Handbook for Graduate Students in Agricultural and Extension Education

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1 Handbook for Graduate Students in Agricultural and Extension Education Approved August 15,

2 Handbook for Graduate Students in Agricultural and Extension Education Table of Contents Preface... 1 Nondiscrimination Policy... 1 General Information... 2 Mississippi State University Mission Statement... 2 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Mission Statement... 2 School of Human Sciences Mission Statement... 2 Agricultural and Extension Education Program Summary... 2 Relevant Contacts... 3 Master of Science Graduate Admissions... 4 Admission Policy... 4 Critical s... 4 Graduate Admission Procedure... 5 M.S. Admission Requirements... 5 Graduate Record Examination... 5 Entering the Master s Program... 6 Orientation of New Students... 6 Selection of Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee... 6 Program of Study... 6 Master of Science Degree Options... 7 Thesis Option... 7 Non-Thesis Option... 7 Degree Requirements for M.S. Degree Leadership Concentration... 8 Degree Requirements for M.S. Degree Teaching Concentration... 9 Required Activities for Completing Master s Program in AEE Thesis Option Required Activities for Completing Master s Program in AEE Non-Thesis Option Master of Science Thesis Thesis Committee Thesis Proposal Thesis Defense Oral Defense Committee Decision Revision and Signing of Thesis Master of Science Non-Thesis Creative Component Project Project Proposal Project Defense Oral Defense Committee Decision Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Agricultural Science (Concentration: Agricultural and Extension Education) Graduate Admissions Admission Policy Critical s Graduate Admission Procedure Ph.D. in AEE Admission Requirements Graduate Record Examination

3 Entering the Doctoral Program Doctoral Competencies Orientation of New Students Selection of Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee Program of Study Degree Requirements for Ph.D. Degree Agricultural and Extension Education Concentration Required Activities for Completing the Ph.D. in AEE Comprehensive Examination for Ph.D. Students Written Oral Admission to Candidacy Doctoral Dissertation Dissertation Committee Dissertation Proposal Dissertation Defense Oral Defense Committee Decision Revision and Signing of Dissertation Annual Evaluation of Doctoral Students Appeals Committee Appendix A. Committee Request Form Appendix B. Request for Change of Committee Members Appendix C. Graduate Program of Study Appendix D. Change to Graduate Program of Study Appendix E. Declaration of Examination/Defense Form Appendix F. Elements of a Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Appendix G. Creative Component Project Appendix H. Admission to Candidacy Form Appendix I. Doctoral Written Comprehensive Examination Rubric Appendix J. Doctoral Oral Comprehensive Examination Rubric Appendix K. Thesis and Dissertation Approval Rubric Appendix L. Thesis and Dissertation Defense Rubric Appendix M. Thesis Contract Appendix N. Dissertation Contract

4 PREFACE The purpose of the Handbook for Graduate Students in Agricultural and Extension Education is to assist masters and doctoral students (and Graduate Committee members) in the development and completion of a master s or doctoral program of study in Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) as efficiently and satisfactorily as possible. Most of the essential information needed to accomplish this task can be found within this handbook. However, in some instances one will need to refer to the Mississippi State University Graduate Studies Bulletin or the Office of Graduate Studies Standards for Preparing Theses and Dissertations. This is a dated publication and subject to change. Check with your Major Professor and/or departmental Graduate Coordinator if in doubt. Nondiscrimination Policy Mississippi State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. MSU conforms to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Adjustment Assistant Act of 1974, and The Americans with Disabilities Act of The University Affirmative Action Office, P.O. Drawer 6199, Mississippi State, MS 39762, (662) , has been designated as the University office responsible for the coordination of efforts to carry out responsibilities and make investigations of complaints related to discrimination. 1

5 GENERAL INFORMATION Mississippi State University Mission Statement Mississippi State University is a public, land-grant university whose mission is to provide access and opportunity to students from all sectors of the state's diverse population, as well as from other states and countries, and to offer excellent programs of teaching, research, and service. Enhancing its historic strengths in agriculture, natural resources, engineering, mathematics, and natural and physical sciences, Mississippi State offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs; these include architecture, the fine arts, business, education, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and veterinary medicine. The university embraces its role as a major contributor to the economic development of the state through targeted research and the transfer of ideas and technology to the public, supported by faculty and staff relationships with industry, community organizations, and government entities. Building on its land-grant tradition, Mississippi State strategically extends its resources and expertise throughout the entire state for the benefit of Mississippi's citizens, offering access for working and placebound adult learners through its Meridian Campus, Extension, and distance learning programs. Mississippi State is committed to its tradition of instilling among its students and alumni ideals of diversity, citizenship, leadership, and service. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Mission Statement To educate people for leadership roles in Agriculture, Life Sciences and Human Ecology and improve their standard of living in a global society. School of Human Sciences Mission Statement To improve the well-being of individuals, families, communities, and related businesses and industries through teaching, research, and outreach. An integrative approach is carried out in these program areas: 1. Agricultural Information Science (AIS) 2. Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) 3. Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Agricultural and Extension Education Program Summary Agricultural and Extension education prepares graduates for professional careers in formal and non-formal settings. Graduates may enter careers in education, extension, business, government, and international settings. Furthermore, graduates can seek faculty and/administrative position in teaching, extension, research, and public service. 2

