SPED 995 06: Scholarly Project

SPED 995 - Scholarly Project

2023 Summer Syllabus, Section 06, CRN 9382

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

Online Asynchronous

Instructor Information

Renae Bjorg

Email: renae.bjorg@und.edu

Office: Education Building, Office # 318

2023 Summer Office Hours:
Flexible to meet the needs of the students. If you would like to schedule an appointment, simply contact the instructor via email or phone.

Office Phone: 701-777-6760

Course Description

The scholarly project demonstrates critical analysis and application of information and experiences gained throughout the program of study. The project allows students to demonstrate scholarly skills in an integrated manner that is directly related to their roles as teachers, program evaluators, and action researchers. The scholarly project must be approved by the student's advisor.

The scholarly project demonstrates critical analysis and application of information and experiences gained throughout the program of study. The project allows students to demonstrate scholarly skills in an integrated manner that is directly related to their roles as teachers, program evaluators, and action researchers. The scholarly project must be approved by the student's advisor.

Note: The Topic Proposal must be approved by the student's advisor and the School of Graduate Studies one semester prior to enrolling in the Scholarly Project course. Students who have not completed this step must contact their advisor and complete this step prior to the first day of class. Students cannot enroll in this course unless they have completed the Topic Proposal.

This document is offered as a guide in the preparation of your final master’s project in fulfillment of the Master’s degree in Special Education. The following guidelines are presented to assist you in writing your project.

Course Materials

The semester prior to completing your project you had your Topic Proposal form approved by the School of Graduate Studies.  As a result, your project must align with what you stated in your Topic Proposal.  If you change your mind and want to pursue a new direction, even with the same topic, you will need to repeat the Topic Proposal process.  Remember, your topic must align with your major.

 Acceptable style for final presentation of the project should follow the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which is 7th edition. Formatting of title page, table of contents, margins, reference notes, lists, tables and general typing instructions should coincide with APA style. Equally as important is an appropriate professional style of writing.  It is your responsibility (not your advisor’s) to format your project following APA guidelines.  If you do not know how to cite a source in-text or in the reference list, you will need to spend time looking it up in the manual.  Before submitting each chapter, be sure to edit carefully using the Editing Checklist located in the Appendices.

Smarthinking is a free, online tutoring service available that can help you with your writing.  It is available in the course site.  It is expected that you submit your chapters to Smarthinking prior to submitting them to Blackboard. Be sure to make the suggested changes prior to submitting your document in Blackboard. In addition, upload the feedback form you received from Smarthinking. NOTE: If the suggested changes have not been made prior to submitting the document, they will not be graded until the final. In other words, you will not receive feedback from the instructor prior to the final submission.

SPED 995 is a course, just like all other courses you have taken in your program.  Each chapter is considered an assignment so pay close attention to the deadlines to avoid submitting late work.  Please review the scholarly project scoring rubric so you know the evaluation criteria. 

Regarding scholastic dishonesty, should you choose to use the work of a former student who took this course or from documents on the internet (without proper citation), in whole or in part, then you have chosen to fail this course.

Lastly, if you are graduating this semester, be sure to apply for graduation now, if you have not already done so.

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Topic Proposal Logistics

Major Assignments/Assignment Schedule

Chapter I – due May 26 by 8:00 a.m. (CST)

Chapter II – due June 9 by 8:00 a.m. (CST)

Chapter III – due June 23 by 8:00 a.m. (CST)

Chapter IV – due July 8 by 8:00 a.m. (CST)

Final Project – due July 14 by 8:00 a.m. (CST)


You will be given the opportunity to revise each chapter one time.  It is your choice to revise to improve your score.  If you make revisions, you will have one week to resubmit from when it was returned to you.  Please resubmit through Blackboard.  If you revise a chapter, you still need to submit the next chapter by its due date.

As a reminder, SPED 995 is based on a letter grade, not on Pass/Fail.


A title page that indicates the title of your project (same title that was on your topic proposal), your name, address, date, school affiliation if available, and a statement indicating that this fulfills the requirements for the master of science (or education) degree in special education at the University of North Dakota.  This information should be centered on the page.

