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Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Instructions for Scheduling Comprehensive Examination

for the Online Master of Arts in Education in Adult Education Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research Western Kentucky University

A written comprehensive examination is required for the Online Master of Arts in Education - Adult Education. Questions on the examination are developed by members of the ADED faculty and representatives from the professional community. Questions are based on courses in the program and are correlated with the critical performances. Questions are also congruent with national standards of set forth by the Commission on Professors of Adult Education. To qualify for the comprehensive examination, students must meet all University requirements for admission to candidacy status, have no more than nine hours of course work remaining in the program, and meet any other requirements.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Accommodations will be made for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodations for taking the comprehensive examination should contact the Office for Student Disability Services, Potter Hall 445, WKU, Phone: 270-745-5004 V/TDD. Upon verification, the student should then contact their academic advisor about the exam and the appropriate circumstances in which they will complete the examination. Persons assisting the candidate in completing the examination must adhere to the same ethical principles as the candidate.

Purpose and Philosophy of the Comprehensive Examination

The MAE in Adult Education comprehensive examination is the culminating assessment of the content covered by the courses in a student’s graduate degree program and mastery of those professional skill areas specified by the appropriate professional associations. Candidates also must demonstrate their ability to prepare viable responses to open response questions.

Report of Examination Results

The assessment report of the examination evaluation committee will be communicated to the candidate by email and/or regular mail within two weeks. A Form E Report on Final Examination is sent to the Office for Graduate Studies upon a candidate’s passing the comprehensive examination.

A) Scheduling the Comprehensive Examination

A student must contact his/her advisor by email and request that the examination be transmitted to them on a specific date within the appropriate examination period.

B) Examination Periods

The ADED comprehensive examination must be scheduled and completed within the following exam periods.

  • Fall Semester – October
  • Spring Semester – March
  • The deadline to apply for the Comprehensive Exam is September 15 for Fall Semester and February 15 for Spring Semester. Exams will not be given during the Summer and Winter Semesters.

C) Instructions:

1. Students have exactly one week (7 days) to submit their exam responses from the date they are transmitted to them. For example, an exam transmitted on October 15 must be returned by midnight October 22. Exams will be transmitted by 9:00 am CT on the date requested, but not weekends.

2. Any sources of information may be used. Sources must be cited in correct APA format.

3. Responses must follow APA writing and bibliographic style.

4. The responses are limited 10 pages (excluding references and cover page) for the total exam using the following specifications:

  • Times New Roman type, 12 point font must be used.
  • All pages must have a 1" margin on all four sides, double-spaced.
  • Each page must have a header in top right corner of every page (including the first one) with student ID number on left, date in center, and page number on right.

5. The exam documents must be submitted as either a .doc file (Microsoft Word file) or a .rtf file (rich text file). No other file type will be accepted.

The first page will be the cover page with the student’s name, date returned, student ID#, address, and personal email.

Each student must take this exam alone. They must not contact or work with any other students, graduates, or any other person. They cannot not share the questions with another student. Students must delete the original question file from their computer and any other one used in preparing your answers.

D) Academic Ethics Applicable to the Comprehensive Examination: (PLEASE READ)

1. The following information is an excerpt from the University Handbook regarding cheating:


"To represent ideas or interpretations taken from another source as one’s own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense. The academic work of students must be their own. Students must give the author(s) credit for any source material used. To lift content directly from a source without giving credit is a flagrant act. To present a borrowed passage after having changed a few words, even if the source is cited, is also plagiarism."


"No student shall receive or give assistance not authorized by the instructor in taking an examination or in the preparation of an essay, laboratory report, problem assignment, or other project that is submitted for purposes of grade determination."

Disposition of Offenses

"Students who commit any act of academic dishonesty may receive from the instructor a failing grade in that portion of the course work in which the act is detected or a failing grade in the course without possibility of withdrawal. The faculty member may also present the case to the University Disciplinary Committee through the Office of the Dean of Student Life for disciplinary sanctions. Students who believe a faculty member has dealt unfairly with them in a situation involving alleged academic dishonesty may seek relief through the Student Complaint Procedure."

2. A student’s request to take this examination serves an honor statement for the following:

  • The student will work alone on the exam.
  • The student will not share the questions with another student.
  • The student will delete the original question file from their hard drive or other storage device/system.

E) Scoring of Comprehensive Examination

1) The grading scale for each question is as follows:

Novice = 1

Apprentice = 2

Proficient = 3

Expert = 4

2) A passing score on the comprehensive examination requires a rating of proficient=3 on each question.

3) Any question that receives less than a 3 must be re-written.

4) An overall average rating of less than 3 requires a total rewrite of the entire examination.

5) Two members of the faculty will read the comprehensive exam. If they do not agree on the evaluation of a question or on the final exam score, a third member of the faculty will read and score the examination to determine the final rating.

6) The assessment report on the comprehensive examination will be transmitted to the student in writing or electronically within two weeks of the date on which the completed examination is returned to ADED by the candidate. An assessment report involving any re-writes will be transmitted electronically to the student. A final passing report will be sent electronically and by regular mail to the student.

F) Re–Writes and Unsuccessful Completion of the Comprehensive Examination

One complete re–write of the examination or partial re–write (1-2 questions) will be allowed. A candidate who fails the re–write of the comprehensive examination or any part of it will not be awarded the MAE – Adult Education degree.

G) Example of Cover Sheet Required for Completed Comprehensive Examination

A cover sheet (see below example) must be transmitted with exam responses.

COVER SHEET Comprehensive Examination
Master of Arts in Education - Adult Education
Department of Special Instructional Programs

Date of Due:  
Beginning Date:   Ending Date:  
Name of Student:  
Student ID Number:  
Student Email:  
(Preferred) Phone number:  

Return the Examination as an email attachment to ADED advisor by midnight of due date.

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 Last Modified 10/11/18