Syllabus for NUC-495



Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology Capstone is an in-depth, student-centered activity that requires the integration of theory and practical experience in the field of nuclear energy engineering technology. You will apply the skills and techniques that you have learned and/or experienced to a specific project. In the project you will identify a real-world nuclear engineering technical problem, issue, event, developing technology, or case study. You will conduct research by exploring, evaluating, and formulating a solution in a final paper. Upon successful completion of the course, you will demonstrate having met the learning outcomes of the Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology degree program.  

Prerequisite: NUC-490: Nuclear Technology Assessment /Career Planning   


After completing this course, you will be able to:


CO1        Apply Thomas Edison State University and ETAC-ABET student outcomes to nuclear energy engineering technology.


CO2        Identify a real-world nuclear energy engineering technical problem, issue, event, developing technology, or case study.


CO3        Interpret nuclear energy engineering technology literature.


CO4        Outline a solution for a nuclear energy engineering technology topic by integrating theory, practical experience, and industry standards.


CO5        Participate in team formation and interaction.


CO6        Prepare and present an oral presentation.


CO7        Compose a research project.

CO8        Evaluate team member participation.


There are no textbooks required for this course.

Internet resources are included in each module for recommended readings and points to start Web searches for supporting information.


Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology Capstone is a four-credit online course, consisting of the six modules. Modules includes an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities.  Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module: 1


Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3, and 5


Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 3, and 4


Course objectives covered in this module: 4, 5, 6, and 8


Course objectives covered in this module: 6 and 8


Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 3, 4, and 7


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in three graded discussion forums and to complete five written assignments.


For the Capstone Project, you and your team are required to submit your Final Project Paper and complete Student Group Evaluations.


Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.  The Course Calendar provides dates to start each module and complete each assignment.  It is important to complete each assignment before or by the due date to attain full credit.  To stay current with all your assignments, you are highly recommended to maintain a copy of the Course Calendar with the week-by-week dates on it. Submitting assignments late adversely impacts your grades.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in three graded discussion forums. There is an ungraded but required introductions forum in Module 1, and an ungraded but required team selection forum in Module 2.


For posting guidelines and additional help with online discussion assignments please see the Online Student Handbook located within the General Information section of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments in preparation for the final Capstone project paper. These include topic selection and a problem statement, a bibliography, a project paper outline, a progress report, and oral presentation evaluations.


See the Online Student Handbook for additional help regarding preparing and submitting assignments located within the General Information section of the course website.

Capstone Final Project Paper

You are required to complete a final project as a group for this capstone course. The ability to work effectively in a team is one of the program outcomes that each student must demonstrate. This course requires students to form a group/team and work collaboratively to complete the Capstone Project. The Group Discussion Forums provides you an online space to discuss, share, critique, and elaborate only among your group members. It is also an online space for you to demonstrate your group work together to complete your group/team’s Capstone paper.


Your final project includes seven steps: team selection, topic selection and problem statement, bibliography, Capstone project paper outline, progress report, oral presentations and evaluations, and, finally, the completed Capstone paper. You are also required to post comments on other students' oral presentations and discussion forums.


As part of your final paper grade, you are also required to rate your team members' efforts in completing your final research paper. This will be an anonymous peer evaluation that requires you to download and complete a group evaluation form. The mentor will average your peers' ratings which counts 30% of your individual final paper grade. The mentor's grading of your team's final paper counts 70% of your individual final paper grade.


For your benefit in successfully completing the NUC-495 Capstone course, keep the following key points in mind.

  1. Title
  2. Abstract or Hypothesis
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Body Text / Content – include pictures, graphics, tables as necessary to illustrate your argument, or use appendices to provide your illustrations
  6. Conclusions
  7. Acknowledgments: external resources who have helped the team perform the research. These do not include the Mentor or the team members themselves.
  8. References
  1. References must be presented in American Psychological Association (APA) format.
  1. Appendices
  1. One Appendix must be the Student Outcomes and Sub-Outcomes as listed in the “Rubric - NUC 495 Based on TESU and ETAC-ABET Student Outcomes”, contained in Course modules.

