Organizational Consulting Project

Students who come into the MARA program with at least three years of work experience in archives and/or records management have the option of undertaking an Organizational Consulting Project that spans two semesters in place of completing a professional project and participating in the Internship program.

Qualifying for the Organizational Consulting Project (OCP)

To qualify for the Organizational Consulting Project, you must::

  1. Be matriculated in the MARA degree program.
  2. Remain in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 minimum).
  3. Complete required prerequisites:
    • For students starting Fall 2012 forward:  Successful completion of 7 required courses: MARA 200, 204, 210, 211, 249, 285, and 284 (1 of 2 required).
    • For students starting their program prior to fall 2012: Have completed MARA 200, 202, 204, 210, 211, 248, 243, 249, and 256.
  4. Submit one letter of recommendation from a MARA instructor to the MARA Internship Instructor, and
  5. Receive approval of the MARA Internship Instructor.

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Completing the Requirements

If you meet the qualifications, you will be registered for MARA 295. Through consultation with the MARA Internship Instructor, you will identify a professional project submitted by an individual or an organization and supervised by a professional archivist or records manager that is sufficiently challenging to two semesters to complete.

Similarities between this course and the Professional Project course do exist, but there are major differences. The project you select here should be more challenging and take longer to complete than a Professional Project. In addition, time will be devoted to developing a plan using professional project management techniques. You will also be expected to complete your project following Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP). An Organizational Consulting Project (OCP) Handbook is provided for students in this course to guide the two-semester project.

You and the client will agree upon deliverables which can be recommendations, proposals or other products (e.g., training programs and accompanying manuals and podcasts, revision of a records retention schedule based on a corporate merger, and development of a records management policy for a company that has none) that can be implemented or used by the client organization. A copy of or link to the completed project (or other documentation that the project has been completed), a form indicating satisfactory completion signed and dated by the client, and a final report discussing the project and your personal experience are required for satisfactory completion of the course.

You are expected to devote a minimum of 135 hours to this project the first term in which it is taken and a minimum of 185 hours the 2nd term, for a total of 320 hours over two semesters.

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Evaluating the Experience

Several instruments will be used to evaluate your participation in this course. The actual method or combination of methods used for evaluation will depend on the project selected, learning outcomes, and assignments. Some or all of the following will be requested upon completion of the course:

  1. Participation. You will be required to enroll in an online course (MARA 295) and contribute to the online discussion and participate in in-class exercises. You will be expected to master concepts of project management and generally accepted recordkeeping principles. Readings will be required, such as chapters from the Kerzner text, Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (10th ed.).
  2. Project log. You will be required to maintain an on-going record of the hours you’ve worked and your activities. Further information regarding the project log will be available through the online course.
  3. Project Report.You will be required to prepare a professional project final report (based upon the learning outcomes identified for the project) discussing how those outcomes were (or were not) accomplished. A copy of the final report must be submitted to the instructor through the Canvas learning management system along with the final project or, in the case of a project that is not a document (e.g. an electronic records management system or database), along with access information or other documentation so that the instructor can access the final project.

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