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Paper Folio in Educational Leadership Studies

(6 credit hours)

Paper Folio in Educational Leadership Studies is a set of three scholarly papers on one topic related to a graduate student's program specialization but which must go beyond course content. The writing of the paper folio is normally undertaken after or near the completion of coursework. The purpose of a paper folio is to provide a graduate student with an opportunity to study and write about a topic of contemporary professional interest under the direction of a University Supervisor(s).

Course Goals

It is intended that the paper folio will provide an opportunity, on an individual basis and at an advanced level, for a graduate student:

  1. to synthesize, review, or analyze in order to give a scholarly inquiry of current theory, research, and practice; and
  2. to identify and to interpret the significance of trends, policies, and controversies relevant to the topic under study.

Evaluation

The paper folio would focus on at least three conceptually distinct aspects of the topic to be covered (for example, on the topic of intelligence: conceptual models, measurement, and individual differences could be investigated and reported on). The paper folio should represent an original contribution to knowledge, consistent with the contribution of papers (for example, journal articles and book chapters) published in refereed outlets. A variety of organizational formats are appropriate for paper folios. Students, in consultation with their University Supervisor(s), should decide the most appropriate format for the particular work. All papers 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 each paper would be twenty (20) pages or 5000 words for a total of sixty (60) pages or 15,000 words.

The paper folio is evaluated by the supervisor 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 Paper Folio

1. To arrange for the course and supervisor, 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 paper folio. Alternatively, a meeting may be arranged with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, to discuss options and potential supervisor. The ultimate responsibility to confirm a 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 to maintain contact with your 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 paper folio plan is one that is thought about, planned for, and decided upon by the graduate student and the University Supervisor(s).

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

Proposal Stage

3. A written preliminary proposal for the paper folio must be submitted by the graduate student to the University Supervisor(s) prior to the initiation of the paper folio. 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 choice of topic;
  • a statement of the purpose for and significance of each paper to be written on the topic under study;
  • an identification of the scope and significance of each paper.

The paper folio 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.

After discussions about and revisions to the proposal have been completed and deemed acceptable by the University Supervisor(s), a copy of the approved 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 paper folio ceteris paribus.

Ethical Considerations

4. 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 http://www.mun.ca/research/ethics/index.html.

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

5. Responsibility for the ongoing supervision and completion of the paper folio rests with both the graduate student and University Supervisor(s); nevertheless, the paper folio is 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 paper folio report.

6. Graduate students should be cognizant of the need for many drafts before a paper folio report is thorough and finessed enough to be considered finished. During the process of creating the product and paper folio 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 paper folio work normally within two weeks. A University Supervisor(s) has every right to require any reasonable rewrites of the paper folio 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

7. When the University Supervisor and the candidate agree that the paper folio 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

8. If it is determined that revisions or changes are required, the University Supervisor(s) 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.

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