Capstone for Master of Arts in the Practice of Teaching

This course results in the completion of an advisor-approved research, application or curriculum project related to the student's professional practice. Students may complete ED 6790 on an individual basis or in seminar format.

Project must reflect a synthesis of skills and knowledge from concentration core course work, but at the same time represent a practical application product which can be completed in a one-semester time frame. Students will identify and define the nature and scope of the capstone project prior to enrollment in this course and enroll when completion of the project is planned. Prerequisites are completion of the program core courses, program concentration and advisor permission.

The capstone project takes place after the student has completed at least 27 hours in the program. The project can take any number of forms. For example, it might be a curriculum design and implementation project, a pedagogical study, or a theoretical or philosophical analysis of a particular problem or issue. The project may include a substantial written component, but it may also take alternative forms. The project may, for example, involve development of hyper-media curriculum materials, or a pedagogical approach culminating in an interactive performance assessment process. This flexibility allows the capstone to provide programmatic support for a variety of professional purposes, including assistance to teachers pursuing National Board Certification.

The final product should be clearly presented in an appropriate form, suitable for inclusion in a professional portfolio or other permanent record. Projects are expected to be relevant to the student's professional goals, incorporate significant content from a number of courses in the student's program and to exhibit a minimum 120 hours of effort on the student's part. Completed projects must demonstrate that the student:

  • Commands a thorough understanding of the area(s) of professional literature in which the project is situated, as evidenced by a thorough review of literature appropriate to the topic.
  • Links and draws upon central strands of coursework in the student's program in the conception and execution of the project.
  • Uses research and inquiry methods appropriate to the project.
  • Expresses the nature, means and intent of the project with clarity.
  • Makes appropriate use of citations, references and other editorial conventions according to APA or other professionally appropriate publication style in all written components of the project.

Students must receive advisor approval of a proposed project prior to registering for the capstone. It is expected that students seeking permission to register are knowledgeable about much of the relevant literature regarding their proposed project at that time. A brief account of the proposed project's focus, including reference to the principal sources of knowledge informing it, will be submitted for advisor approval at the beginning of the semester preceding the one in which registration for the capstone is sought. The core research course, as well as particular courses determined by faculty, will incorporate specific features which are clearly noted on the syllabi of all courses. These courses are designed to facilitate student progress toward the goal of having a suitable project proposal in hand by the end of the program.

All advisors will be board-appointed faculty in the program. The number and nature of meetings that advisors have with students completing the capstone is a matter of faculty discretion. In all cases, however, a detailed draft of the completed project must be submitted to the advisor by all registered students at least three weeks before the end of the semester in which credit is being sought. Upon completion, a copy of the completed product resulting from each capstone project will be housed in the College of Education and Human Development so that students and other interested parties may view and consult them.

Capstone project application