APPROVED: DSC 12/08/03; DTF 3/04/04
APPROVED REVISIONS: DSC 3/10/14; DTF 11/10/14
The comprehensive examination is administered under the oversight of the Doctoral Program Director
The comprehensive examination is intended to assess the student's knowledge in the areas of educational leadership, foundations, research, and a cognate area. In addition, it is intended to measure the student's ability to think and express ideas clearly.
The nature and content of the comprehensive examinations have been revised as well as its expectations. Here are the revised objectives comprehensive examinations are meant to achieve: The purpose of the comprehensive examination should be to:
• demonstrate synthesis across ideas, content areas, courses;
• demonstrate specialization of knowledge within a particular domain;
• demonstrate in-depth competency within program areas (foundations, leadership, research, cognate)
• integrate content from program courses with professional/experiential knowledge
• support initial work toward the dissertation (in terms of assembling the literature base and/or articulating a research design)
The written examination is administered once a year in the fall semester at the beginning of the fourth year of the cohort.
The comprehensive examination consists of two parts. The first is a written segment and the second is an oral portion anticipated to take no more than two hours. The written examination consists of questions designed to assess mastery of course work in the student's program of study and the student's ability to integrate knowledge from all work in the program. The oral examination provides opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of doctoral level course content as well as to elaborate on written responses. Students must successfully complete both before advancing to candidacy.
The written portion will have two levels. Level one will be the sit-in examinations on the Leadership Strand. Students will have a maximum of six hours for one day in which to complete the written examination. Students are expected to complete the examination by microcomputer/word processing. Detailed procedures will be made available to students by the Program Director.
The second level will be the take home portion covering research, cognate and foundations. It will be administered through Blackboard. Students will answer only one question each from the three categories. That is to say ONE QUESTION in research either quantitative or qualitative, ONE QUESTION in the cognate and ONE QUESTION in foundations. Students will be required to sign in into Blackboard for the course that will be specifically set up for the comprehensive examinations by the Program Director and go to the assignment section to retrieve their questions. Students should make sure that they thoroughly edit their own work and ensure all in-text citations are acknowledged in their reference section. They should then turn in their work into Safe Assign as a draft to check for plagiarism, make the necessary corrections, and submit again into Safe Assign as the final submission. Familiarity with the process of using the Safe Assign feature on Blackboard is a requirement to satisfactorily complete this component of the written comprehensive examinations.
Students must schedule the oral examination with the Comprehensive Examinations Committee within two weeks after receiving official notification of their performance on the written examination. The Chair of the Comprehensive Examinations Committee will notify the Doctoral Program Director of the scheduled oral examination date. The oral examination may concern written examination questions, related topics, educational issues or course work and may include questions related to the student's proposed research topic.