Within all graduate programs in education, action research is the required "capstone" expereince. At the MA level in Special Education, students must do an action research project based on an issue of importance within their classroom. In many instances, these are case studies of particular students who are of particular interest to the teacher. Therefore, it is an individual project. At the MA level in Educational Leadership, students must submit their "Final Project" as either a personal or collaborative action research paper. Since the focus of this program is on preparing school level leadership, the action research project must reflect an issue for the school that is of particular interest beyond a single classroom. Finally, in our ED.D. program in Educational Leadership, students must complete an Action Research Dissertation. Since this program is designed to prepare district-level educational leaders, the focus of the project must be an issue that impacts more than one school within a school system.
In additrion to the written manuscript, each candidate must participate in an oral defense of the action research document. In all programs, students are carefully educated in the action research model that is consistent through all of our education programs at the graduate level. A similar assessment tool is utilized for all action research projects.