Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
3.6.2 The institution structures its graduate curricula (1) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (2) to ensure ongoing student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. (Graduate curriculum)
 
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance

Narrative:  

Troy University is in compliance of this Comprehensive Standard.

The stated purpose of the Graduate School provides the underlying tenets for the general design of graduate programs at Troy University. The structure of the graduate programs by types of courses will also be presented to demonstrate compliance with this requirement. Finally, examples of individual programs expected outcomes and individual core course syllabi will be provided to demonstrate compliance of this requirement.

Purpose of the Graduate School

The purpose of the Graduate School is to provide quality, accessible degree programs that respond to the needs of the University’s constituency for professional development and educational enrichment. Through the various degree programs, the Graduate School provides an academic environment conducive to the maximum development of students. The goals of graduate study at Troy University (2008-2009 Graduate Catalog, p. 4) are:

  • develop the professional skills and academic competencies of students;
  • to prepare students for research and further graduate study;
  • to promote the development of intellectual inquiry and the desire for life–long learning.

A primary goal of graduate study at Troy is the promotion of intellectual inquiry. The graduate curriculum is structured to support students’ increased knowledge of the literature of the discipline and engage them in research or advanced practice. When appropriate, students are required to engage in professional practice and training experiences. The following categories of graduate courses comprise the graduate curriculum at Troy University:

  1. Research methodology courses: provide the basic elements of the conduct of research
  2. Core and required courses: provide the curricular foundation and theoretical underpinnings of the program, including the literature of the discipline
  3. Specialization or concentration courses: provide in-depth study of specific areas of the discipline
  4. Elective or select-one courses: provide for individual inquiry within a program of study
  5. Research development courses: provide supervised development of independent research
  6. Project development courses: provide supervised independent project development in an appropriate host environment
  7. Internship, clinical and practicum courses: provide an interactive experience to support the training and practice in the profession

A chart of all Troy graduate programs is provided with offerings grouped into general categories noted in this requirement: knowledge of the literature of the discipline, independent research, professional practice, and training experiences. The chart also provides a summary of semester hours required for the degree, list of courses grouped according to categories, with the number of required semester hours offered within the specific category. Review of the chart verifies graduate program curriculum compliance of this requirement.

Graduate Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate program learning objectives are an integral component of the design and implementation of each graduate program at Troy University. A focus of each graduate program’s objectives is to ensure that core knowledge of the discipline is increased, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information are required, and intellectual inquiry is fostered. Examples of graduate program objectives and student learning outcomes are provided.

Program objectives are linked to course student learning outcomes. Through the verification of the student’s achievement of stated course and program learning outcomes, the program faculty members are able to measure effectiveness of the program to accomplish its stated purpose. The students’ ability to demonstrate knowledge of the literature of the discipline and their engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences are reflected in the cumulative experience required in each degree program. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge by passing a comprehensive examination, capstone course, thesis and a thesis defense, practicum, or clinical experience.

Examples of graduate program objectives and student learning outcomes are provided for the following eight graduate programs:

Examples

The following are examples of program degree requirements and syllabi that include knowledge of the literature and student engagement in research, professional practice and/or training.

The curricula of the various graduate programs are included as evidence of the institution structuring its graduate curricula (1) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline, and (2) to ensure ongoing student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences.

SORRELL COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

Master of Business Administration

Program learning outcomes are established for each graduate business program. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program’s student learning outcomes are provided below.

Upon completion of the Master of Business Administration program students will be able to:

  1. SLO # 1 Complete an environmental scan and internal audit for a service or manufacturing organization.
  2. SLO # 2 Assess the current financial as well as overall status of the organization.
  3. SLO # 3 Create a strategic plan that incorporates common management tools and uses information from the environmental scan and internal audit.
  4. SLO # 4 Demonstrate knowledge of ethics as principles that guide decision making and behavior in organizations.
  5. SLO # 5 Demonstrate knowledge of Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Management theories, concepts, and practices as applied to an organizational context.

Additionally, student course learning outcomes are established for each graduate business administration course. The master course syllabi, with learning outcomes stated, are also provided for review. The Master of Business Administration core courses are provided at this link under the following course prefixes: ACT 6691, MBA 6611, MBA 6631, MBA 6640, MBA 6641, MBA 6651, MBA 6661. The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.

