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PRST 5998/6998/7998 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PRST 5998/6998/7998 - Professional Project

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program requires every student to complete a Professional Project as the culminating experience in earning the degree. Please carefully read each section of this syllabus and follow its guidelines.

Course Outcomes:

The Professional Project is the capstone course for the Master of Professional Studies Degree, serving as the integrative culmination of your program of study. The Professional Project should be a substantial piece of independent research or a significant professional project that is logically consistent with the content of your program of study. Your work should demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of a body of professional literature related to a specific topic. The Project should grow out of your program of study and should demonstrate your ability to incorporate the knowledge from the MPS courses you have taken. As your culminating experience, the Professional Project should demonstrate the your use of the knowledge gained in the program.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the Master of Professional Studies program or departmental approval.

Course Topics:

1. Identify the topic of your Professional Project and explain the purpose of the project. What are the research questions you are trying to answer or the problems you are trying to address through your project?

2. Explain the reasoning process by which you selected the topic. Why did you select this topic for your project?

3. Explain how the topic of your Professional Project is related to your MPS Program of Study, including an explanation of how the project makes use of the knowledge you gained from your MPS courses. The Professional Project should be the logical culmination of what you have studied in the MPS program.

4. Each Project must follow a plan of structured inquiry or research strategy. Explain in detail the strategy/process you will follow in conducting and completing your Professional Project. What method(s) will you follow?

5. All Professional Projects must have a formal, written, research component. State what the written research component of your project will be (e.g., research paper, policy analysis/recommendations, etc.).

7. The citations and bibliography of the Professional Project must follow a standard style guide, the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association.

8. Provide a sample bibliography that is indicative of the resources you will use in your research.

9. Provide a provisional outline of your Professional Project.

10. If your project is done in conjunction with a field professional setting, have your field supervisor review and sign the proposal, indicating the location’s permission for you to conduct this project at that professional setting.

11. Submit the proposal to the MPS Program Director for approval.

Specific Course Requirements:

Your plans for the Professional Project are described in detail in the Special Project Proposal that must be approved by the MPS Program Director before a student is issued a permit to register for the Professional Project class. Use your computer to respond to each of the items of the Project Proposal listed below. Type each item; then type your response under it. If you are doing your project in conjunction with a field location, you must have the signed permission of the field supervisor along with the field supervisor’s contact information. Submit the Professional Project Proposal to the MPS office for review according to the following timeline prior to semester you plan to enroll: Fall Semester by July 1; Spring Semester by December 1; Summer Term by May 1.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

There are no tests. Instead you will complete a series of milestones in the design, preparation and execution of your Professional Project. See Assignments below.

Grading Procedures:

Below are assignments that you must complete in the preparation of your project. Each assignment will earn you up to the following points.

Proposal: 5 percent

Outline: 5 percent

First Draft: 10 percent

Final Draft: 20 percent

Presentation/Defense: 10 percent

Final Corrected, Bound Copy: 50 percent

Grading Scale:

All grading of your work will follow the grading rubric located in the content section of this class.

90-100 A

80-89 B

70-79 C

60-69 D

50-59 F

Assignments and Projects:

The project involves the following steps:

1) Complete the Professional Project Proposal.

2) Submit Proposal for Human Subjects Research Review (if necessary).

3) Gather Resources and Conduct Research.

4) Submit introduction, detailed outline and reference list for the professional project.

5) Submit First Draft of Project Paper.

6) Submit Final Draft of Project Paper.

7) Present/defend Professional Project.

8) Submit final, corrected, bound copy of Professional Project.

Class Participation:

Once the semester begins you will have only two full months to complete the research and write the project paper reporting your literature review, findings and conclusions. Three weeks into the semester you will submit a detailed outline of your project paper with a list of bibliographical resources you are using. Two months into the semester you will submit a first draft of your professional project paper. Your Project Class Instructor will give you feedback. You must incorporate the Instructor's recommendations and complete the final draft of your project ten days before your presentation/defense of the professional project.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017