleviating the effects of global warming on the larger community, and 2) determining the extent to which the farming population is being influenced by weather information and forecasts in the face of global climate change. In both cases, special attention is being given to assessing and quantifying the community influences on individual choices; the behavioral (meta) economic theory being tested is that individual economic choices reflect the pursuit of both the self-interest and a dual, joint other (community)-interest. Another grant-funded project just now being finished has examined the role of social capital in the economic viability of a test case rural community. Still another project also being finished addresses the matter of recycling behavior and recycling policy, again using this dual interest, behavioral economics approach. Dr. Lynne s research expertise has also been developed over the years on water resource and resource valuation questions. Dave Peters, Ph.D. Department: Sociology Institution: Iowa State University Dr. Peter' research areas focus on rural poverty, industry clusters, entrepreneurship, and effective rural development. His work on poverty looks at how person-based and place-based characteristics interact with a labor market to determine the chances of a person being poor. His work on industry clusters looks at how competitive industries share inputs within a regional economy, specifically looking at shared suppliers and labor. His work on 15

16 entrepreneurship looks at measuring the socioeconomic characteristics of self-employed person and their communities; and also looking at the economic characteristics of high growth firms and the demographic characteristics of the firm s owners. Lastly, His work on rural development looks at why certain communities are better at using their resource endowments (natural, economic, demographic, geographic, etc.) to promote development than other similar communities. John L. Phillips, Ph.D. Department: Rural Sociology Institution: Adjunct, South Dakota State University Dr. Phillips holds a Ph.D. in rural sociology, an M.S. in environmental systems, and a B.S. in computer science. He has worked with Native American audiences since 1997, first as the Director of the Cooperative Extension Service at Si Tanka University on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, then as International Programs Director at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), and since 2000, the USDA liaison at AIHEC. He has taught professionally at IBM and the US Peace Corps, and as adjunct faculty at Si Tanka University (computer sciences) and at American University (Native American agricultural policy). Dr. Phillips s research experience includes crop irrigation studies, Native American diet and activity levels, tribal colleges' social capital, and tribal college faculty development. Meredith M. Redlin, Ph.D. Department: Rural Sociology Institution: South Dakota State University Dr. Redlin s areas of academic specialization include: rural and environmental sociology, with specific focus on local food systems and agricultural development in the U.S. and internationally; race and ethnic diversity in rural communities and rural society; rural community planning and development in the U.S. and internationally; social theory and sociology, theories of practice, discourse analysis, theories of urban-rural cultural hierarchy; theories of environmental constructions of the Great Plains region of the United States including Montana, Nebraska and North and South Dakota. Sheri L. Smith, Ph.D. Department: Landscape Architecture/Regional and City Planning Institution: Kansas State University Sheri Smith is an Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning Department at Kansas State University. She teaches courses in infrastructure planning and development, planning theory and ethics, community development and research methodologies. Prior to her tenure at K-State, Professor Smith worked as a planner in the cities of Chicago and Tulsa specializing in housing & community development. more Steffen Schmidt, Ph.D. Department: Political Science & Public Policy Institution: Iowa State University Dr. Schmidt is a pioneer in the development of distance learning and has also written and consulted extensively on this topic. He has developed numerous distance learning classes on Coastal Policy, Coastal Zone Management, Electronic Democracy, and Identity Theft He is a 16

17 founding member and was the Technology Review Editor for the Journal of Political Science Education. In 2007 he was awarded the IDLA Innovator Award for his work on distance education. Dave Swenson, Ph.D. Department: Economics Institution: Iowa State University Dave Swenson's work centers on community economic analysis and affiliated projects in support of the department's efforts in community development and in extending economics education services to the public. Areas of research and specialization include community and regional economic studies and evaluations, economic development research and technical assistance, input-output (economic impact) studies, fiscal impact research, public finance and tax policy, community change and worker mobility issues, and public program and project evaluation. Ray Weisenburger, Ph.D. Department: College of Architecture, Planning and Design Institution: Kansas State University Dr. Weisenburger is currently a faculty member in the planning program of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Community Planning; he served as the associate dean in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at KSU for 10 years. He joined the faculty in 1964 after completing graduate school at Cornell University. He entered private practice for six years. At KSU, Dr. Weisenbeuger teaches graduate courses in Preservation and Urban Design Theory, Urban Visual Analysis, and Land Development Planning. He has been a visiting scholar and lecturer in China at the Tainjin Institute and the Chongqing Jainzhu University as well as serving as re-accrediting academic administrator for landscape architecture programs at Washington State, Georgia, Florida, Texas-Arlington, Morgan State, and North Dakota State. He currently serves as a co-chair of the Kansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Committee on Historic Resources and is on the Manhattan Historic Resources Board. 17

