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What is a Capstone Project in College?

what-is-a-capstone-project-in-college
February 20, 2019

Don’t know the answer to the question ‘What is a capstone project in college?’ A Capstone Project is a valuable assignment for person’s future experience. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate analytical and writing skills. Besides, it is valuable experience for future career. A capstone Project differs from the rest of assignments, as students are free to choose the topic they are interested in. They can further use this experience in college.

It is impossible to graduate if one fails a Capstone Project.

Guidelines for Writing a Capstone Project

The Capstone framework has some characteristics. For a successful grade, a student should complete an original project. It should cover an up-to-date topic. It is a time consuming part of the course. In terms of time, one is supposed to spend as much time as he would do on the most challenging course.
In the process of writing, the student will have to ask proper questions, make right inquires, synthesize ideas and draw conclusions. A Capstone will make one improve his skills and create a project he/she wouldn’t have imagined to accomplish at the very beginning.
There are many other secondary framework characteristics and guidelines one can go through to get a better insight into a capstone project.
Generally, a student is supposed to work on a project for two semesters. It takes around a semester to develop a proposal for the future Capstone. The other step will be receiving an approval from student’s faculty mentor and instructor. The mentor should be a member of the UVA faculty. During the second semester, they are expected to start completing their Capstone II. In order to pass the course, the student needs to receive a C grade or higher per each part of the project.
Usually students are required to submit two paper copies of the project. Sometimes they need to submit an electronic one as well. One copy with a final grade is returned back. The other copy is sent to the library.
The project is evaluated only after its final presentation.

What Is a Capstone Project in High School?

It may be tough to find an answer to the question ‘what is a Capstone Project in High School?’ This type of project may be called a senior exhibition. This assignment is supposed to be a culmination of student’s academic experience. High school students have to work on this project during their final year. Sometimes they will have to take it at the end of a specific academic program. Some people compare it with a college thesis, though a Capstone project is usually a long-term project. Students are expected to follow the assigned format as this project may have a variety of forms. Usually a student is assigned a specific research subject to conduct a research on. Most of the time it will be something that interests them. A student will be required to work on it, research the topic and present the findings and conclusions in a form of a multimedia presentation, a film or a paper. The project is usually evaluated by a panel of teachers or someone with sufficient expertise in the field.
In the process of writing a Capstone project, students develop vital critical thinking skills. They are also encouraged to learn how to solve challenging problems. In the process of preparing a Capstone project, students have an opportunity to improve a whole range of skills, including planning, teamwork, communication, and public speaking. They will be better prepared to college or real life challenges. Students are also encouraged to incorporate their out of school experience.
There is no one typical guideline to write a Capstone project and each school has its own protocol for this type of assignment. Still, there is a general concept of what a Capstone is. Students should not forget that most of the Capstones are real-life and socially oriented projects. Here are some samples of how such a project may look like:

  1. Developing software or a product that will assist disabled people in their special needs.
  2. Working at an NGO to get a profound understanding of such social problems as poverty and learn new ways to address and battle them.
  3. A research on the ecological impact of deforestation on its natural habitats.

These are just a few topics that may be covered in a Capstone project as they have an indirect impact on our life.

Capstone Projects emerged as a result of other improvements in education. A new school-reform strategy was aimed at preparing high school students for modern day challenges. Some of these models comprise student-centered learning and proficiency-based learning.

Capstone Projects Have Several Aims

  1. Earlier, high school students used to have a learning loss during their senior year as they had a lighter course load and therefore many of them ended unprepared for the first year in college. Getting involved in a Capstone Project allows them to receive new learning experiences and to become more prepared for college.
  2. Most of the students are allowed to select a Capstone project theme on their own. This creative nature helps to motivate students to learn. At the end of their high school, students lose their academic motivation and tend to pay less attention to burdensome assignments. Unlike other high school tasks, in a Capstone a student has an opportunity to work on something he finds appealing.
  3. Improving confidence and developing new positive traits. When completing a Capstone Project, a student has to follow instructions, take responsibilities, set new goals, and make commitments. All of the above mentioned assists in boosting student’s confidence and self-esteem. Such an approach also helps younger students, who look up to seniors as real role models. It cultivates leadership traits in both freshmen and seniors.
  4. Show student’s proficiency. A Capstone project as many other tasks is meant to demonstrate student’s proficiency and achievements in the field of study. Besides, it helps to check student’s readiness for future career or college as one is supposed to incorporate all the knowledge and skills acquired during the course into the Capstone Project.

Some states have been rapidly implementing new approaches to educational policies. For example, according to Rhode Island’s state policy, senior are required to complete a list of assignments with a Capstone being one of them. Some of the states have made a senior project a mandatory task, while others make such projects optional. Some schools even issue diplomas or other recognitions for students who succeeded in writing a Capstone Project.

Questions Around Capstone Projects

There is a number of questions that arise in terms of the importance of writing Capstone Projects. The major issue is the quality of execution. No one has ever doubted the educational value and the possible learning potential of a Capstone Project. Most of the problems occur when these projects are poorly designed. Some teachers fail to control the whole process and allow students to work on the projects with a low educational value. Some people underestimate the importance of these projects, which results in the low quality of the latter. Both teachers and students should develop a different approach to this kind of task, as it is not meant to be a mere formality. Such an approach can lead to an opinion that capstone projects are a mere waste of time.

Capstone Projects

Capstone projects help students to apply the expertize they gained in a practical way in order to solve a proposed problem. There are several approaches to assigning a Capstone project. Among them, there are two most popular ones. Some teachers assign a Capstone at the end of the course, while others assign it at the beginning and the students will work on it throughout the course.
You may find a number of Capstone project examples online.

How a Capstone Project is Graded?

Some schools apply Coursera’s grading system, which is based on peer grading. Some papers are graded by experts or automatically. Therefore, some teachers evaluate the project only after the final submission, though others grade each separate section prior to submission.
A student may be positively graded only if all the sections receive a passing grade.

The Length of the Project

Do not postpone everything till the last minute as any Capstone requires at least 40 hours of total work on the project. On average, a student is expected to prepare such a project in 4 to 8 weeks, including preparations, writing the paper and reviewing it. You will need some extra time to review the work of your peers.

Do You Want to Learn How to Write an A+ Capstone Project?

If you have no idea how to write an A+ Capstone project, check some of the tips below. Usually, this type of project requires extremely careful preparation. As it is a paramount task for a student, much dedication is expected from one. This task summarizes all the previous experience and expertise achieved during the course. The student is supposed to devote more time to a Capstone Project than to an average paper due during the course. Therefore, do not postpone everything till the last minute. If you are not sure whether you can cope with it or not, you may go over some guides written by professional writers.
There are some easy to follow steps that may help one cope with a Capstone project much faster and still get an A+ for this type of assignment. Take some time to go over these steps a couple of times. You can make some notes to remember those tips much better.

Top Capstone Writing Steps

  • Use your precious work experience as a background for the project. Think of all the achievements you have made during this specific course.
  • Always make a plan of writing. Start planning as soon as you are assigned. You should always have extra time for making corrections and reviewing your project.
  • Always choose the topic you are interested in. It is always better to research something that appeals to you rather than a boring topic.
  • You should be over with any research prior to writing. Make sure that you have all the information collected before starting to prepare the project.
  • Always make an outline of your work. You need to have the proposed structure in front of you. Feel free to change it in the process to match the needs of the final draft.
  • Always proofread your work. You can even ask someone to proofread it for you. Failure to fulfil this step may lead to a poor grade.
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