Syllabus for HLS-498
HOMELAND SECURITY CAPSTONE
Homeland Security Capstone (HLS-498) provides engagement in a student-centered, content-related learning experience that serves as a summary and synthesis of courses in a student's undergraduate academic career. Students select an area of interest related to their academic studies and engage in an activity leading to a research project or applied project reflective of comprehensive knowledge gained in undergraduate studies and demonstrate their knowledge of the outcomes of the Bachelor of Arts degree. The course culminates with a capstone paper.
Note: This is a course unlike any other you have taken during your academic career. In this course you will have a great deal of latitude over the direction you wish to take when developing a capstone project. Your course mentor is the facilitator, who will direct you towards your goal. You have the opportunity to follow your passion to explore and create a product or learn something that will add to the body of knowledge in your chosen field.
When you have successfully completed this course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
You will find documents created specifically for this course in the Course Documents area of the course Web site.
Note: If these documents or other instructions in the course contain information that differs from that found in the readings in assigned texts or other sources, please remember to follow the course documents and instructions rather than the texts or other resources.
Homeland Security Capstone is a 3-credit online course, consisting of six activity modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in six graded online discussions; take the ETS Proficiency Profile (formerly known as the MAPP Test); and complete six written assignments designed to help you incrementally prepare and submit a paper on your research project, creative project, or applied project.
The course is divided into six activity modules, each of which which contain the study assignments, discussion assignments, and written assignments. Study assignments consist primarily of readings in the course textbook(s) and in course documents and supplemental research.
For the course's six activity modules, go to the Activity Modules area of the course Web site. (See also the Course Calendar.)
Module titles are listed below.
One or more of the assignments in this course may involve original research. Research on persons other than yourself may require approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Thomas Edison State University prior to beginning your research. Examples of research types that may need IRB review are questionnaires, surveys, passive observation of individuals, interviews, and experimental procedures. Research involving vulnerable populations will always need IRB review. An IRB review is designed to protect research subjects from potential harm.
The following links fully explain the purpose of the Institutional Research Board as well as how to determine if your research requires IRB review. If you are in doubt, always ask for guidance from the University.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.
One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.
Homeland Security Capstone requires you to participate in six online discussion forums. In addition you are required to participate in an ungraded "Introductions" forum in Module 1.
Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted activity and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.
For additional information on online discussions, see Online Discussions in the Online Student Handbook.
The Discussion Forum Grading Rubric.
You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules. Follow the directions given for each written assignment in the Activity Modules area of the course Web site.
For some techniques about how to write sentences with impact, read the article Working With Words.
Assignments must be prepared and submitted electronically. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.
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.
For help regarding preparing and submitting activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.
Depending on your area of interest in your field, you may choose to produce either a Research Project or an Applied Project.
Questions and Inquiries: You will select a gap in knowledge in your discipline created by an area that may not have been previously addressed in course content or may have served as inspiration for greater knowledge on the subject matter, idea, or concept. Through systematic inquiry, you will research, collect, organize, and produce an analysis of the information from both primary and secondary sources.
Your research project will conclude with a 25-page (minimum) scholarly report in Standard Academic English and with appropriate APA documentation, which successfully fills your gap in knowledge on the selected topic.
Question/Answer: If you are a student in business, education, social work, or public administration you have the option of selecting a problem within the context of your respective field of study and relating it to an organization, community, or institution.
Your attempts to answer a real problem will represent your ability to synthesize and apply concepts learned through course content.
Your applied project will conclude with a 25-page (minimum) scholarly report, appropriately documented in APA format and written in Standard Academic English, that provides answers to the project question.
Although it is NOT a requirement for the Research and Applied Projects you may wish to prepare either a PowerPoint presentation or a video presentation about your work to share with your mentor and classmates.
As noted above, each type of project requires that you write a paper 25 pages in length which you must submit to your mentor.
The Final Project Evaluation Rubric may also help you as you prepare your paper.
For help regarding preparing and submitting activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.
This course requires that you complete an assessment called the ETS® Proficiency Profile. This test, offered through Educational Testing Service (ETS), measures general academic knowledge and skills in the core areas of reading, mathematics, writing, and critical thinking. It is a widely accepted standardized assessment tool that will provide the University with important data to assess its overall quality and effectiveness in meeting the general education needs of our students. It serves as a valuable tool in helping us measure progress in achieving established learning goals and evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.
The ETS Proficiency Profile is administered in a non-proctored, online format. It should take you no longer than 45 minutes to complete. The confidentiality of your responses and scores will be protected. Your individual score will not be recorded, but you will receive a certain percentage of your overall grade (see Syllabus for details) for completing the assessment. Consult the course Calendar for the due dates for taking this test.
Please use the following link that explains the steps involved in taking the exam, including the system checks that must be completed prior to taking the exam: ETS Proficiency Exam Instructions. Please read all instructions prior to taking the exam and allow extra time to complete the system checks.
To receive credit for completing the ETS Proficiency Profile, post a comment about the test and your experience taking it to the ETS Proficiency Profile discussion forum. In your posting, indicate the date on which you took and completed the test. For students taking a Guided Study version of the course, you may be asked to submit this information as an assignment instead of posting it to a discussion forum. Your mentor will verify your participation and will give you credit for it. Upon completing the test, you will receive a confirmation email from ETS. Retain this email for your records as verification that you completed the test.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
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:
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.).
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
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 www.tesu.edu.
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, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
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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