HALE M.A. students complete the degree program with an essay representing their work in the program.
The Final Essay must be submitted during the last semester of enrollment, with the exception of students who intend to complete their coursework in the summer; these students must submit their Final Essay in the spring semester immediately preceding the summer in which they take their final course.
Students must be enrolled in at least one credit hour at Michigan State University during the semester in which they submit their Final Essay.
The Final Essay will be reviewed by the HALE M.A. review committee (Pass/Fail grading). The committee will consist of the student’s advisor with two other faculty members. If the review committee judges the student’s work to be unacceptable, the student must re-submit a revised Final Essay by the first day of Finals Week to graduate.
Completed Final Essay is due:
- Spring and Summer Semester Graduates: Last Monday of February by 5:00 PM (ET)
- Fall Semester Graduates: Last Monday in October by 5:00 PM (ET)
All degree candidates are expected to consult with their faculty advisor at the beginning of the semester in which they intend to submit their Final Essay.
The consultation should include the following:
- Ensure students program plan is on file with the department and college
- Ensure the actual program of study aligns with the program plan on file or complete a revised program plan to account for differences between initial plan and the actual program of study
- Guidance on their Final Essay
Final Essay instructions
Prompt for Final Essay
Write an essay of no more than 1,500 words that describes two themes from the higher, adult, and lifelong education M.A. program showcasing your learning or development throughout the program. A theme is a recurring idea or frequent topic that presented itself during your coursework in the HALE M.A. program (including electives). Your themes should derive from multiple courses, meaning you will connect ideas, insights, and learnings across courses rather than just one course. Make sure you name and define your themes. Themes might include technology, adult learning, diversity, leadership, and so on.
Your essay should consist of an:
a) introduction that names your two (2) themes and provides a brief essay outline
b) discussion of two (2) themes
c) concluding remarks
Students should use the following formatting guidelines when completing their Final Essay.
- Word Count: 1,500 words max
- Clearly identify word count after concluding paragraph
- Title Page: student’s name, date of submission, department name, degree program, and advisor name
- Font: 12-point font
- Spacing: Double spaced
- Reference Page: Include a list of any works cited or referenced in the main text
Spring & Summer Graduates: Completed project due by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on the last Monday in February.
Fall Graduates: Completed project due by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on the last Monday in October.
The Final Essay is submitted as an electronic document in D2L (i.e., Desire to Learn), the university’s course management system. Students will receive an email message from the HALE M.A. program coordinator and HALE M.A. student ambassador with instructions for accessing the D2L Final Essay site.
The Final Essay will be reviewed by a committee of HALE faculty members. The committee will consist of the student’s advisor and at least two other faculty members. The committee will evaluate projects using an acceptable/unacceptable (i.e., Pass/No Pass) scale. Students will be informed in writing through email of the Committee’s determination.
Those students whose projects are evaluated as “acceptable” will have their final program certification forwarded to the Dean’s Office for approval.
If the committee judges the student’s work to be unacceptable, the student will be asked to revise and resubmit. Prior to revising and resubmitting, the student must consult with their faculty advisor who will provide details from the committee’s review. In order to receive final program certification (i.e., degree conferral) within the semester the project was submitted, the student must submit a revised Final Essay by Monday of Finals Week of the semester in which the project is submitted.
HALE M.A. Program Intended Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate theory (e.g., adult development, organizational, learning, leadership, etc.) to assist institutions in accomplishing their missions.
- Demonstrate the ability to use data-based decision making to assist institutions in accomplishing their missions.
- Articulate an awareness and understanding of diversity and multiculturalism.
- Demonstrate skills (e.g., technology, distance learning, communication, etc.) to engage learners to deliver programs and services in higher education.
- Demonstrate a disposition for lifelong and self-directed learning.
- Engage in ethical decision-making and act ethically in research and practice.
- Design, develop, and implement effective educational programs.
- Assess existing educational programs and develop appropriate modifications as needed.
- Critically read educational literature in one’s professional area.
- Design, conduct, and report sound assessments or program evaluations, grounded in the appropriate literature.
- Demonstrate leadership to function as a practitioner in a higher and adult educational setting.