6 Relevant Contacts College of Ag and Life Sciences Administrative Staff Dean George Hopper 107 Thompson Hall, Mississippi State, MS (office) Associate Dean Scott Willard Box 9760, Mississippi State, MS (office) School of Human Sciences AEE Graduate Faculty Michael E. Newman, Director 118 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Ryan Akers, Assistant Extension Professor 206 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Laura Downey, Assistant Extension Professor 221 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Gaea Hock, Assistant Professor 204 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Gary Jackson, Associate Professor and Director, MSU-ES 404 Bost Extension Building, Mississippi State, MS (office) Laura Lemons, Assistant Professor 215 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Donna Peterson, Assistant Extension Professor 220A Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Susan Seal, Assistant Professor 272 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Quisto Settle, Assistant Professor 269 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office_ Julie Sexton, Extension Professor 218 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Kirk Swortzel, Professor and Graduate Coordinator 214 Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) Paula Threadgill, Extension Professor and Associate Director, MSU-ES 204 Bost Extension Building, Mississippi State, MS (office) Ronnie White, Extension Professor 201-B Lloyd Ricks Watson, Mississippi State, MS (office) 3

7 Admission Policy MASTER OF SCIENCE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS The decision to admit an applicant to pursue graduate study at Mississippi State University is based upon evaluations of both qualitative and quantitative information. See M.S. Admission Requirements below for specific requirements. All admission applications and supporting documents become the property of Mississippi State University upon receipt and will not be released. Standardized test scores represent only one element considered in the admission decision of an applicant. Scores are never used as the sole criterion but rather are considered in conjunction with other factors such as the applicant s purpose of study relative to the opportunities in the proposed field, the number of positions available in the program, prior professional and employment activities, and/or recommendations of the faculty in the proposed field of study especially regarding the availability of faculty support for research. Consequently, an applicant who meets the required grade point average and/or whose standardized scores fall at or above a competitive level is not automatically granted admission. Admission is granted only to those students considered to have the potential to complete the program successfully. The decision to admit is determined by the AEE graduate faculty, and the student may not enroll in another degree program without formal admission. A student may request consideration for admission to an area of study or to a degree level different from the original application at the Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS , , (fax), However, once a student is admitted to a degree program he/she must remain in that program for one semester before admission will be approved to change to another degree program. Such a request will have the status of a new application for admission, subject to the current conditions. Application is usually made to only one graduate program at a time. Admission to more than one degree program requires the approval of the Graduate Coordinators of all the degree programs affected. The decision to admit has a time validity of 12 months (with departmental approval) for use in making initial enrollment. After the lapse of 12 months without enrollment, an applicant should inquire at the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762, , (fax), for procedural instructions. The academic dean has the authority to grant admission to graduate programs. The decision will be communicated to the applicant and to the Office of Graduate Studies. Only a written notice of admission is valid proof of admission. After applications and supporting credentials have been received, applicants for admission usually are notified within 30 days of the action taken on their application. Admission to Mississippi State University for graduate study is open to qualified students regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, handicap, sex, or veteran status. Critical s To be considered for admission, all supporting materials should be in the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762, , (fax), ( ) no later than July 1 for Fall Semester (May 1 for international students), no later than November 1 for Spring Semester (September 1 for international students), and no later than April 1 (March 1 for international students) for the Summer sessions. Applications received on or prior to the initial deadline dates above will receive priority consideration for the desired academic term. Applications received after the final deadline dates above will be considered for the next term. It is the applicant s responsibility to ensure that all supporting materials are received. 4

