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HLSS699 - Homeland Security Capstone

Course Details

Course Code: HLSS699 Course ID: 2847 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

The Master’s Capstone Seminar option in Homeland Security is a course that serves as the capstone to a graduate degree in Homeland Security. NOTE: This course may not be taken until all other courses are COMPLETED and student has a 3.0 GPA. THIS COURSE IS 16 WEEKS.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 11/22/20 Summer 2020 Session K 16 Week session
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 12/27/20 Summer 2020 Session C 16 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 01/24/21 Fall 2020 Session A 16 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 02/21/21 Fall 2020 Session K 16 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 03/28/21 Fall 2020 Session C 16 Week session

Current Syllabi

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, the Master of Arts in Homeland Security also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. [Note: The Capstone Creative Project encompasses each of these objectives.]

CO-1: Evaluate specific domestic security challenges for the 21st century that face the United States and other industrialized nations.

CO-2: Evaluate and propose changes at federal, state, and/or local levels, to reflect the evolving strategic policy issues associated with a statutory and presidential direction for.

CO-3: Recognize terrorist group proclivities in order to forecast the risks, types, and orders of magnitude of terrorist threats most likely to confront the nation-state.

CO-4: Define and describe by example the statutory, policy, strategy and legal differences between homeland security and homeland defense.

CO-5: Describe the roles/missions of USNORTHCOM and the DSCA mission, and compare and contrast these with the DHS mission.

CO-6: Recognize the interdisciplinary nature of homeland security functions and be able to assess and integrate various functional areas.

CO-7: Evaluate existing policies, procedures and protocols by DHS and the inter-agency community to allow seamless agency integration through prevention, protection, incident response and recovery scenarios.

CO-8: Validate literal and procedural alignment/compliance with the National Response Framework, National Incident Management System, and Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPDs).

Students are expected to work with their instructor and must follow all guidance provided in the course including submitting all required components of the research process. Students should not expect to submit a final product at the end of the course without having completed each stage of the research process as outlined in the assignments below.

Please note: The language in the evaluation procedures section is a compilation from the APUS End of Program Assessment Manual for Graduate Studies. Some passages are verbatim from the Manual. For clarity, these passages have not been specifically identified as quoted passages but are integrated into the syllabus. The student should read this syllabus in conjunction with the End of Program Assessment Manual.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 1 percent

Discussion questions will be provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings and respond to the assigned topic(s). Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to two or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Research Question, Purpose & Design Statement – 1 percent

In this assignment, you will present your research question along with a purpose statement. You will also present your preliminary thoughts on a research design. In other words, how do you intend to answer your research question. The specific research question should be of depth and breadth required for a major project. Length: 3 pp.

Thesis Proposal – 1 percent

A formal thesis proposal shall be prepared in accordance with the standards of the academic discipline. The formal proposal must provide a clear and lucid description of a question or problem and a proposed method of answering the question or solving the problem. Capstone thesis faculty must approve the proposal before students move on to the next stage of the process. The proposal should explain the question or problem to be investigated and convince the thesis professor that the question or problem merits investigation. It should show that the student has read the relevant and recent literature on the subject and it should contain a list of academically appropriate resources consulted during preliminary research.

In general, the thesis proposal should include background information related to the research topic, purpose of the research, methodology, and analytic procedures to be used. Length: 5 pp.

Literature Review—2 percent

This document contains an annotated summary of the major sources that will be used in the research paper, all of which must be peer-reviewed articles or scholarly texts. Students will identify the source, offer a short synopsis of its main argument, and offer a statement of relevance to the research project. Length: 10-15 pp.

Theoretical Framework – 1 percent

Theoretical Framework/Approach: The theoretical framework section develops the theories or models to be used in the study and shows how the student has developed testable research hypotheses. Length: Varies

Research Design – 1 percent

The Research Design/Methodology describes how the student will test the hypothesis and carry out his/her analysis. This section describes the data to be used to test the hypothesis, how the student will operationalize and collect data on his/her variables, and the analytic methods that to be used, noting potential biases and limitations to the research approach. Length: Varies

Findings/Results/Discussion – 2 percent

The Findings/Results/Discussion section describes the results of the study. Keep in mind that the “results” are the direct observations of the research, while the “discussion” is the interpretation of the results and research. Length: Varies

The Finishing Touches – 1 percent

The finishing touches include refinements to prior sections and an updated Title Page, Copyright Page with Declaration, Dedication Page, Acknowledgement Page, Abstract, Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, IRB paperwork, and References.

Draft Capstone — 5 percent

The draft should include all substantive sections of the paper in their entirety as a working manuscript. The draft is not meant to be an outline of what the student will write for the final capstone thesis but rather the thesis in its complete form apart from any appendices. It must contain in-text citations in APA parenthetical style including a References List. Examples of successful capstone papers are available in the classroom to illustrate structures and formats that may vary depending on the research question and methodology of the specific project. Length: 50-100 pp. excluding appendices.

MA Thesis Submission – 85 percent

Based on prior submission of all assignments in the course, the final capstone thesis project will reflect the substantive elements developed and approved throughout the capstone course, representing a partnership between the student and the instructor. Keep in mind that appropriate stylistic formatting and documentation are the student’s responsibility. Student papers that do not follow the prescribed style rules will not be accepted. All declarations, appendices, metadata, and submission information as outlined in the End of Program Graduate Assessment Manual shall be part of the final capstone thesis. Length: 50-100 pp. excluding appendices.

NameGrade %
Discussion Forums 1.00 %
Week 2 Forum 0.25 %
Week 5 Forum 0.25 %
Week 9 Forum 0.25 %
Week 13 Forum 0.25 %
Research Question and Purpose Statement 1.00 %
Research Question, Purpose Statement, and Design Statement - Week 1 1.00 %
Thesis Proposal 1.00 %
Thesis Proposal - Week 3 1.00 %
Literature Review 2.00 %
Literature Review Assignment - Week 6 2.00 %
Theoretical Framework 1.00 %
Theoretical Framework - Week 8 1.00 %
Research Design & Methodology 1.00 %
Research Design - Week 10 1.00 %
Findings & Analysis 2.00 %
Findings/Results/Discussion - Week 12 2.00 %
Introduction & Conclusion 1.00 %
The Finishing Touches - Week 13 1.00 %
Draft Capstone Paper 5.00 %
Draft Capstone Paper - Week 14 5.00 %
Capstone Paper 85.00 %
MA Thesis Submission - Week 16 85.00 %

All required readings are located under the Lessons tab in the classroom.

Book Title:Please contact your professor for instructions regarding your capstone seminar.

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.