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Capstone Experience

Master of Education in Leadership, Teaching, and Learning

The Master of Education in Leadership, Teaching, and Learning capstone experience will prepare candidates to promote the success of their schools by providing teachers with outstanding problem-solving skills. Candidates will complete a capstone experience that relates to their area of emphasis.

HAL & ESL Endorsements

If a student is earning a High Ability Learner (HAL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement, they will complete our EDU 695 capstone experience. Through this experience, candidates will complete a substantial research synthesis project. Students will synthesize the knowledge, skills, and attitudes developed throughout their program of study. The project will demonstrate competence in conducting an extensive research review, writing professionally, and applying theory to future practice. 

National Board Certification Preparation

If a student is completing an area of emphasis in National Board Certification Preparation, they will take EDU 698: Capstone Presentation. The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will complete the requirements for components one through four. The MTC will write a final overall reflection including a summary of the portfolio entries and an explanation of the MTC’s growth through the process, including: Why did the MTC decide to apply for NBPTS certification? What did the MTC learn from the process? How has this changed the MTC’s teaching? What is different about the MTC’s classroom and why should others pursue/support (or not) NB Certification? The MTC will identify and explain how the Five Core Propositions are inserted in the MTC’s responses. The MTC will present and engage in a professional discussion with a Midland faculty panel.

Principal Endorsement

Candidates earning their Principal endorsement will take EDU 699: School Improvement Action Research Project/Capstone. Each student will select an action research topic to investigate relevant to her/his school or classroom. This topic is one that the student has a particular interest in researching because it addresses a need of the school or her/his teaching situation. The action research capstone project does involve teachers’ own classrooms and students. In most cases, studies are implemented in the teachers’ classrooms so they can design the investigations specifically to meet the needs of the students they instruct. 

Each student conducts an extensive eight-week investigation that requires them to collect evidence to answer an educational question of interest. Before implementing the investigation, the student researches their topic to examine up-to-date literature and studies that discuss the pros and cons of the intervention or program they have chosen to explore. The student describes this information in a written review of the literature.  

Additionally, the student designs a plan that includes evidence to be collected during the study’s implementation to answer the action research question. This evidence may consist of the following data collection tools: 

  • Surveys/questionnaires
  • Assessments
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Field notes
  • Journals

Findings are described and summarized along with the literature review in a capstone report, which is presented to class colleagues and a panel of university instructors.

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