Refer to the example title page in the appendices. 



Approximately 3-5 pages double-spaced

Your introduction should provide the reader with a general introduction to the topic area. You should introduce the rationale for choosing the topic under discussion. The introduction should provide the reader with a definitive statement of the problem under consideration and the potential benefit of the proposed research. You should introduce and define key terms that will assist the reader in understanding the terminology used in your project.

The following headings must be included in your CHAPTER I:

  • Introduction
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Description of the Project
  • Potential Benefits of the Project
  • Key Terms

Each of the terms will need to be defined and cited with a professional resource.  Professional resources are the materials you acquired or/and learned about in your coursework.  Citing definitions with Webster is not considered scholarly writing at the master’s level.


Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA):

A process for gathering broad and specific information about a child’s behavior in order to identify the behavior’s function or purpose.  A functional behavior assessment is used to develop a behavior intervention plan (Department of Education, 2011).



Approximately 8-10 pages double-spaced

The purpose of a literature review is to identify what is known and what is not known about your topic. To do this, you will need to locate seminal works (i.e., scholarly books, research articles, documents, reviews, internet resources) on your topic. The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). The literature review connects theory with practice. It is not just a descriptive list of the material available or a set of summaries but an organized synthesis of what has been published on your topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Depending on the topic, the number of sources for a literature review can range between five and fifteen (more is better).   Lastly, the field of education is in constant change due to ongoing research.  As a result, your literature must be recent; meaning, it can only be within the past 10 years.

The following must be included in your CHAPTER II:

  • A substantial review of recent literature must be completed that is pertinent to the proposed topic.  For example, if you are creating a curriculum, what does the professional literature say about components and/or instructional strategies regarding the curriculum?
  • The literature reported in this chapter must lead up to and support the content you put in CHAPTER III.  Remember, interventions must be researched-based and the research is reported in the professional literature.
  • Literature reviews are organized into sections through the use of headings and subheadings.
  • As a reminder, you are reporting what the professional literature states using direct quotes and paraphrasing.  You may not insert your personal conclusions, opinions, or beliefs.

The following resource will assist you in organizing your literature review: www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature_review.html

Sources for the Literature Review

Academic Journals. Academic journals are usually the best source for literature reviews. These contain articles written by specialists in the field (usually college professors), who describe their research, secondary research, novel applications of existing theories, or interesting new ideas set in a theoretical context. There are several academic journals in the field of special education that can be accessed via an ERIC search.

The Internet. The internet is a good place to find a great deal of information quickly; however, this information is not always credible. While journal articles are peer-reviewed before being published, the only criterion for putting information on the internet is that one has a web site and the technical knowledge to post it. The U.S. Department of Education maintains the ERIC website which is designed specifically for educators at www.accesseric.org. ERIC stands for Educational Resources Information Center. This site contains thousands of journal articles, research reports, curriculum, conference papers, and teaching guides. The review process for many of these sources is minimal and thus, they vary widely in their validity and credibility.

Books. Books are also good sources, but keep in mind that just because information is written in a book does not mean it is always true. Books that cite their sources and those that are published by major publishing companies are generally those that can be trusted to provide credible information. 



Approximate Length: Varies

The goal of this chapter is to demonstrate your knowledge and skills at developing a supportive learning environment for individuals.  Supportive environments can be established in multiple ways, such as:  an action research project, curriculum development, an in-service or workshop, or creation of an effective teaching strategy.  Please discuss ideas with your advisor.

Things to Remember:

  1. Your scholarly project is a demonstration of what you learned in your coursework. So, you need to apply what you learned.  Many students choose to develop curriculum for this chapter, which means you must apply what you learned in your method course relative to the disability area you are targeting with your unit.  For example, if you are developing a social skills curriculum/unit, you need to create lessons and a performance evaluation that embeds all the requirements taught in SPED 555 Advanced Methods:  Emotional Disturbance.
  2. It is acceptable to use resources/materials developed by others; however, you will need to blend work of others with materials you have created.  For example, if you develop curriculum, 50% of the resources you utilize can be taken from other sources (with credit being given) and 50% the creation of your own materials.
  3. This chapter does not need to follow APA formatting and can be compiled in a manner most fitting for your project.
  4. You must use people-first language.
  5. Read the entire scoring rubric before completing this project.


