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Comprehensive Examination for M.Ed. in Educational Leadership

All candidates for the M.Ed. or C.A.E.S. in Education Leadership must pass a comprehensive exam near the end of their program.   The examination may be taken in the final semester of study or in the prior semester, so long as most of the required and foundations courses have been completed or are in process.  Students must enroll in ED888 (no credit, no tuition cost) during the semester in which they take the comprehensive. No student may take the exam unless they have an approved program of study on file prior to the examination.

Candidates for the degree with endorsement for Massachusetts licensure take an oral examination.  Candidates for the degree without endorsement for licensure take a written examination.  The goal of the examination is to demonstrate knowledge of educational leadership in a substantive manner that integrates the coursework and experiences associated with the degree program. The knowledge base for the examination is, in general, the "core" and "foundations" courses, but students are also expected to reflect the other work undertaken toward the degree. Students are expected to integrate scholarship from these courses and other elective courses in their graduate studies.   There are two versions of the examination depending upon the whether the student is seeking licensure.

 

A.    Comprehensive examination for students completing the degree with licensure.

 

All candidates for licensure must pass an oral comprehensive exam at the end of their program.  The M.Ed./CAES licensure comprehensive exam consists of an oral presentation and defense of the student’s practicum portfolio and leadership platform as required in ED622 Practicum in School Principalship during the spring semester of their final year. 

 

            In the oral comprehensive examination for students seeking licensure, students will be asked to respond to the following prompts:

How was this experience informed by the theory and research in your coursework?

How does the portfolio represent your capacity to meet the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ licensure standards?

 

Prior to the oral comprehensive deadline and by no later than the deadline for the comprehensive exam in the semester, the student must submit one copy of the ED622 Portfolio to the Seminar faculty member and one copy to the student’s Supervisor in the Practicum.

 

The portfolio and comprehensive oral examination is assessed by two examiners: an educational leadership faculty member and the mentor practitioner who supervised the student's practicum experience.  The examiners will choose elements of the student's portfolio that represent all four leadership standards to determine if the student is eligible for endorsement for principal licensure. Each student's oral presentation is rated through a three point scale (i.e. Exceptional Mastery, Mastery, Not Acceptable).  Both examiners must rate the student at the mastery level or above in order for the student to pass.  In the event of divergent ratings, consensus must be reached between the two examiners.  If the candidate fails to achieve mastery, an additional faculty member will examine the candidate.

 

The oral exam will be assessed according to a rubric developed by the program faculty.  Students can obtain the rubric in the semester in which they register for the exam. 

 

B.     Comprehensive examination for students completing the degree without licensure.

 

Students seeking a degree without licensure are asked to respond to the following prompts:

            Drawing across your experiences in coursework, readings, assignments, and field experiences during your program of study, please address the following:

            1.         How has this program influenced your perspectives and understanding on the role of educational institutions in society and the role of leadership in educational institutions?

                        For students enrolled in the Dual Degree Program in Law and Education, how has this program influenced your perspectives and understanding of the relationship between the legal and educational systems?

            2.         What readings contribute to your perspective?  How? 

            3.         Please identify two artifacts (e.g., papers, projects, exams, blogs) that you generated in your coursework illuminate your perspectives and understanding?  Please attach each artifact in an appendix to your examination paper.

 

Each student's examination is blind graded and is rated as either Exceptional Mastery, Mastery, or Not Acceptable.  Both examiners must rate the student at the mastery level or above in order for the student to pass.  In the event of divergent ratings, consensus must be reached between the two examiners.  If the candidate fails to achieve mastery, an additional faculty member will read the submitted exam.

 

The exam will be assessed according to a rubric developed by the program faculty.  Students can obtain the rubric in the semester in which they register for the exam. 

You are required to:

  • Abide by Boston College’s Academic Integrity guidelines.  Do not consult with anyone or discuss the exam while engaged in its preparation.  All work submitted must be authored solely by you. Cases of academic dishonesty will be handled and penalties applied accordingly. http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/polisci/integrity.html

·         Each response must be a maximum of  2,500 words.  Artifacts in attached appendices should not exceed two and are not included in the word count for the exam.  Note the word count at the bottom right of the last page of the response to the exam prompts.

  • A reference list of at least ten references must be included in each examination; it does not count toward the word count.

·         The essays should follow the APA style and manuscript guidelines. (Legal material can be cited in the format acceptable for Professor Pullin’s classes.)  APA guidelines include double-spacing between all lines of the manuscript, uniform margins of 1 inch at the top, bottom, right, and left of every page, numbered pages and no more than 25 lines of text on an 8 1/2 X11 inch page. 

  • Submit one copy of your exam with a cover page indicating your name and email address and two blind copies (no cover page and your name should not appear anywhere in the text).    
  • Staple all copies submitted.
  • Completed exams (in hard copy) are due in Campion 135 no later than 10:00AM on the due date for that semester (see above).  No late exams will be accepted.  Students who submit exams after the deadline will be asked to re-take the exam at another time.
  • Concerns about the exam should be directed to Professor Lauri Johnson, Program Coordinator.