8 Graduate Admission Procedure An individual who desires consideration for admission to graduate studies and who possesses appropriate qualifications may request information and application materials from the Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762; ; ( ); (home page). The packet of information and forms sent in response to a request will contain the specific instructions for completing the forms and making an application for admission. An individual must have a valid admission status in the Office of Graduate Studies to secure enrollment. Admission to graduate study is limited to the pursuit of requirements for the degree and the field of study as specified in the student s application and statement of purpose. M.S. in AEE Admission Requirements: Applicant must meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission. Recommended completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with scores competitive with other applicants, is recommended. An upper-division undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 (approximately last 60 undergraduate hours). Names and contact information of three individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation. These letters of recommendation will attest to the applicant s academic performance and potential ability to successfully complete graduate degree requirements. A Statement of Purpose (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant s purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans and career goals is required. For international, non-native speakers of English, TOEFL scores indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work (see MSU Graduate Bulletin for more information) are required. Special Notes: 1. Qualified applicants for the AEE graduate program are expected to have interests and goals that are consistent with the department s faculty expertise and course offerings. 2. Admission decisions are based on a holistic consideration of the applicant s credentials. 3. Based on educational background, the applicant may be required to take some remedial coursework before acceptance into the program. Graduate Record Examination The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by the Computer Based Testing Center, 180 Magruder Street (Basement of Rice Hall), Mail Stop 9747, Mississippi State, MS Appointments may be set up by calling or at Other sites are also available throughout the state. For more information about the GRE, go to 5

9 Orientation of New Students ENTERING THE MASTER S PROGRAM All new graduate students should report to the AEE Graduate Coordinator who will assist the student in planning the first semester of course work. All incoming graduate students will take AIS 8801 Graduate Professional Seminar, which serves as an orientation to the respective degree programs and faculty research in the unit. This course is offered every fall semester. Selection of Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee By midterm of the second regular semester of course work, the student, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator, must select a Graduate Advisory Committee, including a Major Professor who will serve as Chair of the Graduate Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Graduate Advisory Committee is to advise the student throughout his/her graduate program, especially in terms of professional development. This Committee must be established through the Committee Request Form (See Appendix A). If changes in the composition of the committee are made, all parties must be informed beforehand. To change the composition of the Graduate Advisory Committee, a Request for Change of Committee Members Form (See Appendix B) must be completed and approved. Both of these forms are available on the Office of the Graduate School s website. The Major Professor, in conjunction with other members of the Graduate Advisory Committee, will assist the student in planning the program of study. The Graduate Advisory Committee will consist of the Major Professor and at least two additional AEE faculty members. Students electing to complete a minor must have a graduate committee member representing the minor area (this minor professor may replace one of the two AEE faculty members on the committee). Students should carefully consider the selection of their Major Professor. They will work closely with this individual for the duration of their program and it is important their research interests are congruent. Program of Study Each student is required to submit a Graduate Program of Study Form (See Appendix C) to the AEE Graduate Coordinator for approval. This program of study must be made with the advice and concurrence of the student's Graduate Advisory Committee (thesis option) or Major Professor (non-thesis option) and the AEE Graduate Coordinator. For students pursuing a Master of Science degree in AEE, this program of study is formally submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies during the semester in which the student intends to graduate. A Graduate Program of Study Form may be secured from the Office of Graduate Studies website. Only courses appearing on the approved program will be counted toward fulfilling degree requirements. Changes in the program may be made, using the Change to Graduate Program of Study Form (See Appendix D) available from the Office of Graduate Studies website, with the approval of the student's current Graduate Advisory Committee and the AEE Graduate Coordinator. 6

10 MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE OPTIONS The School of Human Sciences offers the Master of Science degree in AEE with a concentration in Leadership or Teaching. Required remedial course work will not be included for credit toward the master's degree. Students must maintain a grade point average of "B" or above (GPA >= 3.00) on all course work completed. The graduate degree will not be granted if this requirement is not met. Students may choose from one of two concentrations for the Master of Science Degree: Teaching or Leadership. The Teaching Concentration prepares aspiring agricultural education for careers in secondary and postsecondary institutions. These students will develop and improve their competency in the teaching and learning process; gain experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs; and become qualified for certification as an agricultural science teacher. The Leadership Concentration prepares future employees and administrators for careers in extension, government agricultural agencies, and the private industry. These students will focus on basic foundational principles in agricultural and extension education and enhance their skills in program planning, teaching methods, evaluation methods, and communication technologies. The Master of Science program has both a thesis and a non-thesis option. Thesis Option Students may elect to complete a thesis as part of their master s degree. A thesis is a final project for a master s degree in which the student performs research on a specific subject that demonstrates his/her knowledge acquired through the master s degree program. Students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to select the thesis option. Non-Thesis Option Students who select the non-thesis option are required to complete a creative component project. A creative component project is an original project that a master s degree student develops to fulfill a need in his/her professional career preparation. Examples of creative component projects may include curriculum development projects, instructional materials packets, development of a course of study, public relations program development, sales mentoring programs, marketing an educational program, or other creative endeavor. Details of the creative component project will be worked out with the student and the Major Professor. 7