Approximately 3-4 pages double-spaced

This chapter provides the reader with a brief reiteration of the preceding three chapters. It should focus on integrating your project with what you found in the review of the literature, thus you are providing evidence of your data literacy.

The following headings must be included in your CHAPTER IV:

  • Summary
    • What is the significance of your project in relation to the literature?
  • Conclusions
    • What do you conclude regarding your topic in relation to the impact/significance it will have on the stakeholder group for whom you targeted your project?
  • Recommendations
    • As a professional, what recommendations do you give regarding implementation of your topic/project?
  • Reflective Statement
    • This chapter must also include a reflective statement about both the project and your experience in the master’s program. This statement should include:
      • What you learned from doing the project
      • What you learned from or how you grew throughout your master’s program
      • What you see as the roles and responsibilities of a special education teacher, and finally
      • Your definition of and plans for professional development


You should provide a complete reference list of all materials used in the study. The format should follow APA guidelines as established in the manual.


See the scoring rubric for the criteria, under the Grading Criteria Section, you will be evaluated on for this project.  Note the points assigned to each category on the grading rubric will be based on 1 revision of each chapter.  This means you will have one opportunity to make changes/edits from my feedback after one submission of each chapter. 

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities by Wednesday of the following week.
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice. Additional meeting times are available upon student request. 


My preferred method of communication is email or phone or Zoom. I encourage you to reach out to me when you have a question. If you wish to schedule an appointment, please email some dates and times that you prefer to meet. My contact information is in the "Faculty” tab in Blackboard. Use the recurring Zoom link in Blackboard. If you need specific technology to communicate, please send me a link so we can connect in a way that is appropriate for you.


Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


If you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week or weekend.

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.

Grading Criteria

Standards Addressed:

CEC Standards: 2 Learning Environments; 3 Curricular Content Knowledge; 5 Instructional Planning & Strategies; 6 Professional Learning & Ethical Practice.  ESPB 19015.1; ESPB 19015.4; ESPB 19015.6; CAEP A.1.1; CAEP A.1.2

Proposal Rubric

  CEC Benchmarks 1 Does Not Meet Expectations 2 Meets Expectations 3 Exceeds Expectations Score


ICSI.6.K1, ICSI.6.S10, ICSI.6.S13, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Chapter inadequately introduces the topic, identifies the current problem, explains the benefits, describes the project, and/or defines key terms.

Chapter sufficiently introduces the topic, identifies the current problem, explains the benefits, describes the project, and defines key terms.

Chapter thoroughly introduces the topic, identifies the current problem, explains the benefits, describes the project, and defines key terms.


CHAPTER 2 Lit Review

ICSI.3.K1, ICSI.5.K2, ICSI .6.K1, ICSI.6.K13, ICSI.6.K14, ICSI.6.S10, ICSI.6.S13, ESPB 19015, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Chapter is shallow and seemingly random approach to establishing an evidence-base due to limited sources from the professional literature and if relevant, sparse or unrelated data.

Chapter is good with a general approach to establishing an evidence-base due to making use of multiple resources from the professional literature that are collectively reported in a logical and cohesive manner.

Chapter is detailed with a systematic approach to establishing an evidence-base due to making use of an abundance of resources from the professional literature that are collectively reported in a logical and cohesive manner.


CHAPTER 3 Project

ICSI.2.K7 ICSI.3.K1, ICSI.5.K2, ICSI .6.K1, ICSI.6.S5, ICSI.6.S6, ICSI.6.S7, ICSI.6.S13, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Project is unsupported with literature from Chapter II and/or from coursework. Materials lack breadth of the topic and/or are ill-constructed with depth. Thus, development of a supportive learning environment for individuals was not established.

Project is sufficiently supported with literature from Chapter II and from coursework. Materials sufficiently represent breadth of the topic and are constructed with depth. Thus, development of a supportive learning environment for individuals was established.

Project is strongly supported with literature from Chapter II and from coursework. Materials strongly represent breadth of the topic and are constructed with depth. Thus, development of a supportive learning environment for individuals was strongly established.