  1. It is imperative that you construct your Project Paper from the outset with the goal of fulfilling the outcomes in mind.  The capstone project research effort needs to encompass each Outcome and Sub-Outcome, and the written report/research paper needs to reflect unambiguous statements regarding student demonstration of achievement and mastery of the Student Outcomes down to the Sub-Outcome level.

  1. To effectively demonstrate this linkage, you should list the NUC-495 Student Outcomes as an Appendix of the final paper, and then note, using superscripts, where each Student Outcome and Sub-Outcome is addressed within the body of the paper. See the “Rubric NUC 495 Based on TESU and ETAC-ABET Student Outcomes” for the complete listing of all Sub-Outcomes.


Examples:  use (SO 4.b) or (SO 13.c) in the superscript font (SO 4.b or SO 13.c) to indicate where those Student Outcomes and Sub-Outcomes are covered in the paper.  In most cases it will be obvious within the context of the report where to reference the associated outcome.  The bottom line is that ALL SOs and Sub-Outcomes must be referenced in the final Paper.  However, in some cases it may seem odd to include text in the body of the paper to address a specific SO, examples and suggestions follow.


SO # 3 - “Demonstrate the ability to conduct standard tests and measurements in the lab or in the field …”  This outcome can be referenced in the paper as you report on your results of assimilating data and statistics.

SO # 5 - “Demonstrate effective leadership and participation as a member of a technical team.”  This outcome should be described and appropriately footnoted in the Introduction of the paper.

SO # 9 - “Demonstrate the need for and commitment to engage in self-directed continuing professional development and life-long learning in one’s discipline.”  This SO can be discussed and referenced in the Introduction or Conclusion of the paper.  Consider including perspectives from each student.

SO # 12 - “Demonstrate a commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement…”  This SO can be discussed and appropriately footnoted in the Introduction or Conclusion of the paper.


It is imperative that each student must complete all assignments of the course, including Discussion Forums and Written Assignments.  If an individual does not submit an assignment, they will not receive a passing grade for the course.  Completion of all assignments is necessary for mentors to evaluate your performance in all Student Outcomes designated for this course.


Sample Final Project Paper with comments 


Your grade in the course will be determined using the Student Outcomes and rubrics provided throughout this course.  Ensure that you review each element of the rubrics to understand the several criteria and details that will be used to assess your final grades.


Key elements of the course that will be used to determine your final grade are as follows.

Overall course evaluation will be based on the 13 Student Outcomes of the Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology program, listed below.  The Sub-Outcomes are also listed in the Rubric contained in Course Documents.  Each student will be evaluated on each Student Outcome based on the quality, quantity, participation, and responses they employ to satisfy the specific course objectives, assignments, and the Final Capstone Project.

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental mastery of the knowledge, skills, and modern/appropriate techniques and tools required for nuclear facility operations and /or related fields.

  1. Demonstrate an ability to understand and apply current concepts in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology to engineering technology/nuclear facility problems using proper application of principles and applied procedures or methodologies.

  1. Demonstrate the ability to conduct standard tests and measurements in the lab or in the field; similarly, to conduct, analyze, and interpret experiments; and apply results to resolve technical challenges and improve processes. 

  1. Demonstrate the ability to design or redesign systems, components or processes that are used for efficient and safe operation of a nuclear facility.

  1. Demonstrate effective leadership and participation as a member of a technical team.

  1. Demonstrate a capability to solve technical problems through proper identification, research and systematic analysis of the issue.

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in oral, written, and graphical communications in a technical and non-technical setting utilizing standard English.

  1. Demonstrate an ability to identify and use appropriate technical literature, documents and procedures.

  1. Demonstrate the need for and commitment to engage in self-directed continuing professional development and life-long learning in one’s discipline.

  1. Demonstrate professional, ethical, and social responsibilities within the nuclear energy field, while recognizing differences due to culture and diversity.

  1. Demonstrate recognition of the impacts of nuclear technology solutions in an expanding societal and global context, including cyber security.

  1. Demonstrate a commitment for quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement in professional activities.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the Federal, State, and Local regulations, standards, and rules applying to operations and safety in the nuclear energy field. 

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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