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Project in Educational Leadership Studies

(6 credit hours)

Project in Educational Leadership Studies is normally taken at the completion of the course work and is intended to facilitate the conceptualization and writing of a project under the direction of a supervisor. A project is a theoretically based product intended for possible use in educational settings.

Course Goals

The purpose of the creation of a project is to provide a graduate student with an opportunity to translate theoretical knowledge into practice by:

  1. recognizing and articulating an educational need to which current and relevant theoretical and pedagogical knowledge can be applied;
  2. developing and justifying an alternative approach to address the educational need based on theoretical and pedagogical knowledge; and
  3. creating a product that could be used to implement this alternative approach.


The project report would consist of the product plus the articulated need, theoretical basis, justification of the approach used, and a complete description of the product. The project report must meet the requirements of academic rigor and be written and presented in accord with the most recent edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

The average length of a project report would be sixty (60) pages or 15,000 words (this may vary given the nature of the product, such as an articulated policy, a CD-ROM, a computer program, a developed unit of work, a kit of learning resources, a set of manipulatives, a multimodal text, photographs, an audio tape, a set of teaching cards, software, or a video). Regardless of the form of the product, there must be a written project report. In some cases, where a product is unsuitable for inclusion with the report, a demonstration of the product may be required.

The project is evaluated by the University Supervisor(s) and one other faculty member or qualified expert in the field. The student must achieve a passing grade, using a pass/pass with distinction/fail system of evaluation from both the University Supervisor(s) and the second evaluator.

Arranging the Project

1. To arrange for the University Supervisor(s), a graduate student has several options. The student may arrange a meeting with a Faculty member with expertise in the area of study to inquire about the prospect of working with that individual and to negotiate an interesting plan for a project. Alternatively, a meeting may be arranged with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, to discuss options and potential supervisor. The ultimate responsibility to confirm an appropriate supervisor is that of the student. It is a responsibility to be undertaken when a student feels ready to do so.

2. When a graduate student and a faculty member have agreed to work together, each has a responsibility to the other. Failure by the student to maintain contact with the University Supervisor(s) for more than a three-month period may terminate the agreement. No student should approach a faculty member with a proposal in hand and expect carte blanche approval. No faculty member should have a student's proposal for more than two weeks without an informed response. The best project plan is one that is thought about, planned for, and decided upon by the graduate student, the University Supervisor(s), and in due course, the Field supervisor (if the project necessitates working with a field-based person).

3. If the project requires the student to work in the field (school, hospital, clinic, or agency), the student may have to consider the following:

  • permission to have access to a school, hospital, clinic, or agency must be requested well in advance in order to allow time for approval;
  • some school boards stipulate three deadlines: September 15 for a fall placement; January 15 for a winter placement; and March 15 for a spring placement. A copy of the project proposal may be requested for examination and approval; and
  • if a school board, school, clinic, or agency has concerns about the proposal, these may be expressed to the student and revisions for ethical and professional reasons may be necessary.

Please Note: All arrangements for supervision must be approved by the Associate Dean who will consult with the Supervisor(s) and arrange for registration in the course.

Proposal Stage

4. A written preliminary proposal for the project must be submitted by the graduate student to the University Supervisor(s) prior to the initiation of the project. Students should submit only the best work possible in a thorough and professional manner even when it is only a draft. The proposal shall include the following:

  • a rationale for the project;
  • objectives of the project; and
  • components of the project.

The project proposal shall be contextualized within current pedagogical and theoretical literature and relevant to the graduate student's program specialization (citations, references, and other relevant inclusions shall be in accord with the most recent APA Guidelines).

5. After discussions about and revisions to the proposal have been completed and deemed acceptable by the University Supervisor(s), a copy of the approved project proposal should be filed with the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs.

Please Note: The more thorough and clear your proposal, the more thorough and clear your project.

Ethical Considerations

6. The fundamental principles of ethics, integrity, and professionalism must pertain, regardless of the route taken for completion of the requirements of a Master's program.

The University must abide by the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans in the conduct of research and scholarship. Any research or scholarship involving human subjects must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) prior to the conduct of the work. A copy of the guidelines for research involving human subjects may be obtained from the MUN Office of Research or

Please note: In the case of a project, it may not be necessary to seek ethics approval unless the objectives or processes of the project require investigation involving human subjects for the project report.

Students have a duty to maintain integrity and professionalism in all their work. Under the doctrine of fair use, students must acknowledge the work of others; paraphrase accurately to ensure the intent of the work(s) of others; represent the work of others in an honest and thorough manner; and be vigilant and guard against plagiarism.

Please Note: Ethics approval is a statement that the work proposed meets the guidelines established. It is not an approval of methodology, procedures, or practices proposed.

Completion of the Project

7. Responsibility for the ongoing supervision and completion of the project rests with both the graduate student and University Supervisor(s); nevertheless, the project and report are the student's work.

The University Supervisor(s) accepts responsibility to advise and guide in the selection and refinement of the topic; the scope and significance of topic to be developed; the analysis and synthesis of the research on the topic; the generalizations and specifics of the topic; the coherence and consistency of the ideas; the design and development of the product; and the preparation of the project report.

8. Graduate students should be cognizant of the need for many drafts before a project report is thorough and finessed enough to be considered finished. During the process of creating the product and project report, students should make appointments to meet with University Supervisor(s) and provide, at least two weeks in advance of an appointment, a copy of the work to be read or examined. Students have every right to expect an informed response to draft sections of their ongoing project work normally within two weeks. A supervisor has every right to require any reasonable rewrites of the project within an agreed upon time frame; to require it to be produced/written in accord with APA Guidelines; and to require it to be consistent with the guidelines for submission outlined in this syllabus.

Evaluation Process

9. When the University Supervisor and the candidate agree that the project is completed, the University Supervisor will select and contact the second evaluator, who together shall assign a grad of Pass (PAS) or Fail (FAL).

Submission of the Final Report

10. If it is determined that revisions or changes are required, the University Supervisor will oversee the satisfactory completion of the changes. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to deliver a copy of the final paper folio report to the Office of the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.