Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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Department of Teacher Education

Comprehensive Examinations

Option 2

REMINDER: Option 2 comps is only available as a format for satisfying the comps requirement for students who entered the program BEFORE Fall Semester 2012. If you entered the program in Fall Semester 2012 or later, please see the Revised Option format for more information on the comps exam.

Applications for Option 2:

Submit your application (including signed signature page) as an email pdf attachment or paper document to Lindsay Metiva at

Policies and guidelines for Option 2 are explained on the first three pages of the application (see below or download the application).

The Application
This application asks you to provide information about three artifacts. One artifact is evaluated by the Department Comps Committee; we call that the “Department Piece.” Two artifacts are evaluated by your Guidance Committee; we call those the “Committee Pieces.” The requirements for the Department Piece are different from the Committee Pieces, and those differences are indicated in these instructions and repeated on the application form.

Please Note:
  • Formative review refers to the critical readings that you receive in the process of revising and improving your work. This application asks you to provide information about formative reviews for all three of your artifacts. We expect that all three pieces will be revised repeatedly through a series of formative reviews before you submit those pieces for summative evaluation.
  • Summative evaluation refers to the final outcome: Accepted; Minor Revisions; Major Revisions; Rejected. This application also asks you to provide the name of one external summative evaluator for each of your two Committee Pieces.

Required Artifacts
Formative Review
Summative Evaluation
Due Date
Department Piece
Maximum length: 10,000 words
(see note below regarding word count)
3-5 reviewers
(you choose)
TE Department Comprehensive Exam Committee
Click here for due dates
First Committee Piece
Length: Determined by Guidance Committee
3-5 reviewers
(you choose)
Your Guidance Committee plus one external evaluator (you choose)
Set by your Guidance Committee
Second Committee Piece
Length: Determined by Guidance Committee
3-5 reviewers
(you choose)
Your Guidance Committee plus one external evaluator (you choose)
Set by your Guidance Committee

  • There is a separate section of this application for each of the three pieces.
  • To complete this application, please respond to each question in the space provided; extend the space only when necessary. Most responses should be in words or phrases, not sentences.
  • The Department Comprehensive Exam Committee will read and respond to this application. Your application may be approved. You may be asked to provide further information. You may be asked to revise your application. You may be asked to postpone your comprehensive examination to a later semester.

The Artifacts

Areas of Expertise

Across the three comps artifacts, at least two areas of expertise must be represented. Examples of areas/topics of expertise include, but are not limited to: science education, teacher knowledge, curriculum history, educational policy, critical race theory, charter schools, sociology of education, teacher induction, early literacy, philosophy of mathematics, teacher quality.


Across the three artifacts, at least two different genres must be represented. The genre for the Department Piece is restricted. Genres of Committee Pieces are open for discussion.

Genre eligible for the Department Piece
Possible genres for the Committee Pieces
Research report, broadly defined:
  • Report of a qualitative study (e.g., ethnographic; sociological; psychological; case-based; narrative; interpretive)
  • Report of a quantitative study (e.g., experimental; survey-based; empirical data-based)
  • Report of a conceptual, historical, or philosophical study
  • Research report, broadly defined
  • Annotated syllabus
  • Literature review
  • Book review
  • Oral presentation of teaching, research, Wiki, or Website
  • Reflection on teaching
  • Curriculum development
NOTE: When appropriate, we recommend that one of your committee pieces contain an oral component.


Department Piece:
Co-authored pieces are not accepted for the department piece.
Committee Pieces:
Your Guidance Committee will determine authorship guidelines.

Word Count

What is expected and acceptable in terms of word counts for scholarly publications varies from discipline to discipline. As a compromise, the Comps Committee has agreed to set a word count limit at 10,000 words, which includes references, tables, appendices, etc.

If you feel that the integrity of your piece would suffer significantly from this word limit, you need to draft a memo to the Comps Committee that justifies the overage. That memo should be submitted along with the artifact by the due date specified for each semester.

The Process

Formative Review (Dept. Piece)
The Option 2 Comprehensive Examination requires that you receive critical feedback on all your artifacts, and that you revise your work in response to those formative reviews before submitting it for summative evaluation. You choose the formative reviewers for each of your pieces. Your set of 3-5 formative reviewers must meet all these criteria:

  • No more than two of your committee members
  • At least two faculty members (from any institution)
  • People with expertise in your area of study

Formative reviewers may include: University faculty, peers, anonymous journal reviewers, and non-university people.

List the names of your formative reviewers, their institutional affiliations (if any) & contact information (email), and their area of substantive expertise.

If you had an artifact previously rejected by the Departmental Comprehensive Exam Committee, please inform the committee of the following:
  • What comments have you received, and in what ways did you respond to these comments in the process of revision and improvement? Please provide specific examples.
  • For reviews you still expect to receive, speak to the ways in which you will guide the reviewer so that you can receive targeted feedback that is helpful for you.
  • Please directly quote feedback you received and your revisions in response to that feedback. This is a good way to convey to the committee the rigor of the revision process you undertook.

NOTE: In planning for formative reviews, please remember that a critical reading can take several weeks. Also, it is usually not helpful to receive and try to respond to several different reviews all at the same time. The review/revision process will be more effective if you solicit formative reviews one at a time, and respond to each in turn. Be strategic.

Summative Review

For the Department Piece, the TE Department Comprehensive Exam Committee will provide summative evaluation. Your piece will be read and evaluated by at least three faculty members according to the rubric provided by the Department.

For the Committee Pieces, your Guidance Committee plus one external evaluator will provide summative evaluation. You and your committee will choose or design a summative evaluation rubric for both Committee Pieces. You may use or adapt the Department Piece rubric if that is appropriate. For both Committee Pieces, you will also choose an external summative reviewer who meets all of these criteria:
  • Is a faculty member (from any institution)
  • Is not on your committee
  • Has agreed to serve as a summative reviewer for you
  • Is not a co-author of the paper or director of the project with which this artifact is associated
  • Is not a formative reviewer for that piece
  • Has expertise in the relevant area of the piece

Postponing Comps

If you decide (for whatever reason) to postpone your comprehensive examination to a later semester, that’s fine. Please notify the chair of the comps committee about your plans.
If you postpone your comps to a later semester, you will need to submit a new application according to the schedule for that later date.

Ask Questions

Please feel free to contact your advisor and/or members of the Department Comps Committee if you have any questions, if you would like to discuss anything about your comps, or if you would like to request an exception or accommodation of any sort.
Doug Hartman, Co-Chair,
Lindsay Metiva, Program Secretary,