Capstone

Capstone Requirement

cappic

The capstone resolution. A Capstone Experience will require students to engage in explorations where the outcomes are unknown or to engage in self-assessment, reflection and analysis that prepares them for future success (or both). These experiences should occur during the senior year or near the program of study and must have a set of learning goals that are well communicated to students. These learning goals should support some or all of the Objectives of General Education.

In all possible regards, the Capstone Experience should be an expression of the totality of a student’s growth, development, and learning as an undergraduate. If the Capstone experience is primarily course based (vs. internship, research, etc.) it is recommended that wherever possible, the course include high impact practices such as service learning and problem based learning. Each capstone requirement will be a minimum of a one (1) credit, credit-bearing course. A Capstone Experience may be solely based within the discipline or be interdisciplinary in nature.

Guidelines for the Review of the Capstone Experience

In reviewing and approving proposed Capstone Experiences for degree programs, the Undergraduate Studies Committee is directed to use the following criteria.

A Capstone Experience will require students to engage in explorations in which the outcomes are unknown, and/or to engage in self-assessment, reflection, and analysis that prepares them for future success. These experiences should occur during the senior year or near the end of the program of study and must have a set of learning goals that are well-communicated to students. These learning goals should support some or all of the Objectives of General Education as established by the Faculty Senate on November 3, 2014. In all possible regards, the Capstone Experience should be an expression of the totality of a student’s growth, development, and learning as an undergraduate. If the Capstone experience is primarily course based (vs. internship, research, etc.) it is recommended that wherever possible, the course include high impact practices such as service learning and problem based learning. Each capstone requirement will be a minimum of a one (1) credit, credit-bearing course. A Capstone Experience may be solely based within the discipline or be interdisciplinary in nature.

The committee should view the following as exemplars of successful capstone experiences:

  1. Honors Thesis/Senior Research
  2. Course-Based Research
  3. Professional Practicum and Internships
  4. Design Projects
  5. Programmatic ePortfolios
  6. Senior-level Seminars
  7. Field Experiences
  8. Appropriately defined classroom courses

Key Questions

  • Is the concept of an interdisciplinary capstone a possible solution for departments that have difficulty offering their own capstone course?
  • How can we incentivize the creation of interdisciplinary capstone courses?
  • Will UD offer grants whereby faculty can propose to create new capstone courses?

As of August, 2016, the course inventory system was revised to include capstone designation for new or existing courses. The eight exemplars listed in the capstone resolution were revised to add a new “Honors Thesis and Senior Research” item. It was the determination of the Undergraduate Studies Committee that five of the exemplars were clearly defined and would require no additional justification in the course inventory process. These five were Honors Thesis, Senior Research, Professional Practicum and Internships, Design Projects, and Programmatic e-Portfolios.

The remaining four exemplars were considered to be less well defined and would require additional justification to meet the capstone criteria. The justification must show 1) how this course will require students to engage in explorations in which the outcomes are unknown; or 2) how this course will engage in self-assessment, reflection, and analysis that prepares them for future success.

A demonstration link for designating new or existing courses as Capstone was provided on the course inventory website (http://www1.udel.edu/registrar/faculty_staff/courseinv.html) so all faculty could clearly see what information is needed.

The deadline for all departments and programs to have submitted courses and have them approved through the college for capstone designation was December 1, 2017.

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