IDT Graduate Degree Planning Guide



This guide is designed to help IDT graduate students plan their coursework and degree completion. These are guidelines only. You need also need to check the Graduate School website for any additional information or changes to policy.


1. _____ The student submits application through the Graduate School website for admission to degree program. (The international student applies through the International Admissions website.)


2. _____ The student completes additional departmental admission requirements. All documentation is sent to the Graduate School or to International Admissions.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>All students must submit a 1000-word structured essay that describes their interest and career goals as they apply to the field of instructional design and technology. All essay questions should be addressed.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>All students must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant�s academic potential at the graduate level.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>IDT M.S. degree with a Technology Specialist emphasis applicants who are seeking State of Illinois certification through the department must submit verification of Illinois teaching certification and successful completion of the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (within five years of admission if certified prior to July 1, 1988, or if not certified in the State of Illinois). If not seeking State of Illinois certification through the IDT Department, a signed statement attesting to that fact is required.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>International students whose native language is not English must satisfy one of the following criteria:

<![if !supportLists]>o   <![endif]>Meet minimum TOEFL admission score required by the School of Graduate Studies;

<![if !supportLists]>o   <![endif]>Complete the WESL program prior to taking IDT graduate courses;

<![if !supportLists]>o   <![endif]>Hold a bachelor�s degree (with four years in residence) from an accredited college/university within the USA and within two years of matriculation at WIU


3. _____ The student receives a letter of admission from the Graduate School. The letter includes information about student usernames and passwords and other important WIU information.


4. _____ The student goes to to activate his/her WIU email account.


5. _____ The student receives a welcome letter from the IDT Department and is given access to the WesternOnline IDT Graduate Advising area. The Graduate Advising area contains useful information about the IDT program, exit options, graduate degree plan scheduling, and course rotation. Students in the Technology Specialist Emphasis will also have access to the WesternOnline IDT Technology Specialist Advising area. Contact Candice Biswell (cl� if the appropriate WesternOnline advising areas are not available to you.



6. _______ The IDT Graduate Advisor is available for program planning and answering questions from prospective and current students.


7. _______ The student enrolls in IDT 500 Preseminar as soon as possible. It is strongly suggested the student also sign up for either IDT 505 or IDT 510 core course in the first semester and then take the other one in the second semester.


8._______ The student files a Graduate Degree Plan at the departmental level prior to the completion of 15 semester hours of course work. All forms are available at


9. _______ Once the Graduate Degree Plan is approved by the School of Graduate Studies, the student can initiate a discussion of exit option topics with the IDT Graduate Advisor.


10. ______ Once the degree plan is approved and the exit option topics have been discussed with the IDT Graduate Advisor, the student submits a Request for Graduate Advising Committee form for the desired exit option (portfolio (IDT 603), applied project (IDT 603), or thesis (IDT 605)). This request must be submitted the fall or spring semester before the student wants to sign up for the exit option course. The degree plan must be approved and most or all of the coursework should be completed before signing up for the exit option course.


Note: The student must follow the specific exit option guidelines for additional requirements and deadlines. For example, if the student is planning to collect data that involves human subjects, the student must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to collecting data from any human subjects.



11._______ Once the Graduate Advising Committee has been assigned, the student will contact the committee chair to identify a more detailed plan for the exit option (e.g., types of project(s), major tasks, timelines, completion dates, and other requirements).


12._______ The student completes the appropriate Permission to Enroll form for their exit option and submits the completed form to the committee chair for review and approval. The form must be submitted to the IDT Department within one week of the first day of classes of the semester the student plans to register for the exit option class. The chair must have at least a week to review and make revisions before the 10-day deadline to register for classes.


13._______ Once the form has been approved and signed by the committee chair, the student will be registered for the exit option course by the department. Note that the student needs to be in his/her last semester when the portfolio is defended. It is the student�s responsibility to maintain dialogue, written and/or oral, with the committee chair while the work is in progress. The committee chair will share the plan with the other member of the committee for approval.


14.______ The student submits the Application for Graduation by dates stated on the Graduate Advising website. The application form and the deadline dates are available on this website.


15. _____ The student completes course work, including exit option defense. The portfolio option does not require collection of data. However, if the student is planning to collect data that involves human subjects, the student must work with the committee chair to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to collecting data from any human subjects.


16.______ The student works directly with the committee chair in developing the exit option report (which may require several drafts). The final draft must be ready for the committee chair to submit to the second committee member at least four weeks before the last day of the class of the semester. The second committee member has at least two weeks to review the report. Any recommendations or communication regarding the report from the second committee member will be communicated to the student by the committee chair.


17._____ The student should schedule the exit option defense through the IDT Administrative Assistant, after determining a date and time that is appropriate for the advisory committee. Defenses must be scheduled at least two weeks before the last day of classes for the semester. Online defenses must be approved by the advisory committee.


18. _____ The student will defend his/her report in a formal defense meeting with the advisory committee. With the committee consent, the defense may optionally be done online or through teleconferencing.


19. _____ The student completes the report. The final report document approved by the committee and submitted to the IDT Department by the Friday before finals week.


20. _____ All course revalidations, final grades, verification of thesis completion, official transcript for transfer work are complete and in the Graduate School by the last day of the student's final semester.



Subject to change.

© 2014