The Master's Degree Comprehensive Evaluation

The comprehensive evaluation is administered in the last semester of the student’s coursework to assess the student’s level of knowledge gained throughout the Master’s Degree program. Students must be enrolled in course work during the semester in which the evaluation is taken. High grades in courses do not necessarily guarantee success on the comprehensive evaluation. There are two options for the comprehensive evaluation – a written exam or an approved research paper.


The student is required to complete and submit an application the last semester of coursework to register for the comprehensive evaluation at https://educfmk.educ.ttu.edu/SSL/Applications/mcompapp/. At this time, please indicate your option of a written exam or an approved paper option. Students have an option of writing the evaluation by hand or by computer; the preferred mode for taking the evaluation must be specified on the application. Computer software will be Microsoft Word. The use of spell-check and grammar check programs are permissible when taking the exam by computer. A dictionary and thesaurus are provided for those hand-writing the exam. If you choose a research paper as your comprehensive evaluation option, then you must receive prior approval from your advisor regarding your chosen topic.


The four-hour comprehensive exam contains two essay questions. One question is on a general topic in special education and the other question is on a topic in the student’s specialty area. Students will be given two or more possible questions from which to choose for each part of the evaluation. Four hours are scheduled for the evaluation, with two hours given to each question. If requested by the student, the assigned advisor will provide suggestions on major topical areas in which to prepare for the evaluation. The student's advisor is not responsible for the student's preparation. An online comprehensive evaluation review is available to students who want further information. See below for other options for the comprehensive evaluation (Comprehensive Exam Paper and Action Research Project).


Any student with a disability who may require special arrangements in order to take the comprehensive evaluation for the Master of Education Degree, should register with Student Disability Services at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentaffairs/sds/default.asp. For more information, please call or go by their office to find out what forms they require you fill out to verify proof of a disability. The Student Disability Services Office is located in Room 214 of West Hall and their phone number is (806)742-2405 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (806)742-2405      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Special arrangements will be provided for students with disabilities and upon notification on the online application and to the College of Education Graduate Education and Research Office, Room 105. The student should also discuss individual needs with his/her advisor to arrange the needed accommodations.


Two faculty members in special education will assess the student’s evaluation independently using the evaluation scale in Attachment 4. The evaluators will determine the level of effectiveness that the student has demonstrated in responding to the components of the questions and how the papers are supported with current references from professional literature. The responses will then be rated on a pass/fail basis. If the evaluators disagree on whether a response merits a pass, another full-time special education faculty member will provide an independent assessment. The faculty may request an oral evaluation when additional information is needed to determine if the student passed or failed.


If the student fails the evaluation, the student’s advisor will provide suggestions for remediation. The student may retake the evaluation, one time, after a lapse of four months.


The approved research paper is due the same date as the comprehensive evaluation exam. The student must register online, as stated above, for the Master’s comprehensive evaluation specifying the research paper option.

 

Comprehensive Evaluation Options for Special Education

 

Option 1: The Four-hour Written Comprehensive Exam


1. This option is a four-hour long written and proctored comprehensive exam


2. File with the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies to take the Master’s Comprehensive Exam.


3. Download the exam study packet from the special education website.


4. If further guidance is needed, check with your advisor.

 

For more information refer to the rubric located in Attachment 4.


Option 2: Comprehensive Exam Paper


1. Prior to your final semester, choose a topic of interest regarding special education. Consult your advisor regarding the topic for approval. Fill out the Comprehensive Exam Paper Proposal Form (See Attachment 5) and submit it to your advisor for approval. The paper must be submitted by the date of the comprehensive evaluation each semester. If work is not satisfactory or is not turned in by the deadline, the student will have to re-enroll for the following semester and meet those specific deadlines. Students have two trials for successful completion of the comprehensive exam paper for their M.Ed.


2. Write a comprehensive exam paper over the body of research you have collected. Include a review of literature, a concluding section over practical implications of the research for the field of special education and your classroom, and a complete reference page with an annotated bibliography. The exam paper should be approximately 20 to 25 pages in length, have a minimum of 20 sources, and adhere to APA guidelines. Materials should be presented electronically to your advisor and to the College of Education Graduate Education and Research Department to stephenie.mcdaniel@ttu.edu. These materials will be available for public view on the special education website for professional development of other educators. For more information refer to the rubric located in Attachment 6.


Option 3: Action Research Project


1. In the long semester preceding your final semester of course work, choose a topic of interest regarding special education and research in your own classroom setting. Meet with your advisor regarding the topic. Draw up an action plan. It must be noted that work must be submitted by the dates of the comprehensive examinations each semester. If work is not satisfactory or is not turned in by the deadline, the student will have to re-enroll for the following semester and meet those specific deadlines. Students have two trials for successful completion for their M.Ed.


2. File the appropriate Human Subject paper work with the Office of Research Services and with your advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to fill out the paper work and submit it to your advisor.


3. The Action Research Project will include:
a. Review of literature
b. Focus of the project
c. Significance of the project
d. Research questions
e. Method
f. Results
g. Application of the results within your classroom
h. Implications for the field of special education


The action research project should be approximately 30 to 40 pages in length and adhere to APA guidelines. Materials should be presented electronically to your advisor and to the College of Education and Research Department to stephenie.mcdaniel@ttu.edu. These materials will be available for public view on the special education website for professional development of other educators. For more information, refer to the rubric located in Attachment 7.