Integrative Project

The Integrative Project

Teachers College is unique in requiring all Master’s level students to complete an independent research project called an Integrative Project as their capstone achievement before receiving their degree. The Integrative Project is an exciting opportunity for students to weave together the knowledge base they have developed during their time within the program. Students are expected to consolidate different components of their education, integrating their practical training, didactic courses, and the research skills they have honed with professors or other mentors in venues outside of TC. The Integrative Project is an invitation and a space for students to think about a particular area of interest that they have been clarifying or intensifying during their tenure in the program. The result should be a polished product students can make use of once they leave TC and begin their careers in the helping professions.

While the process does not include a committee review and oral defense as is typical for a Master’s Thesis, the Integrative Project is intended to be a similarly rigorous learning experience, in which students demonstrate a clear degree of competence in their chosen field of study. Students are therefore encouraged to prepare a significant piece of scholarship that captures the breadth and depth that would be characteristic of a graduate level thesis. They are also expected to work independently, without the close supervision that is typical of a thesis advisor.  A typical effort will yield a mauscript of 30-50 pages.

At its best, the Integrative Project can serve as a bridge between a student’s classroom education and the world that lies outside. It is strongly suggested that students use the Integrative Project as a vehicle to make contact with professionals beyond TC that may later serve as useful links to career development (e.g. employment, publication, graduate school, etc.). The Integrative Project is yet another way to expand one’s network and build relationships for the future by cultivating work with TC faculty or in other relevant settings.

Here are some steps to assist in approaching the Integrative Project:

The best time to begin the IP process is in the second semester of your first year. To begin, start with what you know or have always wanted to learn more about. Pick an area of research that is well-matched with the type of work or training you wish to engage in after graduation. If you are currently in a research laboratory, working in a mental health or related facility, or affiliated with a worthwhile organization look around: Is there a question to be explored? A problem that has been left unaddressed? An inquiry to pursue? 

Students may choose to meet with Jada Rene Flint, the Integrative Project Advisor, early on to brainstorm potential projects. She will serve as a sounding board to help you think critically about what you want to research and what type of project to seek out. In addition, she will help address any pending questions regarding the Integrative Project. 


Conceptual Formats

  • Analysis of pre-existing data
  • Analysis of data collected by student
  • Systematic Review of Literature 
  • Clinical Case Study 
  • Questionnaire Construction
  • Qualitative Study
  • Grant Proposal for Future Research

The Psychology in Education program allows students to select a Sponsor who has demonstrated expertise in the content area that the student would like to focus on. These Sponsors must be approved at time of the student's formal proposal by the Program Director who functions as the de facto Integrative Projects Advisor to all of the students in the program.

An IP Sponsor is required to:

  1. Have completed doctoral education in their respective field (e.g., Ph.D, PsyD, MD, JD),
  2. Be knowledgeable about the content area the student is working in,
  3. Maintain a professional relationship with the student, and
  4. Complete the Sponsor Information Form


The Role of the Sponsor

The role of the Sponsor, at minimum, is to review the completed Integrative Project, and provide a qualitative evaluation using the Online IP Evaluation Form. In many cases students work closely with their Sponsors, who provide mentorship on the project, as well as an evaluation of the result. This model has allowed students to work in content areas that are well beyond the reach of our core faculty, and acquire expertise in areas that are intrinsically valuable to them.  

 As IP Advisor, the Program Director meets with each student individually, reviews the scope of the proposed project, makes recommendations on the direction a student might take in completing the project, and approves an appropriate Sponsor. The Program Director also holds weekly office hours in which students may seek consultation throughout the process to resolve problems and remain on track.

Our Program expects that Sponsors of Integrative Projects will maintain appropriately high standards for rigor, depth and breadth in evaluating the work of our students. In each case, the student should demonstrate a clear objective in completing the research. Although the ambition and scope of these projects vary widely; at a minimum, the manuscript should be well-written, carefully edited, and conform to American Psychological Association guidelines with regard to style and citations. The overview of the literature should be comprehensive, and include recent empirical work that shows a thoughtful awareness of the relevant literature. Research proposals or reports should demonstrate a firm grasp of the relevant methods, and ethical standards, and analyses should be appropriate to answer the questions being asked in the study.


Sponsor's Evaluation

The Sponsor's evaluation should reflect their honest assessment of the quality of the student's finished work. In rare cases, students embark on a project that is far too ambitious for their available resources, and is unable to deliver a coherent report at the end of the process. In such cases, the Sponsor is encouraged to contact the Program Director who will in turn address the issue with the student and formulate a plan for remediation.