CHAPTER 4 Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations

ICSI.2.K7, ICSI.5.K2, ICSI.6.K13, ICSI.6.K14, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Conclusions and/or recommendations of inquiry do little to deepen candidate’s knowledge nor strengthen candidate’s practice. Data literacy is not evident.

Conclusions of inquiry add to candidate’s knowledge base; recommendations provide evidence of capacity to strengthen candidate’s practice. Data literacy is evident.

Conclusions of inquiry reveal depth of knowledge of topic; recommendations have potential to strengthen practice of professionals in the community. There is strong evidence of data literacy.


Personal Reflection

ICSI.6.K12, ICSI.6.K13, ICSI.6.K14, ICSI.6.S1, ICSI.6.S7, ICSI.6.S11, ICSI.6.S14, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Personal statement minimally summarizes learning throughout program, minimally defines roles and responsibilities, or provides limited specifics for professional development.

Personal statement summarizes learning throughout program, defines roles and responsibilities, and provides specifics for professional development.

Personal statement strongly summarizes learning throughout program, robustly defines roles and responsibilities, and provides many specifics for professional development.


Writing Organization

ICSI.6.S8, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Organizational structure is confusing.

Organizational structure is clear and functional.

A strong organizational structure leads the reader purposefully through the text.


Writing Ideas

ICSI.6.S8, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

The product lacks scholarship and professionalism appropriate for the Masters’ level: vocabulary is inaccurate or inaccessible; people-first language is absent; writing reflects little awareness of audience (e.g., indifferent or distant, flat); weak use of APA which interferes with communication of ideas.

The product reflects scholarship and professionalism appropriate for the Masters’ level: vocabulary is accurate and understandable; people-first language is used; ideas are expressed accurately and in own words; use of APA generally correct and supports communication and scholarship.

The product meets/exceeds Masters’ level ability to communicate scholarly ideas and/or professional information; vocabulary well chosen; people-first language is used; ideas expressed in engaging, confident and knowledgeable voice; highly effective use of APA (fluent, correct, supports communication).


Writing Conventions

ICSI.6.S8, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Numerous conventional and APA, people first language, etc. errors make the text difficult to read.

Writing conventions, including APA, people first language, etc. is generally correct with few errors.

Writing conventions, including APA, people first language, etc. are correct and enhance understanding.



ICSI.6.K13, ICSI.6.S1, ICSI.6.S1, ESPB 19015.1, ESPB 19015.4, ESPB 19015.6, CAEP A.1.1, CAEP A.1.2

Inability to pursue inquiry independently for variety of reasons (e.g., attitudes, skills, knowledge); numerous revisions required. Every chapter was not submitted on time.

Ability to pursue inquiry with some support: curious, initiative, sufficient independence; takes direction well; revisions are well handled. Every chapter was submitted on time.

Ability to pursue inquiry independently: highly curious, has initiative to learn and be independent; revisions lead to greater independence. Every chapter was submitted on time.


**Teacher candidates’ knowledge and skills are considered proficient when their scores are in the Meets Expectation or Exceeds Expectation category.