11 Degree: Master of Science Major: Agricultural and Extension Education Concentration: Leadership PROPOSED CURRICULUM OUTLINE DEGREE REQUIREMENT FOR M.S. DEGREE LEADERSHIP CONCENTRATION REQUIRED HOURS AIS 8801 Graduate Professional Seminar (F) 1 AIS 8203 Advanced Communication (S) OR AIS 8263 Public Relations AIS 8403 Directing Learning Experiences (F) 3 AIS 8413 Methods of Planned Change (S) 3 AIS 8503 Program Planning and Development (F) 3 AIS 8703 Evaluation of Programs (non-thesis option) (S) OR AIS 8803 Research Methods (thesis option) (F) AIS 8000 Research/Thesis thesis option (thesis contract required each semester a student enrolls in AIS 8000 See Appendix M) OR AIS 8100 Creative Component Project - non-thesis option Electives 1 9 TOTAL HOURS 31 1 Students electing to complete the thesis option should complete EPY 6214 or an equivalent statistics class as an elective. F=Fall Semester; S=Spring Semester; SS=Summer School Note: Courses may be substituted depending on a student s area of interest and course availability. Major Professor approval will be required in advance. For thesis option students, at least 12 semester hours of course work, exclusive of thesis credits, must be at the 8000 level. For non-thesis option students, at least 15 semester hours of course work, exclusive of creative component credits, must at the 8000 level. Not more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit may be earned in Directed Individual Study (7000) courses. Students may transfer up to 6 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs. Students should be aware of the Graduate School policy on grades and degree completion. A graduate student cannot graduate with 1) a GPA lower than 3.00 for all courses attempted for graduate credit after admission to a particular degree program or 2) a grade of less than a C on the program of study or 3) more than 6 credit hours of C grades earned for all courses since admission to the program, including those outside the program of study, or 4) an I grade on his/her transcript (see the Bulletin of the Graduate School)

12 Degree: Master of Science Major: Agricultural and Extension Education Concentration: Teaching PROPOSED CURRICULUM OUTLINE DEGREE REQUIREMENT FOR M.S. DEGREE TEACHING CONCENTRATION REQUIRED HOURS AIS 8801 Graduate Professional Seminar (F) 1 AIS 6113 Methods of Teaching Agriscience (SS) 3 AIS 6403 Development of Youth Programs (S) 3 AIS 6703 Experiential Learning Programs in Agriculture (S) 3 AIS 8403 Directing Learning Experiences (F) 3 AIS 8503 Program Planning and Development (F) 3 EPY 6033 Learning Theories (S) OR AIS 8693 Philosophical Foundations (S odd) EDX 8173 Special Education in the Regular Classroom (F, S, SS) 3 AIS 8603 Teaching Internship in AEE I 3 AIS 8613 Teaching Internship in AEE II 3 AIS 8000 Research/Thesis thesis option (thesis contract required each semester a student enrolls in AIS 8000 See Appendix M) OR AIS 8100 Creative Component Project - non-thesis option TOTAL HOURS 34 F=Fall Semester; S=Spring Semester; SS=Summer School Note: Courses may be substituted depending on a student s area of interest and course availability. Major Professor approval will be required in advance. For thesis option students, at least 12 semester hours of course work, exclusive of thesis credits, must be at the 8000 level. For non-thesis option students, at least 15 semester hours of course work, exclusive of creative component credits, must at the 8000 level. Not more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit may be earned in Directed Individual Study (7000) courses. Students may transfer up to 6 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs. Students should be aware of the Graduate School policy on grades and degree completion. A graduate student cannot graduate with 1) a GPA lower than 3.00 for all courses attempted for graduate credit after admission to a particular degree program or 2) a grade of less than a C on the program of study or 3) more than 6 credit hours of C grades earned for all courses since admission to the program, including those outside the program of study, or 4) an I grade on his/her transcript (see the Bulletin of the Graduate School)

