Writing a MAP Study Plan

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Writing a study plan for the MA Program at Prescott College

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Writing a MAP Study Plan

  1. 1. Prescott College Master of Arts Program Priscilla Stuckey, PhD Humanities Writing a Study Plan in AE, ED, ES, HU
  2. 2. Welcome! We suggest you read completely through this slideshow one time before beginning work on your study plan. Writing a Study Plan
  3. 3. As you prepare your study plan, here are some things to keep in mind. <ul><li>You are responsible for your own educational path. </li></ul><ul><li>The MAP study plan is your road map supporting your individualized program of study. </li></ul><ul><li>What you write here will become the first draft of your study plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon you will be matched with a Graduate Advisor, who will provide feedback on your plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Your study plan is flexible and will be refined as you move forward in your program. </li></ul>The MAP Study Plan
  4. 4. A study plan is made up of 3 components. <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  5. 5. Or perhaps they should be arranged like this… <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  6. 6. 2 legs, theory and practicum, supporting the thesis. <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  7. 7. The study plan as a whole will add up to at least 40 credit hours… <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis + = 40 minimum
  8. 8. With these credit requirements … <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum 6-15 Thesis 12
  9. 9. Leaving the rest of the credits for theory. <ul><li>Theory 13-22 </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  10. 10. If you bring a strong theoretical background to your program and you need more practical experience in your field, the balance of your credit hours might look like this. <ul><li>Theory 13-15 </li></ul>Practicum 12-15 Thesis 12 = 40 min.
  11. 11. The rest of this slideshow is based on the common scenario of building theoretical knowledge while completing only 6 hours of practicum. <ul><li>Theory 22 </li></ul>Practicum 6 Thesis 12 = 40 min.
  12. 12. Typically a program of study begins with theory … <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  13. 13. But it may begin with practicum and theory together. <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  14. 14. In any case, both theory and practicum feed into and support the thesis… <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  15. 15. Making the thesis a central feature of the program. Thesis
  16. 16. You may not yet know your exact thesis question … Thesis ? What do I want to find out
  17. 17. But you do know your topic and interests. Thesis Sustainable business K-12 Education Wilderness guide training Feminist theory Water policy
  18. 18. How do you shape your interests . . . Thesis Sustainable business K-12 Education Wilderness guide training Feminist theory Water policy
  19. 19. Into a coherent plan of study? <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  20. 20. Remember, your Graduate Advisor will provide guidance. What you are writing here is a first draft to clarify your own thinking. <ul><li>Graduate Advisor </li></ul>You Study Plan Theory Practicum Thesis
  21. 21. Let’s look at the components of a study plan one by one. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Practicum 6+ hrs Thesis 12+ hrs
  22. 22. A good study plan balances breadth and depth in a theoretical field… <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Breadth Depth
  23. 23. Broad enough to cover the topic or field, deep enough to say something meaningful in a thesis. (Remember, theory is intended to prepare you to write your thesis.) <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Breadth Depth Thesis
  24. 24. Within theory, 3 credit hours (min.) are devoted to research methods in your field. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 3 hrs research methods
  25. 25. Also, 3 credit hours are devoted to a cohort foundations course called Modes of Inquiry, taken during your first semester. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 3 research methods 3 Modes of Inquiry: cohort foundations course
  26. 26. Together they add up to 4 credits because the Modes of Inquiry course satisfies 2 out of 3 required credits in research methods. (You will schedule 1 more hour of research methods later in your program.) <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 1 additional research methods 3 Modes of Inquiry: cohort foundations course - 2 research methods
  27. 27. This leaves about 18 hours to fill with theory-based coursework in your field. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis ~18 credits in theory coursework
  28. 28. As you think about writing your courses, two questions might occur to you. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>How do I write good courses? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I assign credit hours? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Let’s take the easy one first. For now, assign each course 3 credit hours. (You can always change it later.) <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>How do I assign credit hours? </li></ul>
  30. 30. A 3-credit course translates roughly into 20-25 actual hours of work per week for 3 weeks. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>How do I assign credit hours? </li></ul>
  31. 31. To fill 18 theory credit hours (after 4 required credits), you will want to plan about 6 theory courses. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 1. Foundations in … (3 hrs) 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  32. 32. How do you write good courses? <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 1. Foundations in … (3 hrs) 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  33. 33. Remember the balance of breadth and depth. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis Breadth Depth
  34. 34. Think about the social and ecological impacts of your studies and your work, and build this awareness throughout your courses. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis Social and ecological literacies
  35. 35. What are social and ecological literacies? From the Prescott College mission statement: “ Students are encouraged to think critically and act ethically with sensitivity to both the human community and the biosphere. . . .” For more on social and ecological literacies, see this page in the handbook: http://www. prescott . edu/students/map/handbook/process/SEL .html