Master of Science in Human Resources Management

The purpose of the Master of Science in Human Resources Management is to provide graduates of diversified undergraduate programs the opportunity to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the current theory, values, and practice of human resources management that will prepare them for professional level management positions. The Master of Science in Human Resources Management program emphasizes the importance of effective, efficient, and ethical use of human resources in the formulation and implementation of organizational strategies and objectives. Students completing this program will:

  1. SLO # 1. Evidence knowledge of the theory, concepts, values, principles, legal constraints, and practices of Human Resource Management
  2. SLO # 2. Demonstrate the ability to utilize an open systems approach to Human Resource problem solving to include problem recognition, definition, analysis, solution development, implementation planning, and effective written and/or oral communication.
  3. SLO # 3. Have an understanding of tools and approaches to analyzing, organizing, representing, and communicating Human Resource Management data.
  4. SLO # 4. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, select and present Human Resource strategies that support the competitive strategies of the organization.

Additionally, student course learning outcomes are established for each graduate business administration course. The master course syllabi, with learning outcomes stated, are also provided for review. The Master of Science in Human Resources Management core courses are provided at this link under the following course prefixes: BUS 6610, HTM 6601, HTM 6603, HRM 6622, HRM 6623, HRM 6632, HRM 6698, MGT 6600, MGT 6671. The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.

Master of Science in Management

Master of Science in Management degree accomplishes the University's purpose to "develop programs to meet the needs of constituencies" and "to provide graduate and continuing educational programs for both professional advancement and personal enrichment."

  1. SLO # 1 Demonstrate knowledge of the theory, concepts, principles, and practices of business management.
  2. SLO # 2 Use an open system approach to management problem solving to include problem recognition, analysis through the use of conceptual and theoretical measurements and diagnostics, solution development, implementation, planning, and effective written and/or oral communication.
  3. SLO # 3 Demonstrate the ability to analyze, select, and present strategies that support a selected management specialty area.
  4. SLO # 4 Use common management tools and approaches to analyze and interpret management data and use effective strategies to design management processes.

Additionally, student course learning outcomes are established for each graduate business administration course. The master course syllabi, with learning outcomes stated, are also provided for review. The Master of Science in Management core courses are provided at this link under the following course prefixes: BUS 6610, MGT 6600, MGT 6627, MGT 6671, MGT 6685, MGT 6696. The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Master of Public Administration

The program outcomes of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program are determined by the graduate faculty and written in conjunction with National Associate of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration standards. The program outcomes require:

  1. Students must demonstrate a mastery of public administration concepts and theories.
  2. Students must analyze complex public sector problems and issues through application of basic concepts, theories, models, and/or processes in a comprehensive case analysis in the capstone course.
  3. Students must defend their recommended solutions to complex public sector problems and issues using basic concepts, theories, models, and/or processes in a comprehensive case analysis in the capstone course.

The Master of Public Administration program supports the mission of Troy University as MPA students may take courses as pre-service, in-service, part-time, and online students. The MPA curriculum is offered at Global Campus sites throughout the United States, through eCampus courses, and at the Troy campus. The MPA degree program is a 12-course, 36-credit-hour curriculum of study.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. MPA students will develop professional competency and leadership skills by gaining a knowledge base in public administration.
  2. MPA students will build analytical skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods, public policy, human resources, governmental budgeting, and organization theory and behavior.

The attached Core Course Descriptions, Objectives and Competencies for the Public Administration Program demonstrate the inclusion of program objectives into the core courses and evidence of the program’s inclusion of the literature, research and practice into the design of the program, expected program outcomes and core course syllabi for the MPA program. The master course syllabi, with learning outcomes stated, may be accessed for review.

The Master of Public Administration core courses are:

PA 6601, PA 6602, PA 6603, PA 6610, PA 6620, PA 6622, PA 6624, PA 6631, PA 6640, PA 6644, PA 6646, PA 6650, PA 6674, PA 6699, PA 6694.

The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.

Master of Science in International Relations

In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Master of Science in International Relations (MSIR) has learning objectives such as: summarizing the contributions of prominent authors in international relations, comparing and contrasting differing explanations of international events, criticizing theoretical explanations of international events, and criticizing international policy alternatives are assessed through the successful passing of a comprehensive examination at the end of the student’s course work and graded by two full-time MSIR faculty members.

The attached Core Course Descriptions, Objectives and Competencies for the International Relations Program demonstrate the inclusion of program objectives in the core courses and evidence of the program’s inclusion of the literature, research and practice in the design of the program, expected program outcomes and core course syllabi for the MSIR program.