13 Required Activities for Completing Master s Program in AEE Thesis Option 1. Identify Major Professor. Schedule appointment with Major Professor. (Semester 1) 2. Check on program requirements with Major Professor. Begin course work. (Semester 1) 3. Identify three members of the Graduate Advisory Committee. Complete and submit Committee Request Form (Appendix A) (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 4. Complete Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix C). Submit (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 5. Program of Study approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. (Semester 2) 6. Continue course work; consider focus area(s) for thesis. (Semester 2) 7. Complete Online Human Subjects Training via CITI Program or Responsible Conduct of Research Training (for those on federally-funded projects) and submit results to AEE Graduate Coordinator and Major Professor. (Semester 2) 8. Do literature review; prepare thesis proposal. 9. Schedule thesis proposal meeting. 10. Thesis proposal approved. 11. Complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application (with appropriate forms) for thesis research. 12. Obtain approval from IRB. 13. Conduct research and write thesis according to the required format outlined by the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Format Review and the most recent edition of the Standards for Preparing Theses and Dissertations. 14. Schedule final oral defense of thesis. Complete and submit Declaration of Examination/Defense Form (Appendix E) with Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to defense date. NOTE: Defense must be held no less than a week before the first submission of the thesis is due in the Library (check academic calendar on Office of Graduate Studies website). Give committee members a copy of thesis at least 10 working days before the defense. 15. Have final oral defense of thesis. (If student fails thesis defense, he/she must wait four months before redefending.) 16. Make corrections; get all required signatures on approval page. 17. Submit thesis for review to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Format Review; make corrections, if needed. 18. Apply for graduation at beginning of last semester/term (check academic calendar on Office of Graduate Studies website). 19. Reproduce and distribute a bound copy of thesis to the School of Human Sciences. Reproduce and distribute bound copies to Graduate Committee members (if requested). 20. Attend commencement. 10

14 Required Activities for Completing Master s Program in AEE Non-Thesis Option 1. Identify Major Professor. Schedule appointment with Major Professor. (Semester 1) 2. Check on program requirements with Major Professor. Begin course work. (Semester 1) 3. Identify three members of the Graduate Advisory Committee. Complete and submit Committee Request Form (Appendix A) (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 4. Complete Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix C). Submit (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 5. Program of Study approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. (Semester 2) 6. Continue course work; consider focus area(s) for creative component project. (Semester 2) 7. Complete Online Human Subjects Training via CITI Program or Responsible Conduct of Research Training (for those on federally-funded projects) and submit results to AEE Graduate Coordinator and Major Professor. (Semester 2) 8. Prepare creative component project proposal and present to Graduate Advisory Committee for approval. 9. Complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application (with appropriate forms) (if necessary). 10. Obtain approval from IRB (if necessary). 11. Conduct project and write final document. 12. Schedule final oral defense of creative component project (serves as comprehensive examination). Complete and submit Declaration of Examination/Defense (Appendix E) form with Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to defense date. NOTE: Give committee members a copy of final project at least 10 working days before the defense. 13. Have final oral defense of creative component project. (If student fails defense, he/she must wait four months before redefending.) 14. Make corrections to final project. 15. Apply for graduation at beginning of last semester/term (check academic calendar on Office of Graduate Studies website). 16. Reproduce and distribute final copy of project to Major Professor. 17. Attend commencement. 11

15 Master of Science Thesis Thesis Committee The students in the thesis option should begin discussing thesis focus area(s) with the Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee early in the graduate program. Once a decision has been made on the thesis topic, the composition of the Graduate Advisory Committee (including Major Professor) is reviewed for renewal or change. The Graduate Advisory Committee then becomes the Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee consists of the Major Professor, who will be chair and thesis director, and at least two other graduate faculty members. A Request for Change of Committee Members (Appendix B) form is to be filled out and signed by the student's committee and the AEE Graduate Coordinator should a change become necessary. Thesis Proposal The development of a Thesis Proposal is the initial step in the writing of the thesis. The student should present a Thesis Proposal to his/her Major Professor no later than the beginning of the last semester of course work. Upon approval by the Major Professor, the thesis proposal will be distributed to the Thesis Committee for review at a Thesis Proposal Meeting. The Committee will determine if the proposal, as presented, is ready to be initiated or if changes are required before research takes place. The Thesis Proposal must be formally and unanimously approved by the student's Thesis Committee. This should occur no later than the end of the last semester of course work. A "Thesis Approval Rubric" (Appendix K) will be used to evaluate the quality of the proposal and to determine of the student will be allowed to proceed with the research study at that time. The Thesis Proposal must include the elements listed in Appendix F. Thesis Defense Upon completion of writing the thesis, the student will submit a final draft to the Thesis Committee, who will determine if the thesis is ready to defend. It is important for students to understand that theses typically go through several iterations or cycles of feedback and revision before being ready to defend. The Thesis Committee must unanimously agree that the thesis is ready to be defended. Such approval signifies only that the thesis is ready for defense, not that the student will automatically pass the defense. Additionally, the approval to defend will not preclude further required changes in the thesis. Oral Defense After the committee decides that the thesis is ready for the oral defense, the Major Professor will schedule the oral defense of the thesis. The Declaration of Examination/Defense form (Appendix E) must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the defense date. A final copy of the thesis will be distributed to members of the Thesis Committee 10 working days prior to the scheduled defense. The thesis defense is open to all parties desiring attendance. Committee Decision The Major Professor presides over the oral defense, and the decision to accept or reject the defense of the thesis is solely that of the Thesis Committee. The committee will use the Thesis Defense Rubric (Appendix L) to determine of the student successfully defends the thesis. Questions from other faculty during the oral defense may be invited by the Major Professor if time permits. If the Thesis Committee consists of three members, a majority vote is sufficient for a decision. However, if the Thesis Committee consists of four or more members, two negative votes will constitute failure of the thesis defense. If a student is unsuccessful in defending a thesis, a new defense may be scheduled no earlier than four months from the date of the original 12

