Graduate College of Education

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Section 3 - Preparing for the Culminating Experience


  1. The proposal for Culminating Experience form must be filed the semester before you enroll in your Culminating Experience Course 895/898/890/892 . Deadlines are announced each semester. This form is NOT needed if you are taking ISED 897 or taking a written comprehensive exam.



    1. In description section of form, you must type a description which includes the following 3 things. Purpose of your study; Population being included or participating; and Research Method being used. You must fit this statement in the space provided.


    2. If you are using human subjects, a Human Subjects Protocol form must be submitted as well. It is recommended that you file your proposal early since the Human Subjects Committee meets only twice per month during the Fall/Spring semesters. See College of Education samples below. (Part D)


      1. When typing your proposal to attach to the protocol form, please make sure you include the 8 sections as outlined in the sample proposal. They are as follows:


        • Study, Aim, Background and Design
        • Subject Population
        • Procedures to be done for Study
        • Risks: Potential & Method for Minimizing
        • Benefits: Individual, Group, or Other
        • Consent Process & Documentation
        • Qualifications of Investigator
        • References


      2. If your study involves minors and/or adults, you must include a sample of your consent form. There must be a separate one for the adults and for minors there must be a Cover Letter to the parent/guardian, a minor consent form, and an assent form if the child is between the ages of 10-17. The assent form must be written in age-appropriate language. Please see samples below.


      3. If your study is being conducted at a school, agency, or place of employment, you must obtain a letter of approval from the principal of the school, agency, or place of employment and submit it with your proposal. The letter must include the title of your proposal and be written on official letterhead for the school, agency or place of employment.


      4. As of 7/1/03, all students and faculty submitting research proposals using Human or
        Animal subjects will have to FIRST complete the NIH Human Subjects Training Online at


    Once completed, you will be able to print out a Certificate of Completion online.


    It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you make several copies of the certificate because you can only print it out once. In order to get another Certificate, you must go through the training course AGAIN. This certificate must accompany your protocol and is required before your protocol can be reviewed.



  2. The following is an overview of the different types of Culminating Experiences available. You will have to check with your Department or the SFSU Bulletin for Options that are available for your graduate program: See Section 2 A.


    Culminating Experience Requirement



  3. For students planning to write a thesis (898), please refer to the following: Guidelines for completing a thesis



  4. Sample forms developed by previous graduate students in the College of Education are available to serve as guides. Review these samples carefully and follow their format closely. All studies must be described in a PROPOSAL. In addition, if the study will gather data from human subjects, then CONSENT LETTERS must be drafted and APPROVAL from the research site must be obtained.
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