School of Education
Planning Your Thesis
There are many good resources that will help you start planning your Thesis project:
- Browse and search our Thesis archives on the SURFACE Thesis database, talk to faculty from a class that interested you.
- In the first week of your Junior year, you will be required to attend a Thesis planning assembly,
- Optionally, you can enroll in HNR 309 planning seminar, which are also designed to help you get started.
The demands of student teaching are very high in the junior and senior year, so we’ve designed a special Thesis process for EDU students. You will create auto-ethnographic projects on your development as a teacher as your Thesis . This will include research in the theory of auto-ethnography and also address the cultural/social context of current educational practice, as well as incorporating your own experience as teachers, your model unit/lesson plans, etc. The project might include various forms of media – blogs, videos, etc.
We will hold a special meeting during the fall of your junior year, well before Proposals are due, to help in understanding the auto-ethnography approach.
A faculty member who serves as your subject coordinator will help you select an Advisor. Be sure to meet with your subject coordinator by the last week of September in order to stay on track with the fall timeline.
Music Education students may elect to follow the procedure for other EDU students, but most prefer to base their Thesis Project on their senior recital, or to come up with a different kind of original project. Past projects, available through SURFACE, will give you some ideas.
Submit Your Proposal
Refer to our Thesis Proposal Guidelines for details on what our expectations are for your proposal document, and then submit the standard Thesis Proposal Form.
You will need to do preliminary investigation and planning, but you don’t need a fully detailed plan for the entire auto-ethnography project. You need a clear exposition of your project idea, and an Advisor who attests that this is a “workable” project and has agreed to mentor you. Your proposal should be your best current understanding of what the autoethnography involves, and how it relates to your goals of becoming an accomplished teacher.
Honors has several awards to support Thesis Projects. We fund approximately 20 projects annually, up to $5,000 per project.
Update Your Project Progress
Continue working on the project through the spring semester, meeting every few weeks with your Advisor. Submit a Thesis Update Form – due the first week in April. The Update asks for information on your progress: an initial bibliography on auto-ethnography, a brief explanation of your methodology, perhaps some preliminary lesson and unit plans, and a fleshed out timeline.
This helps assure that you, your Advisor, and the Honors Program are all “on the same page” about your progress and the timeline for your future work.
499 Course Registration
You will devote considerable time and energy to your project, and you want to get academic credit for your work. The XXX 499 (where XXX is your major prefix) registration is how you do that. Everyone is required to register for one to three credit hours for the Thesis Project in their final semester. That puts one to three credits for the Thesis on your transcript, and provides your Advisor with a mechanism for grading your work. It's also a requirement. Everyone must register for at least one credit of 499.
Find Your Reader
Your Honors Reader is usually a faculty member in your major or a thematically related field. Make sure you ask, in person, if someone will serve as your reader. It can be any faculty member; it does not need to be one "officially" affiliated with Honor, and it does not have to be someone in your major.
Submit a draft of one chapter/section
In the first week of November, you will email one chapter / section of a draft of your final Thesis to your advisor and your Thesis Coordinator.
Submit Written Thesis for Editor Review
About a week prior to the final turn-in of your Thesis , you will be required to submit your finished Thesis to Honors for our editing process. One of our editors will review your Thesis for writing quality (grammar, structure, flow) and will either approve your Thesis for turn-in, or they will flag your Thesis for further editing.
This process gives you the opportunity to learn the importance of final editing and polishing your Thesis before you turn it in for its final submission.