  36. 36. To choose appropriate courses, do some online research. Here are three ideas; we’ll look at each. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Existing accredited programs in your field </li></ul><ul><li>Google Scholar: scholar.google.com </li></ul><ul><li>Syllabi </li></ul>
  37. 37. Find existing accredited M.A. programs in your topic or field. Note the mix of courses recommended in their curricula. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Existing accredited programs in your field </li></ul>
  38. 38. Do appropriate keyword searches in Google Scholar to locate books and articles related to your topic. (At orientation you will gain access to several comprehensive databases of scholarly research. For now, use Google Scholar.) <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Google Scholar: scholar.google.com </li></ul>
  39. 39. Find relevant syllabi from standard graduate courses in your field or topic. Notice which texts are recommended repeatedly. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Syllabi </li></ul>
  40. 40. Six courses are not very many into which to build both breadth and depth. Plan carefully. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis 1. Foundations in … (3 hrs) 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
  41. 41. For each course, write a paragraph of course description—what the course will cover and what you hope to learn. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Foundations in … (3 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>In this course, I will … </li></ul>
  42. 42. Add 2 or 3 major texts you suggest using in the course. Remember, your Graduate Advisor will give input, and your reading list will expand. For now, list a few you think would be appropriate. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Foundations in Feminist Thought (3 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>In this course, I will … </li></ul><ul><li>Texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Hawkesworth, M. E. Feminist Inquiry. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2006. </li></ul>
  43. 43. List the texts in the scholarly style used in your field (for example, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, APA, CSE, SAA, etc.). <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Foundations in Feminist Thought (3 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>In this course, the student will … </li></ul><ul><li>Texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Hawkesworth, M. E. Feminist Inquiry. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2006. </li></ul>
  44. 44. To find the scholarly style used in your field, look in journals in your field. This example is from Chicago Manual of Style, often used in humanities. <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Foundations in Feminist Thought (3 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>In this course, the student will … </li></ul><ul><li>Texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Hawkesworth, M. E. Feminist Inquiry. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2006. </li></ul>
  45. 45. In most fields, the majority of your texts should be published by academic presses. (Again, your Graduate Advisor will provide further guidance on sources in your field.) <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis <ul><li>Foundations in Feminist Thought (3 hrs) </li></ul><ul><li>In this course, the student will … </li></ul><ul><li>Texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Hawkesworth, M. E. Feminist Inquiry. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2006. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Now that you’ve added all these components, let’s move on… <ul><li>Theory ~22 hrs </li></ul>Thesis Modes of Inquiry 1 more research methods credit hour Social & ecological literacies ~6 theory content courses
  47. 47. … to the practicum. The practicum is where you put into practice the theory you are learning. Practicum 6+ hrs
  48. 48. Praxis, the application of theory, also shapes theory. Your practicum will affect how you think about your thesis topic. Practicum 6+ hrs Thesis
  49. 49. As you think about a practicum, here are some questions to consider. Practicum 6+ hrs Thesis <ul><li>What kind of work would I like to do after my degree? </li></ul><ul><li>What practicum will help prepare me for that work? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of praxis will help me refine my thinking about my thesis topic? </li></ul>
  50. 50. Write a brief paragraph proposing an idea or two for a practicum. Practicum 6+ hrs Thesis I propose an internship at a nonprofit working with …
  51. 51. Finally we come to the thesis. <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis 12+ hrs
  52. 52. Write a brief paragraph explaining your current thinking on your thesis topic. Assume that your ideas will develop and be refined as you move forward in your program. <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis 12+ hrs For my thesis, I plan to …
  53. 53. When you have completed a draft of your study plan, ask yourself: Did I incorporate social and ecological literacies throughout my program of study? <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis Social & Ecological Literacies
  54. 54. Now your study plan draft is ready to be shared with your Graduate Advisor. Congratulations! <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis
  55. 55. After consulting with your Graduate Advisor, you can decide in what order to arrange your courses. Each semester, you will prepare a study plan for that semester. Entering students separate their study plan into two parts. <ul><li>Study Plan for First Semester </li></ul>Study Plan for Graduate Study as a Whole
  56. 56. Here are some further guidelines as you consider how to arrange your courses. <ul><li>A full-time semester is 12-15 credits. </li></ul><ul><li>First-semester students may register for a maximum of 12 credits. </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time enrollment is 6-11 credits. </li></ul><ul><li>You must register for at least 6 credits each semester. </li></ul>
  57. 57. For sample study plans, see this page in the MAP handbook: http: //prescott . edu/students/map/handbook/process/StudyPlanSamples .html
  58. 58. Your study plan is a work in progress. You can expect to fine-tune it as you move forward in your program. Enjoy! <ul><li>Theory </li></ul>Practicum Thesis MAP Study Plan

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