The Master of Science in International Relations degree program is designed to offer the graduates of diversified undergraduate programs an opportunity to obtain proficiency in the study of political activities that transcend national boundaries. Its purpose is to provide knowledge and skills necessary to prepare individuals for: (1) mid-level leadership positions in government service, including the military; (2) the teaching of social science at the community college level; (3) a sufficient level of academic skills necessary to gain entry into and succeed in more advanced, graduate study in the field of international relations; and (4) mid-level management and consulting positions in the private sector (multi-national corporations and non-government organizations).

The MSIR degree program relates to the mission of the University and to the College of Arts and Sciences in the following ways:

  1. “Provide an international scope to University programs and services."
  2. “Promote discovery and exploration of knowledge dedicated to life-long learning success."

In addition, the M.S. program of study in international relations at Troy University is designed to comply with standards established by the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration of which department/faculty are active members.

Student Learning Objectives:

  1. SLO #1. The student will demonstrate the ability to perform the following skills:
    • Define key terms in international relations (IR).
    • Identify important events and trends in the history of IR.
    • Explain major theories of IR
    • Summarize the contributions of prominent authors in IR.
    • Compare and contrast differing explanations of international events.
    • Criticize theoretical explanations of international events.
    • Criticize international policy alternatives.
    • Recommend international policies.
    • Define key terms in International Political Economy (IPE) and development.
    • Explain major theories of IPE and development
    • Summarize the contributions of prominent authors in IPE and development.
    • Compare and contrast differing explanations of IPE and development events.
    • Criticize IPE and development policy alternatives.
    • Recommend IPE and development policies.
    • Define key terms in national security.
    • Explain major theories of national security.
    • Summarize the contributions of prominent authors in national security.
    • Compare and contrast differing explanations of international security events.
    • Criticize international security policy alternatives.
    • Recommend international security policies.
    • Identify major instruments of international relations.
    • Analyze major instruments of international relations.
    • Summarize prominent criticisms of major instruments of international relations.
    • Assess the effectiveness of major instruments of international relations.
    • Recommend ways to improve or better use major instruments of international relations.
  2. SLO #2. The student will demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks:
    • Explain the philosophy of social science research.
    • Apply scientific method to a research topic.
    • Plan a research project.
    • Write a substantial research paper.
    • Support a conclusion based on empirical research.

Additionally, course learning outcomes are established for each core course for the international relations program. The master course syllabi with learning outcomes may be accessed for review.

The Master of Science in International Relations core courses are: IR 5551, IR 6601, IR 6620, IR 6652. The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.
 

College of Education

Program learning outcomes are established for each graduate education program. The Education Specialist in Educational Administration program student learning outcomes are provided below.

The purpose of the Education Specialist certification in Educational Administration is to extend the expertise and further develop knowledge, competencies, and skills of professional educators holding master's level certification in Educational Administration and Leadership.

  1. SLO 1: School Finance and Taxation Students will be able to explain how schools are funded within the state of Alabama.
  2. SLO 2: Personnel Relations and Processes
    Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the recruitment, selection and retention of school personnel.
  3. SLO 3: Organizational and Administrative Behavior
    Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the skills necessary to lead educational organizations.
  4. SLO 4: School Law
    Students will demonstrate knowledge of the laws that impact public education.
  5. SLO 5: Mentoring and Staff Development.
    Students will demonstrate their knowledge of research based strategies for inducting and mentoring novice faculty.

Additionally, course learning outcomes are established for each graduate educational administration course. The master course syllabi, with learning outcomes stated may be accessed for review.

The Education Specialist in Educational Administration core courses are provided at this link under the following course prefixes: EAL 7705, EAL 7714, EAL 7717, EAL 7742, EAL 7746, EAL 7758, EAL 7790, EAL 7791, EAL 7793, EAL 7794, EAL 7795,. The review and comparison of the student learning outcomes of the core course syllabi and the expected program outcomes, reveals program compliance with this requirement.
 

Graduate Degree Requirements

Graduate programs require certification of the student's ability to conduct and/or grasp research. This certification requirement is met by achieving a grade of B or better in an approved research course in the student's program. Students must repeat the research course if they receive a grade of C or below. The research requirement introduces the skills to evaluate data and to understand the pivotal role of data in supporting, amending, or challenging conclusions and theories.

Graduate courses require research projects in which students conduct independent research on topics relevant to their courses. Accordingly, students must demonstrate their ability to link course concepts, theories, models, processes, etc. to those topics to demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of the topic to the course content. Further, many instructors review primary research literature in their courses for class discussions, homework assignments, major projects, and/or examinations. These activities require that students demonstrate the ability to integrate and synthesize course content into a logical form that reinforces the arguments and conclusions. All graduate degrees at Troy include the application of the student’s ability to do independent research on topics in their area of specialization.

