Education (Polytechnic)

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College actively supports the goals and mission of Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University through its work with students enrolled in any of the college’s undergraduate education programs. The college is setting a new standard for teaching, discovery and innovation, and offers effective programs for students interested in teaching in both school and 
community settings. Its iTeach AZ program, in partnership with Phoenix metropolitan schools, as well as several rural schools in the state, won the prestigious ASU President’s Award for Innovation in 2012 because of its rigorous preparation of teachers. 

More recently, MLFTC has begun implementation of the Professional Pathways program. Building on the success of iTeachAZ, the main innovation of MLFTC Professional Pathways is that, instead of hewing to the 1-to-1 mentor model, the college is working with school partners to form teams of certified teachers and teacher candidates working across multiple classrooms under the leadership of an experienced lead teacher. By putting teacher candidates in teams, the college is strengthening the systems of support they receive in their internships and residencies. 

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College programs are offered on three ASU campuses - Polytechnic, Tempe and West. Programs of study lead to degrees that include:

1.Early Childhood (Birth –Grade 3) and Early Childhood Special Education (Birth –Age 5) Dual 
Certification, Tempe Campus

2.Elementary Education (Grades 1-8), All Campuses
• English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education focus, Tempe Campus
• Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focus, Polytechnic Campus
• Gifted focus, West Campus

3. Secondary Education (Grades 7-12), All Campuses

4. Special Education (Grades K-12) and Elementary Education Dual Certification (Grades 1-12), 
Tempe, Polytechnic and West Campuses

5.Educational Studies* (non-certification degree), All campuses

Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in education should contact the lead FHA (Juliet Hart Barnett).

Faculty Honors Advisors

Juliet Hart Barnett

Thesis/Creative Projects: 

Honors students complete their Honors Thesis/Creative Project under the direction of a Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Faculty Mentor who serves as Thesis Director, assists with the thesis or creative project, and whose professional interests support the student’s thesis topic. Completion of an Honors Thesis/Creative Project in Teachers College reflects the expectations of the Honors College. Honors students are encouraged to work with faculty from other colleges if their areas of expertise support the project. 

Completing aspects of honors work within the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is a valuable, fulfilling experience for both students and faculty. Faculty involved in the growth and mentoring of undergraduate students are rewarded with opportunities to reflect on their own teaching and learning. Similarly, students who systematically examine relevant issues in the field of education are more effectively prepared for future scholarly work and work as a professional. Some students elect to conduct their honors thesis/projects as part of their year-long internship activities. This context offers an available opportunity to study, implement, and evaluate instructional activities with K-12 students.

A thesis/creative project is a collaborative effort between the student and the committee. It is essential to set expectations with students very early, to hold regular meetings, and create a timeline with benchmarks for the student’s work. This will enable the student to work more effectively under the chair’s direction, and reveal any potential problems with the project. An honors thesis/creative project should not be worked on independently by the student without collaboration with faculty. By the time the student is scheduled to defend his/her work, the entire committee should be familiar with and supportive of the final product. 

The Honors Advising Office educates students on the importance of understanding the role of their committee and strongly reinforces the responsibility of the student to communicate with each committee member on a regular basis throughout the process. 

Director: The committee consists of a Director, a Second Committee Member, and may include a Third Committee Member. The Director, chosen by the student, is a regularly-appointed member of the ASU faculty with professional expertise in the thesis/creative project area. The Director must be a lecturer or tenure-line faculty member. The Director is the faculty member with whom the student will work most closely throughout the process. The Director is responsible for providing project expectations, guidance throughout the entire thesis/creative project process, and evaluation of the final work. The student should meet regularly with the Director throughout the project. Among the members of a thesis committee, the Director’s recommendations are the most heavily weighted. 

Second Committee Member: The Second Committee Member is an individual who the student and Director decide is appropriate to serve based on knowledge and experience with the thesis/creative project topic. The credentials of your Second Committee Member will be determined by the Director and the criteria of the Teachers College. The Second Committee Member could be a regular faculty member at ASU. A Second Committee Member is responsible for assisting you with research as needed, reading/viewing and providing feedback on drafts of the work, and being physically present to participate at the defense. Some Second Committee Members meet almost as regularly with students as the Director; others become involved only at significant points (e.g. a statistician when statistics are being analyzed). Regular in-person meetings, which at times may include the Director, are required to discuss the progress of the thesis/creative project.

Third Committee Member (optional): If needed, a Third Committee Member will offer insights beyond those offered by the Director and Second Committee Member. Member. Family members, students, or close friends are not appropriate Third Committee Members. The student and the Director should choose the Third Committee Member no later than six weeks prior to the defense; the Third Committee Member should receive a copy of the thesis/creative project at least 2-3 weeks before the defense. Students may also apply for the Barrett Honors External Examiner Program, which provides funding for an outside expert to act as a third committee member. The application is on the Barrett website and is also included in the Thesis/Creative Project Guidebook. An External Examiner is only eligible for the role of Third Committee Member.

Group Projects 

Barrett allows more than one student to work on a thesis/creative project. Group projects are at the discretion of the Thesis Director. Group thesis/creative projects give students valuable experience and enable them to take on larger, more complicated topics. They can collaborate with peers and work with students in other disciplines in order to approach the topic from a variety of viewpoints. Group projects can and should grow out of a variety of student/faculty interactions including—but not limited to—labs, capstone classes, creative work, internships, and faculty research projects that utilize undergraduates. Each student in the group is required to submit an individual prospectus document. The individual roles of each group member should be articulated and a “code of conduct” agreed upon, particularly when the project is interdisciplinary. A detailed prospectus ensures that there is sufficient work for each student. 

Academic Preparation: 

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers a maximum of 6 credits for Honors Thesis/Creative Project work. Students who select a Teachers College faculty member to serve as Thesis Director register for TEL 492 Honors Directed Study during the design and data collection portion of their work, and for TEL 493 Honors Thesis during the semester they complete and defend their work. Prior to enrolling in TEL 492 or 493, all students must complete a thesis/creative project information session. Students may complete this requirement by completing one of the following: One of the Thesis Workshop Sessions periodically offered by Barrett or the on-line workshop offered through Barrett via ASU Canvas.

Other Honors Opportunities: 

TEL 494 is a research course that Honors Students may enroll in during which they may commence or continue research opportunities with faculty with whom shared topic interests exist. This course functions as an independent study in which the faculty member and honors student negotiate work on a research project and for which the student in awarded a grade.

Honors Website and Resources 

The Honors website has several resources available to assist you in navigating the thesis/creative project process. Please select the Academics tab on the homepage and then the Thesis/Creative Project link. Here you will find the guidelines given to Barrett students, which outline the process and due dates for all projects. As always, if you have any questions, please contact the Barrett Honors Advising Office on your campus. Other useful links include: