All Honors students must complete a Capstone to graduate with University Honors. A Capstone is the culmination of a student's undergraduate Honors work. The Capstone allows a student to work closely with a professor - you - to create a scholarly or otherwise significant project that builds on the student's knowledge and interest in a field of study.
Capstone projects may include, but are not limited to:
- Writing a substantial research paper
- Conducting a major research project
- Writing a novel
- Preparing a recital or performance
- Developing a web site
- Curating an exhibit or directing a theater production under faculty supervision
- Designing a public information campaign
If you have agreed to serve as a student’s Honors Capstone faculty advisor and need some guidance, then following these suggestions will help you in your role and to help the student achieve success:
- Help the student formulate a project that ideally would be linked to his/her interests and/or future goals, and challenging and enjoyable, as well as meet your expectations for an Honors Capstone and those of your school/college/department.
- Request that the student present you a written proposal for the verbally agreed upon project and a viable work plan and timetable for completing the proposed project.
- After you have reviewed and are satisfied with the student’s proposal, the student will submit an electronic form and you will receive a link to submit your approval.
- If the student's proposed Capstone project would benefit from financial assistance, encourage him/her to apply for an Honors Capstone Research Grant within the Honors Capstone Form.
- Work closely with the student on his/her project and communicate throughout the semester(s) to help the student keep on target and complete the Capstone on time. Should any problems arise, communicate your concerns to the student. If necessary, contact the Honors Program for support.
- To maximize the student’s learning, encourage the student to apply to participate in the Honors Capstone Research Conference for an opportunity to share the in-progress research work or creative project and to receive feedback about it.
- If the Capstone is part of a two-semester class, be sure to submit a grade at the end of the first semester based upon your evaluation of the student's progress thus far.
- Remind the student to submit the completed Capstone on the last day of classes of the semester.
- Grade the Capstone. To receive Honors credit and to graduate with Honors, the student must earn a B or higher for his or her Capstone.
- If the Capstone is part of a class, the grade for the Capstone should be included in the determination of the final grade for the entire class. If the Capstone is an independent study, then the Capstone grade will be the grade for the entire class. Grades should be submitted through the faculty portal.
Note: Unless a faculty member is teaching a Capstone course, Honors Capstone advising is an entirely voluntary commitment. But as veterans of the process can attest, serving as an Honors Capstone Faculty Advisor can be a highly rewarding experience for both faculty member and student.