Graduate Students' Perspective of Their Culminating Experience: Exploring Master's Students in Early Education

ABSTRACT GRADUATE STUDENTS' PERSPECTIVE OF THEIR CULMINATING EXPERIENCE: EXPLORING MASTER'S STUDENTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION By Nanette Padilla Master of Arts in Education, Educational Psychology The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that influence the culminating experience (thesis/thesis project/comprehensive exams) of 24 participants from a 4-year public university in California, Master's program in early childhood education, between the years of 2010-2015. Through the use of a Survey Monkey questionnaire, participants revealed their personal accounts of the culminating experience. The responses from the survey questionnaire revealed challenges and/or barriers that participants experienced during the journey of their culminating experience, along with the tactics created by each participant that helped them overcome such obstacles. Through the examination of the results, common themes arose from the responses of the participants, such as trends in the culminating experience, lifestyle choices, time management, timely feedback/edits, and support systems.