Program requirements and course syllabi reflect activities that call for students to integrate and synthesize course content into appropriate forms. The Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration requires students provide a final report to their school district outlining their findings and recommendations for practice based on their thesis research. Students in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program are required to maintain current RN licensure and CPR certification ensuring their capability to participate successfully in reality-based clinical experiences, such as performing a complete physical assessment in their Advanced Physical Assessment Preceptorship course (NSG 5513). Multiple evaluation tools and methods are utilized in the didactic and clinical courses of the MSN.

Independent Learning, Research and Professional Practice

Graduate courses promote the development of intellectual inquiry and the desire for life–long learning through research assignments, project and case study work and analysis. Graduate courses focus on research projects that require students to conduct independent research on topics relevant to their courses. In a number of courses case studies are used as an educational tool for scaffolding students’ attempts to integrate course concepts, theories, models, and processes in the exploration of alternatives, decision making and argumentation as part of an inquiry.

Each program consists of didactic and applied learning opportunities that provide the basis upon which the student will acquire the necessary skills upon which to pursue and demonstrate independent learning. Whether it is a research paper, a thesis, case study analysis, field project, or clinical practice, the student’s entire program of study is designed to facilitate the production and demonstration of an independent “learning project.”

Culminating learning projects for various graduate programs is provided below.

The methods for evaluating students’ independent learning skills are found in course syllabi for the Executive Masters of Business Administration program. In addition, students are required to complete the capstone course EMBA 6611 with a grade of “B” or better. The course description from the catalog follows.

EMBA 6611 Business Strategy (3)
 
This course is the capstone course in the EMBA program. It integrates the skills and knowledge developed in earlier courses and emphasizes case analysis. Formulation and implementation of strategies are stressed. The course includes an end-of-course comprehensive examination. A grade of "B" or better is required to complete this course successfully. The course may not be transferred into the EMBA program. Prerequisites: Completion of a minimum of 27 semester hours in the EMBA program, with a "B" average or better, including the following courses: ACT 6691, MBA 6651, MBA 6631, MBA 6661 and MBA 6642; or approval of the department chair. Students should be in the last term of their program when completing this course.

Students in the general management or healthcare concentrations in the EMBA program are also required to complete an applied research project in the EMBA 6625 or Specialized Study courses. This is an independent research project course. The course description from the catalog follows.

EMBA 6625 Specialized Study in the Area of EMBA Concentration (3)

A study of problem or problems using research techniques. Selection of the problem must be approved by the student’s adviser, the instructor under whom the study is to be made, and the appropriate dean or site director. Preparation of an applied research paper is required and may involve an oral defense. See semester hour limits listed under Course Restrictions in General Regulations section.

The Master of Science degree in Environmental and Biological Sciences (EBS) insists on research projects in which students conduct independent research on topics relevant to their courses. Students must demonstrate their ability to link concepts, theories, models, processes, etc. to course topics to exhibit an understanding of the relevancy of the topic to the course content. Instructors review primary research literature in their courses for class discussions, homework assignments, major projects, and/or examinations. These require that students demonstrate the ability to integrate and synthesize course content into a logical form that reinforces the arguments and conclusions. The EBS Program places a heavy emphasis on presentations at professional societies and publication in journals. To date, of the Program’s 44 theses, more than 90% have been published and presented, which is the highest percentage of any graduate program at Troy University. Non-thesis students are required to make classroom presentations.

All education specialist program students must fulfill an independent learning project, either a thesis or a field project. Those students must pass a final examination covering the thesis or field project. All field projects or theses must be proposed well in advance and must be approved by the advisory committee assigned to the student. The student’s major professor (a member of the student’s major department and the chairman of the student’s advisory committee), assisted by the committee, is responsible for directing all aspects of the thesis or the student’s field project. To assist the students in their progress the Troy University Graduate Thesis Guidelines are available online.

In the MPA program independent learning is fostered in part by requiring all students to achieve an A or B in the final core course, PA 6699. This course uses case analyses, papers, and/or computer simulations that emphasize the application of analytical skills and knowledge gained from curriculum courses to administrative, organizational, and policy problems.


Professional Practice and Training Experiences

The Master of Science in Nursing program incorporates both professional practice and training experiences into the curriculum. The statement of the program’s student learning objective provides evidence of the extensive requirements of professional practice and training.