APPENDIX A: Title Page

Perceived Advising Needs of Adult Learners


Joseph M. Thomas

Bachelor of Arts, Augustana Lutheran College, 2008

A Scholarly Project

Submitted to Dr. Mickey Mouse

of the

University of North Dakota

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of

Master of Science

Grand Forks, North Dakota



APPENDIX B: Editing Checklist

  • People-first language is used
  • Nouns and pronouns agree
    • Singular example:  student use she or he
    • Plural example:  students use their
  • Lack of subject-verb agreement
    • Check your draft for subject-verb agreement problems by circling each sentence's subject and drawing a line with an arrow to that subject's verb. You should be able to do this for each sentence. A verb must agree with its subject in number and in person. In many cases, the verb must take a form depending on whether the subject is singular or plural: The old man is angry and stamps into the house, but The old men are angry and stamp into the house. Lack of subject-verb agreement is often just a matter of leaving the -s ending off the verb out of carelessness, or of using a form of English that does not have this ending. Sometimes, however, this error results from particular sentence constructions. 
  • Possessive nouns have apostrophes
    • Singular example:  Student’s IEP
    • Plural example:  Students’ IEPs
  • Major headings are centered, bolded and subheadings are left justified and bolded
  • Direct quotes include page numbers in citations
  • Acronyms have been written out the first time used in each chapter
  • Unnecessary shift in tense
    • Check to make sure all the verb tenses work together appropriately. Verb tenses tell readers when actions take place: saying "Willie went to school" indicates a past action whereas saying "he will go" indicates a future action. When you shift from one tense to another with no clear reason, you can confuse readers. 
  • Its/It’s Confusion
    • Use its to mean belonging to it; use it's only when you mean it is or it has.
  • Comma Splice
    • Check all the commas used in your draft for comma splices, which occur only when a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, add a word like and or although after the comma, or restructure the sentence.

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard.

Late Work

Example:  Late assignments will be accepted for 1 week after the due date but will receive a 1-full letter grade reduction in points unless prior arrangements have been made. Ex. An assignment due on June 1 worth 100 points could be turned in as late as June 8th   8:00 am CT, with a maximum, number of points now possible of 90. (The grade possible has dropped from an A+ to a B+.) Assignments submitted after the due date (even with permission from the instructor) will be graded after all current assignments have been graded. Feedback might be less detailed than if the assignment was submitted on the original due date.

Please note: You do not need to disclose or perform trauma when asking for an extension; you just need to let us know (very broadly) that you need help, and we will do what we can to get you back on track in the course.


After all chapters have been approved by your instructor and after you have done a complete and thorough edit of all four chapters, you will need to submit a final copy through Blackboard.  


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.


When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

Technology Statement

In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material.  We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.

Collaboration and Recording (For Online, Hybrid, Hyflex courses)

Sharing personal experiences and opinions is an important part of the learning process. In the (hybrid, hyflex, synchronous, etc.) environment of this course, all of our interactions are recorded (via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Yuja, etc) and made available to students in the course. The purpose of these recordings is to enhance learning for all students. If your peers make personal statements in this course, consider those comments in the context of our learning goals and do not share them with people outside the course. If you have questions or concerns about any recordings, please contact me.

College/Department Policies

Policies for Students in Educator Preparation Programs

Dispositions:  The Council of Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) requires the university to monitor the academic progress and dispositions of every student enrolled in a program leading to an education license or credential.  Dispositions refer to a student’s actions and behaviors in terms of professionalism, ethics and human relations. Should a concern arise about a student’s progress or dispositions, faculty, instructors and/or cooperating teachers may request a one-on-one meeting with the teacher candidate or advanced student to discuss areas of strength or concerns.  Written documentation of this conference may be included in the student’s permanent file.  Specific procedures are delineated on the form, Professional Dispositions for UND Teacher Education. 

Essential Abilities RequirementsEssential abilities are academic performance requirements that refer to those physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities required for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the educator preparation curriculum and the development of personal attributes required for professional licensure. The candidate must possess or be able to gain these abilities with or without reasonable accommodation. The essential abilities required by the curriculum are reflected by competencies in the following areas: communication, intellectual, behavioral, social, motor, and sensory (Handbook for Teacher Education).

Reasonable accommodations will be afforded to education candidates with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Students who can no longer perform the essential functions of education candidates must report that to the Associate Dean of Student Services and Assessment and suggest any accommodations that they think will enable them to perform as education candidates.  The Associate Dean will then determine if the suggested accommodations are reasonable or if there are any other reasonable accommodations that can be made.  If accommodations cannot be made, the student may not be able to complete their educational program.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).

College of Education & Human Development Academic Concerns and Grievance Process Policy:

The grievance process can be found on the web at http://education.und.edu/_files/docs/academic-concerns.pdf.  Graduate students should follow the CEHD Grievance Policy for decisions made at the course or program level and should follow the School of Graduate Studies Grievance Policy for decisions made by the School of Graduate Studies. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate and advance the grievance.  Please contact Dr. Donna Pearson, the Associate Dean of Student Services and Assessment, for more information and assistance with the CEHD grievance process.