This summative assignment represents the Capstone Project of the entire Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree program. For this assignment, conduct research on a Homeland Security and Emergency Management topic utilizing the steps of the scientific method. This assignment will have incremental assignments to submit during Week 1 and Week 2 of this course in order to ensure that you are progressing in proper research methodology and scope. The research question and hypothesis approval is due in Week 1 and a literature review will be due in Week 2. These assignments support the project, but they are graded separately and retain their own values separate from the Capstone Research Project.

Conduct an original research project in one of the following topic areas. For reference purposes and review, these key homeland security areas and sub-disciplines can be reviewed at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Links to an external site.) website.

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Counterterrorism activities and programs in aviation security or law enforcement
Aviation (see Transportation Security (Links to an external site.))
Border security activities and programs in protecting America (See Border Security) (Links to an external site.)
Preparedness, response and recovery activities and programs in disaster response or disaster recovery (See Disasters (Links to an external site.))
Immigration activities and programs in immigration enforcement (See Immigration Enforcement (Links to an external site.))
Homeland security activities and programs in cybersecurity and privacy protection (See Cybersecurity (Links to an external site.))
Once a topic area has been selected, formulate a research question and supporting hypotheses for approval by the instructor at the conclusion of Week 1.

Use your approved research questions and hypotheses to develop research variables and a literature review for submission during Week 2.

During Week 3, 4, and 5, conduct research and write a research paper that is between 10 to 12 pages in length and includes the following basic structure.

Identify a key issue and supporting research question in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (one page).
Create one research hypothesis that may answer the research question. You may use one that you formulated for Week 1 assignment, “Research Project Preparation” (one page). The hypothesis must be clearly stated in a stand-alone statement then supported with a paragraph discussion.
Establish research variables for analysis and subsequent confirmation or refute of the research hypothesis (roughly two to three pages). The research variables must be clearly stated in a stand-alone statement then supported with a paragraph discussion to describe the type of variable, whether is it dependent or independent.
Conduct a Literature Review for the topic selected. This research must be supported by at least eight scholarly, professional, or official government resources, five of which can be found in the Ashford University Library. Use the Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) document for guidance. The course textbook will not be considered a valid reference for the resources requirement (two to four pages).
Analyze the research question and supporting hypothesis (one to two pages).
Construct a conclusion of research (results and answer of the research) ( one to two pages).
Include a reference page, which does not count towards the summative assignments page total. The reference page should be as long as needed to accurately account for all utilized research materials. Each item of the reference page should be in APA style (Links to an external site.), as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.), and include where the reference was located (i.e., Ashford University Library, Internet, etc.). All references listed on the reference page must be used and cited within the paper.
The Capstone Research Project must be at least 10 pages in length. You must use at least eight scholarly, official government, or professional references, other than the course textbook, to support your thesis. At least five of these resources must come from the Ashford University Library. All sources must be properly cited in text as well as on the reference page. The Capstone Research Project must be formatted according to APA style. If you would like to refer to APA samples and tutorials, review the APA style (Links to an external site.) page within the Ashford Writing Center, located in the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation bar.

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