Contents this Page
Aitken as Advisor
Application for Graduation -
Communicating with Your Committee
Learning Outcome -
For Dr. Aitken's graduate students, the Project
is a flexible learning experience, here are examples of previous
student projects I advised:
Content and business plan for a communication consulting
Improved communication for parents of college
students brochure and webpage.
Created a training manual for summer
Provided a course plan for a college, public
Training presentation for Kouzes and Posner
LPI materials at place of work.
Aitken's advisees need to complete a full project proposal with a
review of literature of about 25 scholarly sources in
communication and submit the proposal to a faculty committee
during term 1
Make sure you
complete all admission and graduation requirements before beginning
Make sure you have taken care of
all admission and graduation requirements. Admission requirements
were due within 60 days of beginning the program.
the Graduate Catalog and Graduate School Procedures. These
requirements are the ones that must be followed.
DEPT. & PARK RULES. The student has the responsibility of
finding out and following departmental and Park University rules.
You will find those in the graduate catalog. I cannot
over-ride departmental or university rules. This page contains
my--Dr. Aitken's--guidelines for the project, but be aware that
the department and university requirements supersede my
PROJECT INSTEAD OF PROJECT? The project is about creating a
product, while the project is about publishing an original work. I recommend the
project or project option
for working students who do not plan to go on for a doctoral degree
in communication and leadership or higher education.
TOPIC. Select a practical topic you love, which you have
been studying in the program so far. The topic must relate to
organizational communication and leadership.
CREDIT HOURS. You cannot enroll yourself because you need
my permission to sign up
for project hours. I recommend you have completed 15 hours of the
graduate program or 1/2 way through the program before signing up
for the project (preferably after CA 516 and 517). I did have
a student who knew what he wanted to do when he began the program,
so he enrolled in the project his first term.
If you are on a 2-year plan for the degree, sign up for your first
project hours 6 months to 1 year in advance of your expected
projects take 5 project hours. If you want to do a mini
project (2 hours), I suggest enrolling in the Leadership Reflections
course (CA 798).
SIGNIFICANT NEW WORK. The project needs
to contain significant new work, but may include synthesizing
professional or academic work. The purpose is to help you reflect on your
program so that you will actually use what you learned in a
professional context. In other words, the project should be an
extremely pragmatic one, which you can use in your professional
Follow the guidelines in APA for a research proposal and using academic writing
What kind of sources should I cite and
reference in my proposal?
Use scholarly (peer reviewed)
COMMUNICATION scholarship. Only use Ebsco's COMMUNICATION AND MASS MEDIA
COMPLETE to find sources and books used in the courses of this program.
When you prepare each answer, select
journals with the word COMMUNICATION in the journal title.
Notice the example reference list above and how "Communication" is in the
Do NOT use articles from
education, psychology, business programs, MBA programs, or other fields outside
of this program. You have not studied the theories and research of
fields outside our area of expertise. Show you are conducting a project in
the field of this program and your degree.
WHAT IS AN
ACCEPTABLE PROJECT PROPOSAL FOR TERM 1?
page numbers are examples and will vary depending on how
long each section is.
__ Page 1 is APA style title page.
__ Page 2 is labeled Abstract and contains a brief APA
style abstract (p. 26, empirical study). No indent for
the first paragraph.
__ Page 3 has the paper title at the top and contains
information for an introduction, importance of study,
and ONE question to guide the project.
__ Page 4-14 is the Review of Literature with a
subheading for each key idea or theoretical thread.
You need to use parenthetical citations to cite at least
25 scholarly sources in communication/
__ Page 15-17 is the Method, which may be quite brief.
Explain exactly what you will do in your project,
including who you might contact for help, what you will
__ Page 18-20 is titled as follows: References. Make
sure everything complies with APA exactly. Use
Communication and Mass Media Complete (Ebsco) to find
sources. You can use work from previous courses,
such as CA 500, CA 516, CA 517. Use communication
scholarly sources (the word "communication" will be in
the journal title). Everything in the reference
list needs a parenthetical citation in the paper and
everything cited in the paper needs to be in the
__ Page 21 is the Appendix (e.g., Documents to be used
in the project).
read this information carefully and talk to me about any questions.
Please call me (Joan Aitken) every couple weeks by phone.
Term 1 week 6: Your final project proposal is due,
which you need to send to your committee for approval by week 8.
You will receive a letter grade if you completed this proposal and
emailed it to your committee for their approval. No
negotiation. If you are not going to be able to meet this
deadline, please drop the course and consider a different option or
ABSOLUTE FINAL DEADLINE: Final term (of
graduation) week 1 the final draft needs to be emailed to your
committee, and you need schedule your defense for week 3. Do
NOT enroll for your final credit hour unless you know your final
draft is already ready to submit the first week of the term!
The Project has to meet the same deadline as
the Thesis. Therefore, the Defense should take place by week 3
at the latest, of your final term
when you graduate.
make sure you pass your oral defense, then he or she will notify the Graduate School
and Registrar that you have passed your capstone so you can
Graduate School requires that you successfully defend your Project
at least 4 weeks prior to graduation!
If you miss this deadline, the Graduate School will not allow you
to walk in the graduation ceremony.
by week 4 or your final term,
you have not received a copy of your advisor's notification to the
Registrar and Graduate School saying that you passed the project
defense, contact your advisor immediately!
The final project needs to be submitted to the faculty
committee week one of your last
term before graduation. Faculty expect a minimum of two weeks
to read the project before the oral defense (week 3).
INCOMPLETES. I do not believe in
giving incompletes. If you do not complete the proposal by the
end of your first term enrolled, expect the grade of "F." If
you do not have your project complete by your last term when you
want to graduate, DO NOT ENROLL! The project must be sent to
your faculty committee by the start of your final term.
