INT 477 Senior Thesis

Norfolk State University
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Senior Thesis: Traditional Track (INT 477)
Dr. Andrew T. Arroyo, Ed.D.
BMH C-105
Spring 2014
Ofc hrs: M/W 2-4; T 12-2; R 11-1 online
Nothing is so practical as a good theory.
-- Kurt Lewin, Sociologist
Personal Statement from the Professor
It is with great excitement that I welcome you to INT 477. As you will see right away,
my style of instruction follows what is called a dialectical method. In this classroom
there is no such thing as the Teacher and the Student; instead, following the wisdom
of Brazilian educator and activist Paulo Freire, I am a Teacher-Student and you are a
Student-Teacher. We each have much to learn—and we are blessed with the
opportunity to enjoy each other’s company for the next several weeks to forward
that process. You have worked diligently to arrive at this point in your college
career. Now let’s keep that momentum going and capitalize on this moment in time
we have together. Hopefully we will emerge from this course with more than a head
full of new facts; but rather, with minds exercised in wisdom and hearts more
attuned to the needs of our world that we are uniquely positioned to meet.
Professor Andrew T. Arroyo, Ed.D.
Course Description
The purpose of the senior thesis is to afford students the opportunity to
demonstrate their growing interdisciplinarity through an action-oriented research
project that integrates at least two disciplinary knowledge bases demonstrating
high order cognitive skills, namely analysis, evaluation, and synthesis. Students
work closely with course instructor (thesis supervisor) to design and execute an
interdisciplinary research thesis paper.
Course Materials/Required Texts/Supplementary Readings
 APA Manual, 6th Edition
 How to Build Social Science Theories, Shoemaker, Tankard, and Lasorsa
 Writing for Social Scientists, Howard S. Becker
 Theoretical Frameworks in College Student Research, Terrell Strayhorn
Related University-Wide and Course Specific Requirements
The following competencies are required and assessed in INT 477: (a) writing; (b)
information technology literacy; and (c) critical thinking. By the end of this course,
students should be able to write clearly, concisely and analytically. Students’
writings should include demonstration of reading completion and comprehension,
application when necessary, critical thinking, independent thinking, analysis,
synthesis and argumentation. Students’ critical thinking abilities will be assessed on
their presentation of ideas (others and their own), problem-solving capabilities,
synthesis, evaluation, analysis and clarity of thought (including language use and
Course Policies/Requirements
 Attendance (Participation)/Tardiness Policy—Students are expected to
attend every class and to be on time. For face-to-face students, missing more
than 20% of classes during the semester will result in an automatic failure
for the course, and excessive tardiness will result in a serious reduction of
the student’s grade (at the professor’s discretion). For online students,
missing more than four discussion boards will result in an automatic failure.
 Cell Phone Policy—Cell phones should be silenced and put away during
class. No texting is permitted at any time.
 Discussion Board Requirements (online courses only) – Regular
participation in the discussion boards is expected. See below.
 Late Work Policy -- Late work is not accepted unless prior authorization has
been given or a doctor’s note is provided after the fact. In the event late work
is accepted, it is subject to point deductions at the discretion of the professor,
up to 10% per day.
 Email – Only official NSU email accounts should be used for course
correspondence. Students should check their email a minimum of three times
per week to avoid missing vital course announcements.
 Weather Policy—In case of inclement weather, students should listen to
local major radio and television stations; visit the NSU website at; and/or call the University operator at 757-823-8600. Students
are responsible to be present for class unless an official closure has been
announced. Online courses are not subject to university closures.
 Incomplete Policy—You must be passing the course and have completed at
least 50% of the work in order to qualify for an incomplete at the professor’s
discretion. Incompletes are rarely granted.
 Disability Policy—In accordance with section 504 of the 1973
Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities (ADA) of 1990, any
student with a disability or who thinks s/he may have a disability, please
make contact with the Supporting Students through Disability Services
(SSDS) Office.
 Academic Integrity/Plagiarism Policy—Plagiarism is defined as using
other people’s work as your own without crediting them, including but not
limited to: copying others’ notes, exams, essays, or information, quoting and
paraphrasing others’ ideas without giving them credit and proper
documentation; using information from the internet without properly citing
source, website address (URL), author, date, etc. Plagiarism is a form of
cheating and will result in an assignment grade of F and possibly an overall
course grade of F. Any instance of academic dishonesty will NOT be tolerated.
See the student handbook for a description of the honor policy and the
consequences for violations.
Use of the World Wide Web for research—For this and all courses I teach,
the following sources are acceptable: books, magazines, newspapers, and
scholarly journals. No websites are accepted for research purposes in any
paper/project. This includes Wikipedia.
Success Policy—The best policy for success in any course is preparation,
time management, and constant communication with the professor. Be
proactive instead of reactive. Attending college is a privilege, not a right. You
are accountable for everything that is in this syllabus, and everything
covered in class. The buck stops with YOU!
Grading Scale:
100-95 = A (Superior)
94-90 = A89-87 = B+ (Very Good)
86-84 = B
83-80 = B79-77 = C+ (Average to Adequate)
76-74 = C (INT majors must earn C or better to gain credit towards
72-70 = C69-67 = D+
66-64 = D
63-60 = D59 & below = F
Attendance/Participation – 10%
Proposal – 10%
Final deliverable – 80% (See next page for your options.)
Course Assignments and Schedule
Email the proposal and final thesis in MS Word as attachments to by the dates listed below. Other types of projects may use
other programs with prior approval.
Proposal due date = Feb 1, 11:59pm
Final deliverable due date = April 15, 11:59pm
This is an intensive course requiring your constant engagement and discipline. You
must be a highly motivated self-starter. Stay with it!
Interdisciplinary theory construction paper. You may write this alone, or with up to
two other partners (all will earn the same grade).
Autoethnographic account of your academic journey. Uses the autoethnographic
research method to tell the story of your college career, mixing together your
personal life experiences along with the major academic/intellectual themes that
caused you to grow and/or impacted you the most. Must be written alone.
Your own creation. Must be academic and rigorous. Dr Arroyo reserves the right to
reject proposals that do not meet a high enough level of challenge. A personal
conference is highly recommended to obtain prior authorization before submitting
the proposal. May involve up to two other partners (all will earn the same grade).