Written Comprehensive Examination
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Core Courses Philosophy
The purpose of the core courses is to provide students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical, ethical, political, economic, social and organizational bases of educational institutions at all levels.
- The Core Courses make up the common foundation of the doctoral programs.
- The expectation is that students will be able to demonstrate:
- The ability to apply the broad principles from the core areas in a comprehensive fashion to specific educational situations and problems.
- The ability to evaluate the organizational, political, economic, ethical, and social ramifications of a situation and to identify the resulting implications for leadership practice.
- The ability to apply, in an integrated fashion, the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in each of the core areas to specific contexts in order to meet the needs of all students
The five core areas are:
- Organizational Design and Behavior
- Educational Politics and Policy
- Educational Economics and Finance Policy
- Social and Cultural Contexts of Education
- Ethics and Values in Education
Implementation Process and Strategies
Assessment of students' comprehensive ability to apply theories and concepts from the core areas to address educational problems in an integrated fashion.
- Successfully complete all five core courses
- Complete 30 hours of the course work, including core courses and six hours of research including Systems of Inquiry.
- Students who have met the above requirements may request a Problem Statement from the Graduate Coordinator, using the "Request to complete Comprehensive Examination" Form.
- Student will have 30 days to turn in his/her solution paper.
- Student will submit 3 copies of the paper to the Graduate Coordinator. The student's name or social security number should not be anywhere in the paper. The paper should be no longer than 30 pages of double spaced text, font no smaller than 10 and margins no smaller than 1 inch. The paper should not be bound in any manner other than stapled or with a binder clip. If you have questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Hortensia Palomares.
- The Graduate Coordinator will file a copy and distribute the other two copies to two faculty readers.
Note: Each program area will generate Problem Statements to create a Bank of Problems.
Students may pick up questions any time; however, exams taken during the summer will not be graded until the fall semester.
Readers should focus on the student's ability to apply the relevant core concepts. Particular attention should be given to the student's ability to identify the organizational, political, economic, ethical, and social implications that apply to leadership practice, and to propose creative solutions using knowledge gained from the core courses and related readings. The process will be as follows:
- Two readers grade student's responses.
(Two Pass scores are required to successfully complete the exam)
- When reader's scores are split, a third reader will be asked to read and grade the response.
(If the majority of the readers' scores are a "No Pass," all readers will meet with the student to address concerns and issues. Based on the student's oral responses, the readers may assign a final score and/or require rework or retake. It will be the student's responsibility to schedule such a meeting.)
Failed Comprehensive Exam
a) When two scores are “No Pass,” the student will complete the process as a second attempt. As soon as the student is notified about failing the exam, he/she may consult with his/her faculty advisor before beginning the second attempt.
b) If a student does not submit the comprehensive exam by the due date (after the 30 days have lapsed), this will be counted as a failed attempt; and therefore, he or she will complete the process as a second attempt.
c) If the student fails the second attempt, s/he will not be allowed to proceed to the next stage, and must consult with his/her faculty advisor regarding future steps, including an appeal to the GSC.
Organization: Proposed solution could include, but not be limited to, the following:
a) Background information (presentation of problem in the organizational context)
b) Identification of critical ramifications and how these affect the organization's function
c) Proposal to solve the problem addressing all relevant ramifications and using conceptual understandings gained across the core areas.
d) Timelines, personnel involved, financial resources
e) Anticipated outcomes and evaluation considerations
Content: Student must demonstrate evidence of:
a) Understanding of the scope and magnitude of the problem.
b) Identification of the organizational, political, economic, ethical, and social ramifications of the problem.
c) Comprehensive ability to address all components of a problem.
d) Use of appropriate conceptual/theoretical frameworks.e) Use of recent and relevant literature.
Use of Critical Thinking Skills: Student must demonstrate evidence of:
a) Ability to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize specific situations.
b) Ability to recognize and address the needs of all involved.
c) Ability to present a creative solution to a specific problem or issue.d) Ability to address possible and future consequences.
Quality of presentation and writing: Student must demonstrate evidence of:
a) Clear presentation and defense of arguments related to the problem.
b) Good syntax and grammar.
c) Precision and clarity of answer.
d) Logic and organization of answer.
e) Minimal use of jargon and clichés.