18 VIII. Capstone Experience The capstone experience in this master s program is worth 6 credits, and there are generally options for how you can complete this experience. Not all institutions, however, allow a choice between a thesis, or a capstone component, so check with program representatives at the institution where you plan to matriculate. You may either write a traditional thesis or research report that contributes new knowledge to the field, which is based on your research in the field and cites existing research. You should be adding to the existing research, not repeating it. The other choice is a capstone paper or creative component, which is more of a practical experience, instead of being based primarily in research. The following is a detailed description of the two different options: General Guidelines The Community Development On-line Master s Program has a research element in addition to the required number of credit hours. Because of the variety of career and academic opportunities that may result from this degree program, students have considerable leeway in choosing projects that suit their programs of study and also fit with their future professional or academic goals. Some universities allow Master s candidates to choose either the creative component or the thesis. Rationale When considering whether to write a research thesis or complete a creative component for graduation, students need to consider their professional goals. Students looking for a more research-based capstone experience should probably write a thesis paper. On the other hand, those students who will move on to be community practitioners or work in local government, for example, might find the creative component better suited to their intellectual interests and professional goals. The final choice should be made after careful reflection as well as consultation with the Program of Study (POS) committee. No matter which is chosen, your Program of Study committee must approve both the choice and the topic. This committee will be made up of your major professors and 2-3 other faculty members who you feel are interested in your work. Your major professor must be from your home institution; the other faculty members can be from the other participating institutions, if your home institution and committee approves. Results The thesis, creative component, and capstone paper all require students to present a written proposal to their committee, participate in an oral defense and submit the finished paper or report. The MS degree, or capstone paper may or may not require an oral defense (at KSU, it does require a defense), but it does involve closely working with your committee and all members of your committee approving the paper. Audience, distribution, and awards The audience for the thesis, creative component and capstone paper is the POS committee and other interested readers. The thesis should be written in preparation for publication in a refereed 18

19 journal.. The creative component and capstone paper should also aim for distribution to appropriate audiences. Form The form of the thesis is that of an academic essay or scholarly research report on original research. The choice will depend on the nature of the thesis, the desires of the POS committee, and the requirements of the Graduate College. For example, a thesis may be close to the form of a scholarly article that would be published in a scholarly journal of the discipline. The form of the creative component and capstone project itself will depend upon the nature of the project. A packet of course materials designed for training, for instance, will take on quite a different form from a comprehensive grant proposal written to a government agency or a report on an internship or special project. The creative component and capstone report will normally include some rationale for the project, a discussion of methods or procedures, and an explanation of what the student learned from the project. If appropriate, the report might include a literature review, an analysis of why the student did what he or she did, or even a self-evaluation. It may also include an internship experience, with a journal of daily activities and a report that includes an in- depth analysis of the experience. Original Work Your thesis, creative component, or capstone report should comprise original work you completed while receiving credit. A thesis may draw upon research you previously conducted in a class, but the final product should be a significant expansion of that research. Your creative component or capstone report should draw from your experience in previous classes, but it should not be simply a revision of your earlier course work. For example, a research topic might be something discussed or reflected upon in one of your courses, but it should reflect significant development of that earlier work. Procedures for each option Research-based thesis (Close collaboration with your major professor is needed throughout a thesis from the beginning of your research idea to your final defense) To complete the research-based thesis, you will need to do the following: submit a prospectus that includes o an explanation of why the central question of the thesis is significant to the field of Community Development o a brief review of relevant literature o a timetable or work schedule for completing the thesis review the prospectus with the POS committee, revising as necessary so that it becomes a memorandum of understanding between the student and the committee provide a targeted literature review, collect and analyze data or information, and write the analysis, all in close collaboration with the major professor submit the thesis defend the thesis in an oral examination 19

20 submit the final revised report in a form acceptable by the Graduate School at the institution from which you will be graduating. Since this is an on-line program, your defense will have to be set up by your committee, and may be completed via teleconference or through internet technology. Creative component and capstone report (The procedures are likely to vary more by university than do thesis procedures, so it is important to talk with your major professor early) To complete the creative component, you will need to do the following: submit a prospectus that includes o an explanation of the significance or benefits accruing from the project to the student and other relevant parties o a brief review of relevant literature o a timetable or work schedule for completing the project review the prospectus with the POS committee, revising as necessary so that it becomes a memorandum of understanding between the student and the committee work on the creative project and write the report as required by the Program of Study Committee submit the creative component (project and report) to the POS committee defend the project in an oral examination submit the revised report in a form acceptable by the Graduate School at the university from which you are graduating. Since this is an on-line program, your defense will have to be set up by your committee, and may be completed via teleconference or through internet technology. The capstone report may or may not require an oral defense, but the report still must be approved by all committee members. Forms for the thesis and creative component can be found by accessing the links listed in section IV. Acceptance and Advising and Forms. Your POS committee will require a formal proposal for your thesis, creative component, or capstone report. You will want to find out the length that is required and the amount of information you must submit; you may be required to also submit an annotated bibliography, etc. You should set up time to discuss these requirements with your advisor and/or major professor and committee before you begin work on a thesis, creative component or capstone report. 20

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