Please Note: Sponsors must submit their evaluations via the online Evaluation Form no later than 4pm:

  • September 1st for students who plan to graduate in October
  • January 2nd for students who plan to graduate in Febraury
  • April 1st for students who plan to graduate in May

Following the brainstorming process and selecting a sponsor, a next step is to formally meet with Dr. Richardson, the Integrative Project Supervisor, to present and discuss your proposal. Students are expected to prepare a formal proposal via powerpoint presentation for this meeting. The powerpoint presentation should be a coherent outline of the Integrative Project that includes:

  1. A brief overview of the relevant literature, 
  2. Exploration of the gaps in the current research,
  3. A carefully worded research question,
  4. Explanation of the possible contributions of the topic in the field, and
  5. A description of the planned methods (i.e. conceptual format)

Graduation: October

Graduation: February

Graduation: May

Apply to Gradate by: August 1

Apply to Gradate by: November 1

Apply to Gradate by: February 1

IP Approval by: July 1

IP Approval by: November 1

IP Approval by: February 1



Once you have secured approval from Dr. Richardson, you will begin to independently formulate a timeline and milestones for timely completion. In this period, the context of your research question will be thoroughly explored and your project will set forth on addressing this question via your research design. The following guidelines below should be followed:

  • Professional: APA Style is required.
  • Substantial: The paper should be of substantial breadth and depth (30-50 pages, excluding referrences).
  • Original: Writing already submitted elsewhere (e.g., as coursework or for publication) may not be submitted for the Integrative Project. You may expand on previous work, but be aware that re-submitting previous work is tantamount to plagiarism of oneself. As with any other area of academic endeavor, plagiarism on the Integrative Project will be treated very seriously and may result in expulsion from the College.
  • Think “not too big, not too small”: This is not a doctoral dissertation, nor is it simply a final class paper. Consider the scope and feasibility. If you have a good idea for a research study, be sure that you have enough time ahead of the deadline to submit an IRB proposal, collect and analyze data, and write up the results. Adjust the scale of the project to your available resources in terms of time, finances, and mentorship. 

The integrative project should follow a process in which:

  • Students immerse in their own scholarship. A sponsor helps the student to conceptually frame the issue they are exploring, and then may meet as needed: anticipate a ratio of 95:5 student to Sponsor commitment.
  • The Integrative Project sponsor will then read the paper critically and provide feedback.
  • Expect 1-3 rewrites of drafts. Organize your time accordingly to make room for finalizing drafts.

NOTE: Along the way you may be in need of more support to clarify your research ideas. The Program Advisors and Program Director are available for consultation on this. Additionally, the Writing Center at TC is available for support on the writing and editing process. If you plan to collect your own data, be sure to consult with TC’s IRB office.

CCPX 4001 Integrative Project Course

All CCPX students in their FINAL SEMESTER must enroll in CCPX 4001 Integrative Project for 0 or 1 credit as needed. 

Integrative Project Sponsor's Evaluation

It is strongly advised to turn in the final draft of your Integrative Project to your Sponsor ONE MONTH prior to the deadline to give them plenty of time to review and evaluate it. You should coordinate with your Sponsor about their expectations for the number of drafts they are willing to read.  Completion of the IP Evaluation Form is assurance that your sponsor has indeed read, approved, and rated your work.  

Evaluation of the Integrative Project Online Form - For Sponsors


Completed Project

At the completion of the project, make sure not to leave any loose ends. The student is responsible for turning in the project on time (see deadlines below).

  1. Turn in the final draft of your Integrative Project to your sponsor one month prior to the final deadline.
  2. Have the Evaluation of the Integrative Project for MA Program form filled out by your Sponsor by 4pm of the deadline date. Note that late evaluations will delay your graduation.
  3. One week after the sponsor evaluation deadline, fill out the Psychology in Education Exit Survey to submit a digital copy of your Integrative Project. Submit a PDF version of your Integrative Project as “Last name_First name Title of Your Project.pdf”.

Confirmation of your completed Integrative Project will be submitted to the Registrar. Your degree audit will then be updated to show that the Integrative Project was completed and approved.



There are three deadlines for the submission of the Integrative Project Evaluation Form and the final Integrative Project:

Graduation: October

Graduation: February

Graduation: May

Apply to Gradate by: August 1

Apply to Gradate by: November 1

Apply to Gradate by: February 1

Sponsor Eval Due: September 1

Sponsor Eval Due: January 2

Sponsor Eval Due: April 1

IP Due: September 7

IP Due: January 8

IP Due: April 7

IP Approval by: July 1

IP Approval by: November 1

IP Approval by: February 1

Honorable Mention

Integrative Projects Sponsors are welcome to nominate exceptional student projects for a Honorable Mention. The Integrative Projects that are recommended for Honorable Mention will be reviewed and selected for a Program Award. The program typically distributes five awards for outstanding projects each year at the Integrative Projects Showcase.  Consideration for Program Awards are based on:

  • The methodological rigor of the study,
  • The novelty of the research question,
  • The importance of the research question, and
  • Contribution to the broader understanding of clinical phenomena


Integrative Project Showcase

The Integrative Projects Showcase is a yearly research fair where students are invited to present their projects. Any studies are invited to submit a research poster; however, students who were selected for Honorable Mention are strongly encouraged to prepare a poster.

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