The MAP is a three-phase, 36-credit graduate program that includes Research, Practicum experience, and a Project Demonstrative Mastery. The program begins with an orientation course (MAP 60000) where all new students have the opportunity to meet and share experiences with peers and faculty. Study plans and curriculum are finalized during this time. The semester-long MAP 60000 is designed to help all students get up to running speed with their respective research.
Bi-monthly colloquia during the academic year provide all MAP students with opportunities to network and to share their MAP learning (progress, problems, discoveries, and more) both formally and informally. Students are required to make formal presentations of their MAP projects as a prerequisite to graduation. The colloquial gatherings ensure that students receive peer support and offer individuals the chance to demonstrate progress.
Fall Semester – August 1st
Spring Semester – December 1st
Summer Semester – April 1st
Master of Arts Degree Requirements:
The Academic Program consists of courses designed with 3 credit increments for a total of 36 credits as outlined below:
MAP 60000 Graduate Seminar (3 credits)
MAP 62000 Contract Learning: Research (9-15 credits)
MAP 64000 Contract Learning: Practicum (9-15 credits)
MAP 68100 Contract Learning: Project Demonstrating Mastery (9-15 credits)
Total: 36 credits
(These courses may be taken multiple times as designated by unique, documented and approved individual study plans. Designations may include a different last digit of 0, 1 or 2 in the course number).
Credits transferred into MAP follow university guidelines, directly apply to the student’s concentration of study, MAP course designation, and must be prearranged and approved by the Director of MAP.
Phase I Research
Under the supervision of the MAP Director and the mentor(s), the student’s obligation in this phase is to discover and understand the best and most important things that are or have been thought, said, and executed in their subject area. Students take one required seminar (3 credits) to prepare them for the journey ahead. Students may also take, with prior approval, courses from the existing APU graduate curriculum that are relevant to the course of study. MAP students earn credits (3-9) by the successful accomplishment of supervised independent learning contracts.
Phase II Practicum
Under the supervision of the faculty mentor, students in the Practicum phase put into practice what they have discovered and articulated during the Research phase. With prior approval, students may take courses from the existing graduate curriculum that are relevant to the overall study. Credits are earned by completion of mentor-directed study.
Phase III Project Demonstrating Mastery
Under the supervision of the faculty mentor(s), students execute a project demonstrating mastery in which they make their own significant contribution to the field of study. The Project Demonstrating Mastery represents the culmination of all the work accomplished by the student and demonstrates the student’s mastery of the area of study. Students submit a prospectus detailing the purpose, scope, theoretical underpinnings, and preliminary methods to be used in completing the project.
The final Project Demonstrating Mastery may be an academic document, a creative product, a documentary, or a piece of research, but it must represent significant synthesis of the knowledge the student has gained from the MAP study. The academic mentor(s) and the Program Director must approve the project proposal and sign off on its successful completion prior to graduation.
Academic Study Plan
The semester study plan is used by the student and the mentor(s) as a guide for that portion of the student’s MAP Program. It is a dynamic document, subject to modification as circumstance dictates. The study plan must be approved by the student, the mentor(s), and the Program Director. The semester study plan is a more fully developed outline than that required by the application process and includes quantifiable learning outcomes. This form can be found on the APU Website under student forms.
While the program is designed to be a three-phase academic effort, there may be variations on this model. Variations occur due to specific circumstances that affect the overall goals and objectives of the study plan. For example, a student may choose to pursue 12 credits one semester (this is considered full-time study), and attempt 6 the next because her or his work schedule-or other commitments-preclude the pursuit of more. Students may wish to focus proportionately more credits on their research than their practicum, or vice versa. Some students may also need to acquire more than the 36 credits required by APU, in the case of a certification requirement. It might also be appropriate for the student to participate in outside seminars or trainings; some of these may be included in the 12 transferable credits while others may be additional activities.
The variations to the basic program are negotiated between the student, the mentor(s) and the MAP Director while developing the study plan
Typically the academic mentor will be a full-time faculty member at Alaska Pacific University. Mentors need not be subject matter experts in all of the areas in which the student seeks to increase his or her knowledge, but they will be expert in the academic process of organizing the learning program for the student. Students are encouraged to work with more than one mentor during their MAP programs and must have a minimum of two committee members on their thesis committee. (The additional member need not be a full-time APU faculty, but his or her qualifications for this service must be approved by the MAP Director.)
The MAP is not a traditional letter-graded academic program but rather Credit/No Credit. “Credit” is understood to represent a grade of B or better, for those whose employers or future learning institutions require it. Students receive a narrative evaluation of their progress at the end of each successful semester and these evaluations, in turn, become part of the student’s official transcript.
Narrative evaluations include the ability for the mentor (and committee members) to document and comment upon the student’s degree of success or failure in accomplishing agreed-upon goals. In cases where a student does not meet the academic standards of the university, no credit will be awarded on the transcript.
Students are expected to perform at the graduate level and to demonstrate written and oral communication, critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as content knowledge and the ability to apply theoretical concepts consistent with a graduate program.