16 defense. Two failures on the defense will result in termination from the master s program. The Major Professor is responsible for reporting the results of the thesis defense to the Office of Graduate Studies. The Report of Examination Results is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. Revision and Signing of Thesis Although a student may pass the thesis defense, he or she will normally be instructed to revise the thesis before submitting it to the Thesis Committee, the AEE Graduate Coordinator, and the Dean of CALS for a signature and before submitting it to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Format Review. 13

17 Master of Science Non thesis Creative Component Project The non thesis option will include completion of a Creative Component Project designed to integrate scholarship in the field with preparation for professional success. Examples of possible projects include submission of a grant application, curriculum development projects, instructional materials packets, development of a course of study, public relations program development, sales mentoring programs, marketing an educational program, or other creative endeavor. Students in the non thesis option should begin discussing project possibilities with their Major Professor early in the graduate program. Project Proposal The development of a Project Proposal is the initial step in completing the project. The student should present a Project Proposal to the Major Professor, while enrolled in 3 hours of AIS 8100 Creative Component Project, no later than the beginning of the last semester of course work. The Major Professor will distribute a final draft of the Project Proposal to the Graduate Advisory Committee for review at a committee meeting. The Committee will determine if the proposal, as presented, is ready to be initiated or if changes are required before project is conducted. The Project Proposal must be formally and unanimously approved by the student's Graduate Advisory Committee. This should occur no later than the end of the last semester of course work. A "Proposal Approval Form" may be obtained from the AEE Graduate Coordinator and must be signed by the Graduate Advisory Committee members and the AEE Graduate Coordinator. The Project Proposal must include the elements listed in Appendix G. Project Presentation and Comprehensive Examination After the final project is approved for presentation, an intended final copy of the project will be distributed to members of the Graduate Advisory Committee 10 working days prior to the scheduled defense. The project presentation is open to all parties desiring attendance. Committee Decision The Major Professor presides over the project presentation and comprehensive examination. The decision to pass or fail the comprehensive examination is that of the Graduate Advisory Committee. If a student fails the comprehensive examination, a new defense may be scheduled no earlier than four months from the date of the original examination. Two failures on the examination will result in termination from the master s program. The Major Professor is responsible for reporting the results of the comprehensive examination to the Office of Graduate Studies. The Report of Examination Results is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. 14

18 Admission Policy DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE in AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE (CONCENTRATION: AGRICULTURAL AND EXTENSION EDUCATION) GRADUATE ADMISSIONS The decision to admit an applicant to pursue graduate study at Mississippi State University is based upon evaluations of both qualitative and quantitative information. See Ph.D. Admission Requirements below for specific requirements. All admission applications and supporting documents become the property of Mississippi State University upon receipt and will not be released. Standardized test scores represent only one element considered in the admission decision of an applicant. Scores are never used as the sole criterion but rather are considered in conjunction with other factors such as the applicant s purpose of study relative to the opportunities in the proposed field, the number of positions available in the program, prior professional and employment activities, and/or recommendations of the faculty in the proposed field of study especially regarding the availability of faculty support for research. Consequently, an applicant who meets the required grade point average and/or whose standardized scores fall at or above a competitive level is not automatically granted admission. Admission is granted only to those students considered to have the potential to complete the program successfully. The decision to admit is determined by the AEE graduate faculty, and the student may not enroll in another degree program without formal admission. A student may request consideration for admission to an area of study or to a degree level different from the original application at the Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS , , (fax), However, once a student is admitted to a degree program he/she must remain in that program for one semester before admission will be approved to change to another degree program. Such a request will have the status of a new application for admission, subject to the current conditions. Application is usually made to only one graduate program at a time. Admission to more than one degree program requires the approval of the Graduate Coordinators of all the degree programs affected. The decision to admit has a time validity of 12 months (with departmental approval) for use in making initial enrollment. After the lapse of 12 months without enrollment, an applicant should inquire at the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762, , (fax), ( ) for procedural instructions. The academic dean has the authority to grant admission to graduate programs. The decision will be communicated to the applicant and to the Office of Graduate Studies. Only a written notice of admission is valid proof of admission. After applications and supporting credentials have been received, applicants for admission usually are notified within 30 days of the action taken on their application. Admission to Mississippi State University for graduate study is open to qualified students regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, handicap, sex, or veteran status. Critical s To be considered for admission, all supporting materials should be in the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762, , (fax), no later than July 1 for Fall Semester (May 1 for international students), no later than November 1 for Spring Semester (September 1 for international students), and no later than April 1 (March 1 for international students) for the Summer sessions. Applications received on or prior to the initial deadline dates above will receive priority consideration for the desired academic term. Applications received after the final deadline dates above will be considered for the next term. It is the applicant s responsibility to ensure that all supporting materials are received. 15

