Introduction to the ARP
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Education is predicated on the communication of knowledge of information. Therefore, effectively communicating is paramount in any type of education, but especially online education and even more important during the Applied Research Project (ARP) process. Communicating takes many forms: email, phone calls, discussion postings, electronic announcements, WebEx presentations, online chatting, and even feedback given on assignments. It is integral to the ARP process that all students read or listen to all communications and respond in a timely manner. Instructors and advisors are held to the same standard.


Students are expected to communicate in a respectful and professional manner at all times. All communications—including questions and concerns—should be delivered in a way that is professional and appropriate. This is especially important in email and discussion forum communications where tonality and meaning can be misunderstood. Moreover, be mindful of proper communication protocol. As a general rule, all questions and concerns should be directed toward your instructors or advisor first. They will direct you further, if needed. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are having trouble logging in, contact your instructor or advisor to notify them, and also contact technology support to resolve the issue.

Arp objectives

To learn the process of producing scholarly work

To write academically at the graduate level

To gain and display research skills

To enhance critical-thinking skills

To be able to identify concerns and make ethical and professional decisions

All objectives of the ARP and the overall MA program are supported by helpful resources via TCSPP

ARP Objectives

What is an applied research project arp
What is an Applied Research Project (ARP)?

The Applied Research Project (ARP) is the capstone of the Master’s program at The Chicago School. The ARP is a graduation requirement that students work to complete through the entirety of the program. It is a project that is meant to be a vehicle through which students apply some psychological concept to attend to a problem or fulfill a need in the workplace. The vision is to allow students the opportunity to experience psychology in action by literally linking theory to practice.

Essentially, it is:

An action research project a student completes, which addresses an area of interest or a problem related to current or past work/professional setting.

The ARP courses are designed to facilitate the completion of the ARP.

Each course (both “A” and “B” sections) will facilitate the completion of a particular component of the ARP.

Design of arp courses
Design of ARP Courses

The “A” sections teach a skill

The “B” sections apply that particular skill

Each ARP course builds on the previous course

The series teaches how to complete the ARP

You complete while you learn!

Who is involved
Who is involved?

Instructors teach “A” sections

They teach the skills necessary for completing the ARP

Advisors facilitate “B” sections

They guide students in applying the skills to complete the ARP

They approve each component of the ARP

NOTE: There is a WebEx meeting with your advisor in 601A, and then in Week 1 of each “B” section in the 600-series – these meetings will introduce the unique course expectations for each course.

The breakdown
The Breakdown

601A – Learn about academic writing and assessing skills

Deliverables: Identify project and develop ARP Topic Paper; locate at least 2 peer-reviewed journal articles related to the ARP topic

601B – Formulate research topic & question

Deliverables: Critique 2 peer-reviewed journal articles; create the ARP Background, Problem, and Goal Statement

602A – Learn to compose a literature review using APA style of writing

Deliverables: Create an annotated bibliography; develop the Literature Review outline; identify a minimum of 15 scholarly articles related to the ARP topic problem statement

602B – Complete literature review as a means to support the identified research questions

Deliverable: Convert annotated bibliography into a literature review that provides a logical argument for the action research intervention

The breakdown1
The Breakdown

603A - Learn about various research methodologies

Deliverable: Based on a completed literature and research question/hypothesis, propose a methodology for your action research based on rigorous, established practice in the field.

603B - Map out complete ARP methodology

Deliverable: Create a well developed methodology; describe expected results, citing additional scholarly sources as support for assertions or conclusions as necessary

604A - Learn about professional ethics

Deliverable: Evaluate and document ethical issues involved in the intervention

604B - Add auxiliary documents to ARP

Deliverable: Document the actual results of the action research intervention; write the discussion section, evaluating the efficacy of the intervention and recommending changes to the selected action research methodology

The breakdown2
The Breakdown

605A - Finalize overall ARP

Deliverable: Make refinements to and compile all sections created in previous courses into Final Deliverable

605B -Present your Applied Research Project to the ARP Committee for evaluation

Deliverable: Create a presentation that reflects on the effectiveness of the project and lessons learned

How to choose an arp topic question
How to choose an ARP topic/question


An area of interest - you will work on the ARP for over a year

Related to program of study

Research Question(s)

One strong, solid question (or two)

Operationally define terms in the text (i.e., “good”, “effective”, “successful”, “negative”)

Adequate information gathering (be sure research data is accessible/available)

Concise, clear, and focused (an audience should be able to understand the direction of the project and it should be able to be replicated)

We will discuss the specifics of cultivating your Applied Research Project topic and research question(s) in Week 4.

What is the arp showcase
What is the ARP Showcase?

The ARP Showcase is a required component of the ARP Process.

Final product (the ARP packet and presentation) presented to the ARP Committee

The ARP Committee consists of faculty and advisors from the academic community.

Think of the ARP Showcase as a thesis defense.

You present your projects and then must answer questions from the audience.

Your advisor will cover the requirements and expectations for the ARP Showcase in detail during course 605B.

You will be given the opportunity to practice your ARP Showcase prior to the final presentation in 605B.

More arp information
More ARP Information

The completion of the ARP is a graduation requirement; however, due to program time constraints and depending on the type of project, the level of completion for each project needed to be considered finished could be different.

For example, an ARP focused on program development would need to include all materials and ancillary documents. The project would also need to contain sufficient depth and specificity to be implemented - however, the program would not need to actually be implemented to fulfill the graduation requirement.

For another example, a project that involves critiquing / analyzing a past / completed project would need to contain: 1) a detailed definition of the problem; 2) a thorough review of the literature related to the ARP topic; 3) an analysis of alternative solutions / interventions; 4) the selection of one solution for critical analysis; 5) a discussion of how you would have evaluated the outcomes of your solution; and 6) recommended changes and/or improvements to the project if you would to do it again.

Available resources
Available Resources

Instructors – They will serve as content experts, assisting you in identifying appropriate topic areas, peer-reviewed articles for your literature review, identifying the appropriate methodology to evaluate your project, and help you understand the ethics involved and related to your ARP.

Advisors – They will be a main point of reference throughout the program (your advisor will contact you in week 3 or 4 while in 601A). The purpose of the WebEx meetings is to review course expectations, timelines, and to give students the opportunity to ask questions in real time. Your advisor will contact you with information regarding how to access the meeting, specific dates and times, and other WebEx related information.

Available resources1
Available Resources

E-College Course Home

Course Syllabus

Course Announcements

Excel Competencies

Six Traits of Writing

ARP Proposal examples

Bias in Language

In-text Citations

Note: these resources may vary in each course

TCS Library

TCS Academic Center for Excellence

Focus Program

APA materials

ARP documents sent via postal mail from advisement staff

Want to be successful
Want to be successful?


Pay attention to detail

Read instructions first

Be proactive (ask questions and seek out knowledge)

Be responsible/Be accountable

Check TCS e-mail account and course announcements

Utilize all resources