CA700 Graduate Project

for F1P 2011

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CA 700 Graduate Project


F1P 2011 MCB


Dr. J. Aitken




Doctorate in Administration and Communication
Two Master's degrees--One in Speech, one in Curriculum & Leadership
Bachelor's degree in Communication Theory

Office Location

Copley 229, Parkville Campus

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Class Days


Class Time



You will want to have half of the coursework in your program complete.

Credit Hours



The Style Manual for the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership

APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


READ and KNOW American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Requirements for this program:


Expectations of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20.

Compliance checklist p. 20.

Complying With Ethical, Legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.

Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.

Self-plagiarism, pp. 16, 29, 170.


For additional information about ethical expectations, see

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
See the Project requirements in the Park University and Department Guidelines for the time that you began the MA program. 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
CA 700 Graduate Project: Capstone course for students who work individually with a graduate advisor to research an approved organizational issue. Offered in 8 and 16 week format. Variable: 1-3 hrs. may be repeated: must total 2-5 hrs. Permission Required. The project will be graded on a pass/fail basis and requiresan oral defense.

Educational Philosophy:

See Department Guidelines for Project Requirements.

Remember, the project is NOT a portfolio and NOT comprehensive exams. You still must take the comprehensive exams separately.

DEPT. & PARK RULES. The student has the responsibility of finding out and following departmental and Park University rules, including all application requirements. You will find those in the graduate catalog. Your advisor cannot over-ride departmental or university rules. The department and university requirements supersede faculty requirements.

GRADUATE RECORD EXAM (GRE).  Park University requires that you complete the GRE and submit your scores to the Graduate School.  You cannot graduate from the program without completing this step. See

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS. The department or university requires separate comprehensive exams of students who complete a project.  These need to be PASSED at least 8 weeks prior to graduation.  When you are ready to take the exam, you contact Dr. Cohn to schedule the test.  You will have 24 hours to write.  You can use any books or materials, but you canNOT use help from any person. 

APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION.  Go to the Park website, find and complete the online form (Application for Graduation), and pay fees for graduation.
August Completion or December Commencement Deadline: April 1

May Commencement Deadline: November 1

PROJECT INSTEAD OF THESIS? The project option can work well for working students who have no plans to go on for a doctoral degree.

TOPIC. Select a practical topic you love, which you have been studying in the program so far. The topic must relate to organizational communication and leadership.

PROJECT REQUIRES SIGNIFICANT NEW WORK IN RESEARCH-BASED COMMUNICATION STUDIES. The project needs to contain significant new work, but may include synthesizing work for previous courses. Ideally, you reflect on your program so that you will actually use what you learned in a professional context. In other words, the project may be a pragmatic one, which you can use in your professional life.


BE PRACTICAL. Because you are coming into this project having completed the majority of courses in the program, you should have a strong background in communication and leadership research-based theories.
COMMITTEE. You will present your project and defend your project, perhaps with other enrolled students during a meeting set up by the department.

You may want to talk with your advisor about your project, do advance planning, and receive oral approval IN ADVANCE. You will want to have a clear idea of the nature of your project BEFORE enrolling in the final term so you can complete the project well before the end of the one 8-week term.

Class Assessment:

Grading is based on submission of quality work in the course dropbox, meeting deadlines, and faculty approval.

Term One: The project proposal is due week 5.  You need to send your revised project proposal to your committee by Monday of week 7.  

Term Two: The final project is due to your advisor week 1 and you need to defend by week 4 of your final term.

Weekly attendance is based on your activity in the eCollege course and direct communication with your professor.

Departmental Requirements

Consult the Graduate Catalog and Graduate School Procedures. These requirements are the ones that must be followed.

Supplemental help is available for the project:


Put this information together and send it to your committee as soon as possible.

Title Page (page 1):

Title is strictly factual regarding what the project is about.

Your Name

A Project Proposal in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, Communication and Leadership

Park University

Abstract: The purpose of this project is to _________. The importance of this project is __________. The procedures will be _____________.

Proposal Page (page 2-3):

·        Problem.

·        What is the question you will answer?

·        Operational definitions of independent and dependent variables and any other key terms.

·        Importance.

·        Justification of the work, including purpose and rationale.

·        Procedures.

·        Exactly what you plan to do and how you will do it.

·        Timetable of when each stage will be complete.

Review of Literature (pages 3-?).

Reference List [Sources actually cited in the review of literature is the final page(s)].


Add the results and discussion sections. Update your references.


100% of the project grade is based on the advisor's evaluation of the proposal (term 1) project (final term of enrollment) the student submits by week 5 and revises according to committee requirements before and during the defense. 

IMPORTANT GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENT The final project must be completed and signed off by the committee by Monday of week 4 (final term of enrollment) .

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Make sure you have completed everything you need--and have your committee's agreement with what you're doing--IN ADVANCE of the final term of enrollment. 

Being late will cost you money!  If you cannot complete your project by your last term, you will have to pay for enrolling for one hour each semester until you finish the project.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
If you conduct research on human subjects, you will have to receive go through IRB review prior to conducting any research.  In this case, please reconsider following the thesis option instead of the project.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

You need to have your committe selected so they can approve your proposal by the end of term 1.
Your comprehensive exams need to be passed prior to your last term of enrollment.
You need to submit your final project about week 1 or 2 of your final term, defend and have your committee sign off by Monday of week 4 of your final term.  
These are Graduate School requirements!

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21
Be sure to go through the IRB PRIOR to conducting any research, if you will be doing research on human subjects.


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Make sure you cite the sources of all information.

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:



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Last Updated:7/20/2011 1:16:40 PM