19 Graduate Admission Procedure An individual who desires consideration for admission to graduate studies and who possesses appropriate qualifications may request information and application materials from the Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762; ; The packet of information and forms sent in response to a request will contain the specific instructions for completing the forms and making an application for admission. An individual must have a valid admission status in the Office of Graduate Studies to secure enrollment. Admission to graduate study is limited to the pursuit of requirements for the degree and the field of study as specified in the student s application and statement of purpose. Ph.D. in AEE Admission Requirements: Applicant must meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with scores competitive with other applicants is required. A bachelor s, master s, or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university. At least a 3.00 grade point average on previous graduate coursework. Names and contact information of three individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation. These letters of recommendation will attest to the applicant s academic performance and potential ability to successfully complete graduate degree requirements. A Statement of Purpose (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant s purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans and career goals is required. For international, non-native speakers of English, TOEFL scores indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work (see MSU Graduate Bulletin for more information) are required. Special Notes: 1. Qualified applicants for the AEE graduate program are expected to have interests and goals that are consistent with the department s faculty expertise and course offerings. 2. Admission decisions are based on a holistic consideration of the applicant s credentials. 3. Based on educational background, the applicant may be required to take some remedial coursework before acceptance into the program. Graduate Record Examination The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by the Computer Based Testing Center, 180 Magruder Street (Basement of Rice Hall), Mail Stop 9747, Mississippi State, MS Appointments may be set up by calling or at For more information about the GRE, go to 16

20 ENTERING THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM Doctoral Competencies. All doctoral graduates should be able to perform competently as teachers, researchers, and providers of professional service/outreach when they finish the program. In addition to performing well in classes and successfully completing the comprehensive examination and dissertation, doctoral students will be evaluated annually on their progress toward the following: Teaching Able to develop lectures and/or appropriate material for an entire course; Able to develop appropriate course material including course syllabi, homework assignments, exams, etc; Able to understand and implement academic honesty policies and procedures, and fair and ethical treatment of students; Able to teach effectively. Research Able to conceptualize a research question and develop an appropriate research design; Able to collect data; Able to use statistical software independently to analyze data; Able to develop an analysis strategy and to interpret research data independently; Able to prepare and submit a manuscript for publication. Service Competent in providing service to the agricultural education profession; Professional service beyond membership in professional organizations. Orientation of New Students All new graduate students should report to the AEE Graduate Coordinator who will assist the student in planning the first semester of course work. All incoming graduate students will take AIS 8801 Graduate Professional Seminar, which serves as an orientation to the respective degree programs and faculty research in the unit. This course is offered every fall. Selection of Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee By midterm of the second regular semester of course work, the student, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator, must select a Graduate Advisory Committee, including a Major Professor who will serve as Chair of the Graduate Advisory Committee. The Major Professor must hold Level 1 Graduate Faculty Status with the Graduate School. The purpose of the Graduate Advisory Committee is to advise the student throughout his/her graduate program, especially in terms of professional development. This Committee must be established through the Committee Request Form (Appendix A), If changes in the composition of the committee are made, all parties must be informed beforehand. To change the composition of the Graduate Advisory Committee, a Request for Change of Committee Members Form (Appendix B) must be completed and approved. Both of these forms are available on the Office of the Graduate School s website. The Major Professor, in conjunction with other members of the Graduate Advisory Committee, will assist the student in planning the program of study. The Graduate Advisory Committee will consist of the Major Professor and at least two additional AEE faculty members. Students must also select a committee member outside of AEE to be on their Graduate Advisory Committee (making a total of 4 committee members). Students electing to complete a minor must have an additional graduate committee member representing the minor area (making a total of 5 committee members). Students should carefully consider the selection of their Major Professor. They will work closely with this individual for the duration of their program and it is important their research interests are congruent. 17

