Syllabus for NUC-495



Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology Capstone is an in-depth, student-centered activity that requires the integration of theory and practical experience.  Students will apply the skills and techniques they have learned to a specific project.  The project will identify a real-world nuclear engineering technical problem, issue, event, or case study in which the student will conduct research by exploring, evaluating, and theorizing a solution in a final paper.  On successful completion of the course, students will have met the learning outcomes of the Nuclear Energy Engineering Technical degree program.  


After completing this course, you will be able to:



There are no textbooks required for this course.

Web links to recommended readings are included in each Module. You should review and search the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) site for selecting your final project topics. You can also search journal articles through the research databases in the myEdison portal for your final project. Find the My Resources block within the portal and click on the Educational tab.

Reference Material


Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology Capstone is a four-credit online course, consisting of the six modules. Modules includes an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities.  Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module: 1

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 8

Course objectives covered in this module: 3, 4, 5

Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

Course objectives covered in this module: 6

Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in four graded discussion forums and to complete four written assignments that include a problem statement, paper outline, paper progress reports, oral paper presentation, and the final paper.

For your benefit in successfully completing the NUC-495 Capstone course keep the following key points in mind – Student Outcomes and Course Calendar.

  1. The final Capstone Project Paper will be graded by how well you fulfill each of the 13 Student Outcomes (SOs) denoted in the Course Rubric.  See the NUC-495 Rubric linked from the Syllabus and throughout the course materials.  It is imperative that you construct your Project Paper from the outset with this goal in mind.  The capstone project research effort needs to encompass each element of the criteria down to the sub-SO level where given, and the written report/research paper needs to reflect unambiguous statements regarding student demonstration of achievement and mastery of the NEET SOs or sub-elements.  To effectively demonstrate this linkage, you should list the NUC-495 Student Outcomes, including the sub-elements, as an Appendix of the final paper, and then note using superscripts where each SO and sub-element is addressed within the body of the paper.  Examples:  use (SO 4.b) or (SO 13.a) in the superscript font to indicate where those sub-elements of the Student Outcomes are covered in the paper.  In most cases it will be obvious within the context of the report where to reference the associated outcome.  However, in some cases it may seem odd to include text in the body of the paper to address a specific SO, examples and suggestions follow.  The bottom line is that ALL SOs and sub-elements must be referenced in the final Paper.

  1. It is imperative that each student must complete all assignments of the course, including Discussion Forums and Written Assignments.  If an individual does not submit an assignment, they will not receive a passing grade for the course.  Completion of all assignments is necessary for mentors to evaluate your performance in all Student Outcomes and sub-elements designated for this course.

  1. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.  The Course Calendar provides dates to start each module and complete each assignment.  It is important to complete each assignment before or by the due date to attain full credit.  To stay current with all your assignments, I highly recommend that you maintain a copy of the Course Calendar with the week-by-week dates on it. Submitting assignments late adversely impacts your grades.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in four graded discussion forums. There are also two ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1 and teaming forum in Module 2.

Deadlines for posting discussion threads on the class Discussion Board are given in the Course Calendar.

For posting guidelines and additional help with discussion board assignments please see the Online Student Handbook located within the General Information section of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four written assignments. The written assignments are a series of steps to complete your final project paper.


Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

See the Online Student Handbook for additional help regarding preparing and submitting assignments located within the General Information section of the course website.

Final Group Paper

You are required to complete a final project as a group* for this capstone course. The ability to work effective in a team is one of the program outcomes that each student should achieve. This course requires students form a group and work collaboratively to select a final project topic and problem, research and identify the resources and references, draft the paper, present the paper, and finalize and submit the final paper as a group. The Groups space in this course provides you an online space to discuss, share, critique, and elaborate among your group members. It is also an online space for you to demonstrate your group work together to complete your group final paper.  

Your final project includes five phases: select a problem statement, prepare a paper outline with bibliography,  complete two progress reports, post an oral presentation as a video clip, and submit the final paper. You are also required to post comments on other students' oral presentations on discussion forums.

As part of your final paper grade, you are also required to rate your team members' efforts in completing your final research paper. This will be an anonymous peer evaluation that requires you to download and complete a group evaluation form. The mentor will average your peers' ratings which counts 30% of your individual final paper grade. The mentor's grading of your team's final paper counts 70% of your individual final paper grade.

The final paper should be 25-30 page long excluding references. Click to review Sample Final Project Paper

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Consult your Course Calendar for due dates.

* Note:  In case there are only three students or less in the class, each individual student would form a "group" (a one-member group). That is, each student would work on the final project himself or herself.


Your grade in the course will be determined using the NEET 495 Rubric.  Ensure that you review each element of the Rubric to understand the several criteria and details that will be used to assess your final grade.  Click on the NEET 495 Rubric link to obtain a copy for your review.

Key elements of the course that will be used to determine your final grade include:

Problem statement


Paper Outline


Online discussions (4)


Paper presentation & discussion


Final project


Overall course evaluation will be based on the NEET 495 rubric which is based on TESC and ABET guidelines and approved Student Outcomes of the TESC NEET Program.  All 13 Student Outcomes described in the rubric will be used to evaluate each student.  Each student will be evaluated on each Student Outcome based on the quality, quantity, participation, and responses they employ to satisfy the specific course objectives and assignments.


Student Outcome # 1 - Demonstrate a fundamental mastery of the knowledge, techniques, skills and modern tools required for nuclear facility operations and/or related fields.


Student Outcome # 2 - Demonstrate an ability to understand and apply current concepts in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology to engineering technology/nuclear facility problems using proper application of principles and applied procedures or methodologies.

Student Outcome # 3 - Demonstrate the ability to conduct standard tests and measurements in the lab or in the field; similarly, to conduct, analyze, and interpret experiments; and apply results to resolve technical challenges and improve processes.

Student Outcome # 4 - Demonstrate the ability to design or redesign systems, components or processes that are used for efficient and safe operation of a nuclear facility.

Student Outcome # 5 - Demonstrate effective leadership and participation as a member of a technical team.

Student Outcome # 6 - Demonstrate a capability to solve technical problems through proper identification, research, and systematic analysis of the issue.

Student Outcome # 7 - Demonstrate proficiency in oral, written, and graphical communications in a technical and non-technical setting utilizing standard English.


Student Outcome # 8 - Demonstrate an ability to identify and use appropriate technical literature, documents and procedures.

Student Outcome # 9 - Demonstrate the need for and commitment to engage in self-directed continuing professional development and life-long learning in one’s discipline.


Student Outcome # 10 - Demonstrate professional, ethical, and social responsibilities within the nuclear energy field, while recognizing differences due to culture and diversity.

Student Outcome # 11 - Demonstrate recognition of the impacts of nuclear technology solutions in an expanding societal and global context.

Student Outcome # 12 - Demonstrate a commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement in professional activities.


Student Outcome # 13 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the Federal, State, and Local regulations, standards, and rules applying to operations and safety in the nuclear energy field.


Based on your demonstrated accomplishments and score for each Student Outcome, your results will be entered into the NUC 495 Course Rubric.  At the end of the course, your percentage score will be calculated which compares your accomplishments with the total possible points for each outcome in the Rubric.  

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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