  1. SLO 1 - MSN graduates will be able to incorporate advanced knowledge and theories from nursing and related disciplines into practice as an advanced practice nurse.
  2. SLO 2 - MSN graduates will be able to demonstrate clinical expertise in advanced practice in a specialized area of nursing.
  3. SLO 3 - MSN graduates will be able to evaluate research for the purpose of selectively integrating research findings into nursing practice.
  4. SLO 4 - The MSN graduate will be able to integrate leadership, management and teaching strategies into advanced nursing practice.
  5. SLO 5 - MSN graduates will be able to analyze the impact of health policy on health care for identification of areas needing improvement and development of appropriate strategies.
  6. SLO 6 - MSN graduates will be able to assume responsibility for contributing to the advancement of nursing as a profession.

All nurses are required to take 21 to 33 semester hours of advanced practice clinical courses, internships and/or preceptorships in order to meet degree requirements.

The Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology program requires from 400 to 1000 hours of supervised internship or practicum experiences. The following internship and practicum courses are offered in the counseling program:

CP 6638, CP 6639, CP 6650, CP 6657, CP 6658, CP 6659, CP 6660, CP 6661, CP 6662, CP 6663, CP 6670, CP 6671, CP 7700, CP 7753, CP 7754, CP 7755, CP 7794, PSY 6650, PSY 6662, PSY 7753, PSY 7754, PSY 7755, and PSY 7794. Course descriptions for these classes are available for review in the Graduate Catalog.

Summary

The structure of Troy’s various graduate programs provides for the depth and breadth of knowledge of the literature and practices of the pertinent discipline. The required sequences of instruction and student activities ensure the ongoing engagement of the student in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. The University ensures its program objectives are accomplished via a structure of progressive graduate courses and assignments that require increasing application of independent learning skills and demanding academic performance standards be met.

Troy utilizes internal and external reviews of graduate programs to ensure appropriateness of curriculum, research, and training experiences, as well as, to ensure their consistency with established academic standards. Each graduate program undergoes an annual program assessment, through the Planning and Effectiveness Dashboard online system. Dashboard documentation includes: Program Effectiveness Reports (PER) College/Division Plans, Troy Annual Plans, Troy Strategic Plans, and Troy Reports. These annual assessments ensure that students are achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities that the graduate faculty has determined are appropriate objectives for the program. Finally, graduate students are required to demonstrate mastery of the discipline by a variety of different means, through required coursework, research projects, comprehensive exams and theses.

 

Supporting Documentation Location
Core Course Descriptions, Objectives, and Competencies for the International Relations Program http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/3-6-2-MSIR-Core-Course-Desc-Objectives-and-Competencies.pdf
Core Course Descriptions, Objectives and Competencies for the Public Administration Program http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/3-6-2-MPA-Core-Course-Desc-Objectives-and-Competencies.pdf
Education Specialist in Educational Administration Core Courses Syllabi http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/eal/
Graduate Catalog, 2008-2009 http://www.troy.edu/catalogs/0809grad_pdf/
Graduate Degree Requirements http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/3-6-2a-excel-worksheet.pdf
Graduate Programs Course Type and Semester Hours Required http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/3-6-2-GR-Program-Course-Type-and-Sem-Hr-Requirements.pdf
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes Listed by Program http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/3-6-2-GR-SLO-Listed-by-Program.pdf
Graduate Thesis Guidelines http://www.troy.edu/graduateschool/
documents/thesisguidelines.pdf
Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology Internship and Practicum Course Syllabi http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/counseling-psychology/
Master of Science in International Relations Core Courses Syllabi http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/msir/
Master of Science in International Relations Degree Program http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/MSIR-Program-2008-09-Graduate-Catalog-pg-28-32.pdf
Master of Science in Public Administration Core Courses Syllabi http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/03-06-02/mpa/
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Business Administration http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/SACS_3_6_1_MBA.pdf
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Public Administration http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/Master-of-Public-Admin-PER.pdf
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Science in Human Resources Management http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/SACS_3_6_1_MSHRM.pdf
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Science in Management http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/MSM-PER.pdf
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Science in Nursing http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/SACS_3_6_1_MS_Nursing.pdf
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Science in Post-Secondary Education http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/per/MS-in-Post-Secondary-Education-PER.pdf
Sorrell College of Business Master Course Syllabi http://business.troy.edu/MasterSyllabi/
MasterSyllabi.aspx?Level=GR

 

Last Updated: 08/22/2008