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Masters Degree Program with a Research Option

1. Formative Assessment

The ASHA has established a Knowledge and Skills Assessment (KASA) requirement. KASA objectives have been developed for each course. Students receive both a grade and an evaluation of KASA objectives for each course. A passing grade in the course does not necessarily indicate achievement of all KASA objectives. Therefore, a remediation plan will be developed to address those objectives not achieved. In order to graduate, students must achieve all KASA objectives and complete any required remediation(s).

2. Summative Assessment

The research option requires a student to conduct empirical research on a topic relevant to communication sciences and disorders or dysphagia. Selection of the research option implies that completion of the requirements here listed is in lieu of the comprehensive examination. The chosen topic may involve basic or clinically oriented research. The precise topic addressed will be developed by the student and guided by an advisor. Students who opt to pursue the research track, in lieu of the Comprehensive Examination, must observe the following procedures and requirements:

(a) Candidacy of the Student Researcher

The student researcher must have successfully completed foundation courses and maintained a GPA of no lower than 3.2 by the time of proposal submission (in the second year recommended).

(b) Research Committee

The student researcher must secure three faculty members as Student Research Committee members for the proposed project. The student will identify and approach a primary advisor. The primary advisor of the student researcher serves as the committee chair and must have a research-based doctorate. The student researcher selects the other two committee members under the advisement of the chair. Committee members may include non-tenure track faculty and faculty from other institutions. It is recommended that students consider the expertise of their committee members in light of the research area. Committee members may be changed by the student at anytime. In this case, the student researcher must approach the committee chair and the departmental chair.

(c) Proposal Defense

The student researcher must submit a proposal in print to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the proposal defense. The research proposal includes full introduction and methodology sections. Committee members are expected to have fully read and responded to the proposal by the time of defense; however, it is the student researcher's responsibility to coordinate among the committee members to set up a date for the proposal defense. Proposal defense is closed to the committee. The student researcher may pass, pass with revision, or fail the defense. All committee members, as well as the student researcher, will sign off on the proposal decision form. If the first attempt fails, the student researcher may re-submit a revised proposal within four weeks of the first attempt. A second oral defense will be conducted in the same way as described above. If the second attempt fails, the proposal is considered to be unsuccessful. The committee dissolves subsequently.

(d) Research Progress

The student researcher must complete the research project in three to four semesters after passing the oral defense of the proposal. The chair is responsible for every stage of the project. The other committee members may make suggestions related to their expertise. It is the chair's decision, however, whether suggestions are adopted or not. The student may make changes to the proposed methodology only if they are in formal writing and discussed in a committee meeting. The committee approves the proposal by signing the document. Their signatures imply full approval of the proposal. A pilot study is at the advisor and the student researcher's discretion. The committee should convene at least on a semesterly basis until the completion of the project, including summer. The student is responsible for informing all members on the progress of the project.

(e) Thesis Defense

The student researcher must submit the completed thesis in print to all committee members four weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. The student researcher is expected to give an oral presentation at the defense and the presentation should include all sections of the research project. The oral presentation is open to the department. Thesis defense ensues and should be focused primarily on the results and discussion sections of the research project. Thesis defense is closed to the committee. The student researcher may pass, pass with revision, or fail the defense. All committee members, the student researcher, and the department chair, will sign off on the thesis decision form. If the first attempt fails, the student researcher may re-submit a revised thesis within four weeks from the first attempt. A second oral defense will be conducted as described above. The thesis is considered to be unsuccessful after the second attempt fails. The committee dissolves subsequently and the student will take comprehensive examinations to graduate from the program. A student will not be eligible for graduation until the thesis is deposited in the LIU library by the deadline established by the University. It is the student's responsibility for contacting the library and meeting the deadlines.

The student researcher is considered to have fulfilled the requirements of the Student Research Option upon successful completion of the above procedures. Students are encouraged to submit their thesis for consideration of presentation at professional conferences and/or publication in professional journals; however, presentation or publication is not required for graduation. Student researchers who successfully defend their projects and present at state or national level will graduate with “honors”.