The Project/Dissertation Assessment

Project reports are to be written according to the guidelines presented in Andrews University Standards for Written Work. Some flexibility is permitted in format. The project reports will normally contain an introduction, a theological and/or interdisciplinary context for the project, review of literature, report of the actual field project or research, evaluation, and conclusions. The reports generally run from 90-150 pages of text. Appendices which contribute to an understanding of the project are frequently added. Dissertations are of greater length than project reports.

Presentation of your project or dissertation (the "assessment event") is scheduled with the DMin office. It should be done after the advisor has agreed you are ready and at least six weeks prior to the date of a graduation you may wish to participate in.

The purpose of the assessment is to test the candidate's ability to integrate what he has learned into improved ministerial practice. However, the project report—its design, content, and written quality—are also examined.

We endeavor to create a comfortable and supportive environment for the entire session. We view this event as a presentation and dialogue regarding your project. It is not intended to quiz your memory. We do expect to benefit from the knowledge you have gained from your work.

The project assessment is to take place before an examining committee composed of the student's project advisor, second and third reader, and the Director of the DMin program. In the event the Director of the DMin program is not available he/she may appoint a substitute. Others may be asked to attend as determined by the DMin director. The Director of the DMin program, or someone appointed by him/her, is to preside without voting at the project assessment. If he/she is the advisor or a reader he/she will participate in the voting.

When you arrive for your assessment you should report to the DMin office. You will be greeted and directed to a waiting area. The assessment group begins its meeting at the time announced and after only a few minutes will lead you, your spouse (if present), and observers into the room. Observers are welcomed and seated around the perimeter of the room. Your spouse is seated with you. After a review of the process and prayer together you will have an opportunity for a brief 5- to 8-minute opening statement or presentation. There will then be two rounds of questioning, the first consisting of fifteen minutes for each group member and the second for follow-up questions. You will be given the opportunity for comments before the session is concluded. The group members excuse themselves for deliberation and return in a few minutes to communicate their decision to you.

All assessment participants should schedule at least two and a half hours for the assessment event. Committee members are to review the field of study of the project, read the project, and bring questions that have resulted from their review or reading to the examination. There is one round of questioning. Each participant normally takes fifteen minutes for questions and responses. Members of the committee do not interfere with another member's allocated time unless invited to do so by the one doing the questioning. It is expected that as the examining process progresses, other questions may emerge. The chair will provide a brief time after a single round of questioning for each examiner to ask concluding questions which may have been raised by the candidate's responses.

The project assessment concentrates on the project and is designed to test the candidate's ability to defend the concepts and data of the project and to examine significant material related thereto. The candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the larger context in which the project lies.

The candidate and all observers remain in the room at the end of the examining period while the committee dismisses itself to discuss its decision. All committee members remain together until the candidate hears the decision. The committee members will provide feedback to the candidate and communicate their action.

The vote of the committee falls into one of the following three categories:

(A) Approval of the project presented.

(B) Approval of the project subject to major or minor revisions.*

(C) Rejection.

In order to have defended the project successfully, the candidate must have a majority vote of approval from the examiners.

Please do not hesitate to call and ask any questions about your project presentation.

*A degree is not conferred until the revised document is submitted to and approved by the committee advisor. This must be accomplished no later than the end of the semester following the term in which the assessment event takes place, or the candidate will be dropped from the program.


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