August Completion or
Commencement: April 1
For May Graduation Commencement: November 1
CA 700 Graduate Project -
Please talk with me about
receive oral approval IN ADVANCE so we both have a clear idea of the nature of your
project BEFORE enrolling in the course.
TO YOUR COMMITTEE
TERM 1: Your first term, you
must send a FULL project proposal to
your committee members and receive
their approval for you to proceed.
If you fail to do so, you will
receive a grade of "F" in the
course. No extensions.
TERM 1 TO GRADUATION: Send your committee
updates and project versions along the
way. Whether or not you enroll
each term, send an update each term
beginning from the first enrolled
term to the last enrolled term). Make sure you attach the
project file with each communication with
Begin the file name with your last name
and include the version at the end, such
Only use a single, .doc or .txt file,
with the appropriate extension at
the end of the file name.
Make sure the version changes each time,
including when I add comments.
In color highlights, indicate
additions and changes in your draft
when you send updates. Include
an explanation in an email and
attach the electronic file.
You might say something like this:
is an update on my project entitled 'A Business
Plan for Communication Consulting.' The
main difference is new content in pages 40-48.
In other sections, you will see added sections
highlighted in blue. I will assume that I
should continue to proceed unless I receive
feedback from you about needed changes, within
the next two weeks. Thank you for your
Timeline will vary according
to your overall schedule and
the type of project.
Below are general
NOT sign up for this course unless you have completed a major paper
on the topic and received my agreement to be your advisor in advance
Set your own
looking at your
date and figuring time
Receive advisor approval
on the idea.
Revise your proposal
from CA 516 and CA 517
so you have a formal
Revise you review of
literature (cite and
reference about 30-50
After receiving advisor
suggestions, edit, then
send your proposal to
WEEK 6 TERM
will not be
able to do
to be on
If I don't
week 8, you
an "F" in
Week 8 of
your proposal to
Continue work on
and assignments from
other courses whenever
WEEK 6 DEADLINE:
Send your committee an
update of your progress.
Term 4 or next to last term.
I have expertise in Communication Studies, including
research in interpersonal, educational, organizational, public,
Internet, media, and intercultural communication. Leadership studies
can be a broad field that fits into communication studies.
My expectations for students selecting the project option:
Do a project if you want a practical
product you can use in the future.
Select a narrow and do-able project.
Do not switch to a different
advisor or the reflection option if
the going gets tough. Make
sure you want to do the project
option before you enroll.
Submit a completed proposal by week
6 of your first term or drop the
I do not give the grade of
"incomplete" for any reason.
If you cannot meet the deadline of
completing a full project proposal
with about 25 scholarly sources in
communication and submitting it to a
faculty committee during term 1,
that suggests a procrastination
problem that makes this capstone
with me a poor choice. Please
select a different advisor or
different capstone option.
Do not enroll in your last hour
until your work is done and you are
ready to graduate.
Set a clear timetable and follow it.
Be responsible for yourself and meet
the deadlines without prodding.
Send an update of your work to your
committee member each term, whether
you are enrolled in the course or
Only a project
clearly relevant to human communication will be acceptable.
You cannot use a project that
requires using the IRB process
in this course.
I prefer phone conversations to
don't hear from me in a couple days,
contact me again.
If you don't have my
home phone number, just ask.
Feel free to call me to brainstorm,
discuss problems, or any time I can
I am committed to prompt responses.
I want to help you finish a high
quality project as efficiently as
Work continuously through the
program toward this goal and commit to
graduation on time!
You need to have the final draft of
your project complete BEFORE
enrolling in the final term before
graduation. I can't say this
enough, have back at least
one of the five credit hours for
enrollment in your final term so
that you don't have to pay extra.
your project done.
The main dangers of the
project choice are student procrastination and failure to
have your advisor and all committee members on board with the
project. Make sure your faculty committee approves
your proposal BEFORE you begin work. If you don't hear
back via email, call them and discuss your proposal.
will want to make sure you begin your project promptly and stay on a
time schedule, while working with your advisor along the way.
Once you enroll for you first term, it doesn't matter to me whether
you enroll again until your last term--we will work together each
students enroll for 3 hours term 1, then six months later enroll in
2 hours the final term, although we continue to work together in
between the enrollment terms.
students enroll for one hour for 5 terms.
Do whatever works for your finances or financial
make sure you
save at least one hour for the term you plan.
Demonstrate an understanding of
the centrality of communication in all aspects of personal and
Demonstrate your ability of
students to read and conduct research and apply the principles to your own
Demonstrate that you exchanged
ideas with other students and organizational leaders concerning the
requirements to achieve excellence.
Demonstrate an historical
overview of leadership perspectives from the 1940s to the present.
Demonstrate an awareness of the
communication styles and values of different cultures and how these factors
influence business in a global environment.
Demonstrate that you can combine
theoretical knowledge and practical skills to resolve organizational issues
and improve decision-making.
Demonstrate that you have
developed a framework for ethical conduct in contemporary organizations.
Please meet with me regularly by via phone.
Send frequent email updates.
Term 1: 100% of the project/project grade is based on the
advisor's evaluation of the proposal submitted by week 6 and
revised and sent to the faculty committee by Monday of week 8.
For an A grade, this must be a full project proposal with a review
of literature containing at least 25 cited and referenced
communication scholarly articles you have read and reviewed.
If there is no full proposal sent to the committee during term one,
you will receive a grade of "F." Please drop the course to
avoid a failing grade.
Other terms: 100% of the project grade is based on the
advisor and committee decision on meeting deadlines and the quality of the
work submitted by the term due date.
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets
Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)