21 Program of Study Each student is required to submit a Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix C) to the AEE Graduate Coordinator for approval. This program of study must be made with the advice and concurrence of the student's Graduate Advisory Committee and the AEE Graduate Coordinator. This program of study is formally submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies when the written comprehensive examination is scheduled. A Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix C) may be secured from the Office of Graduate Studies website. Only courses appearing on the approved program of study will be counted toward fulfilling degree requirements. Changes in the program may be made using the Change to Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix D) available from the Office of Graduate Studies website, with the approval of the student's current Graduate Advisory Committee and the AEE Graduate Coordinator. 18

22 DEGREE REQUIREMENT FOR Ph.D. DEGREE AGRICULTURAL AND EXTENSION EDUCATION CONCENTRATION Degree: Doctor of Philosophy Major: Agricultural Science Concentration: Agricultural and Extension Education PROPOSED CURRICULUM OUTLINE REQUIRED HOURS AIS 8243 Administration and Supervision (F odd) 3 AIS 8413 Methods of Planned Change (S) 3 AIS 8513 Volunteer Development (F) 3 AIS 8593 Historical Foundations of AEE (S even) 3 AIS 8693 Philosophical Foundations of AEE (S odd) 3 AIS 8703 Evaluation of Programs (S) 3 AIS 8803 Research Methods (F) 3 EPY 8214 Advanced Educational and Psychological Statistics 1 (F, S, SS) 4 EPY 9213 Advanced Educational Analysis (F, S) 3 AIS 9583 Data Analysis (F) 3 AIS 9000 Research/Dissertation - (dissertation contract required each semester a student enrolls in AIS 9000 See Appendix N) Electives 9 TOTAL HOURS 60 1 Students who have not completed a statistics class should complete EPY 6214 before enrolling in EPY F=Fall Semester; S=Spring Semester; SS=Summer School Note: Courses may be substituted depending on a student s area of interest and course availability. Major Professor approval will be required in advance. Not more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit may be earned in Directed Individual Study (7000) courses. Students may transfer up to 9 semester hours of courses from other accredited degree programs. Students should be aware of the Graduate School policy on grades and degree completion. A graduate student cannot graduate with 1) a GPA lower than 3.00 for all courses attempted for graduate credit after admission to a particular degree program or 2) a grade of less than a C on the program of study or 3) more than 6 credit hours of C grades earned for all courses since admission to the program, including those outside the program of study, or 4) an I grade on his/her transcript (see the Bulletin of the Graduate School)

23 Required Activities for Completing the Ph.D. in AEE 1. Identify Major Professor. Schedule appointment with Major Professor. (Semester 1) 2. Check on program requirements with Major Professor. Begin course work. (Semester 1) 3. Identify members of the Graduate Advisory Committee. Complete and submit Committee Request Form (Appendix A) (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 4. Complete Graduate Program of Study Form (Appendix C). Submit (with all signatures) to Major Professor and AEE Graduate Coordinator. (Semester 2) 5. Program of Study approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. (Semester 2) 6. Continue course work; consider focus area(s) for dissertation. (Semester 2) 7. Apply to take written comprehensive exam. NOTE: Must be within six hours of completing all coursework. 8. Take written comprehensive examination. 9. After passing written comprehensive examination, take oral comprehensive examination. (If student fails either exam, he/she must wait four months before retaking.) 10. Complete Online Human Subjects Training via CITI Program or Responsible Conduct of Research Training (for those on federally-funded projects) and submit results to AEE Graduate Coordinator and Major Professor. (Semester 2) 11. Prepare dissertation proposal. 12. Schedule dissertation proposal meeting. 13. Dissertation proposal approved. 14. Complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application (with appropriate forms) for thesis research. 15. Obtain approval from IRB. 16. Complete Admission to Candidacy Form (Appendix H) and submit to Office of Graduate Studies. 17. After being admitted to candidacy, conduct research and write dissertation. 18. Schedule final oral defense of dissertation. Complete and submit Declaration of Examination/Defense form (Appendix E) with Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to defense date. NOTE: Defense must be held no less than a week before the first submission of the dissertation is due in the Library (check academic calendar on Office of Graduate Studies website). Give committee members a copy of dissertation at least 10 working days before the defense. 19. Have final oral defense of dissertation. (If student fails dissertation defense, he/she must wait four months before redefending.) 20. Make corrections; get all required signatures on approval page. 21. Submit dissertation for review to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Format Review ; make corrections, if needed. 22. Apply for graduation at beginning of last semester/term (check academic calendar on Office of Graduate Studies website). 23. Reproduce and distribute a bound copy of dissertation to the School of Human Sciences. Reproduce and distribute bound copies to Graduate Committee members (if requested). 24. Attend commencement. 20

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