Student Guidelines for Capstone Completion 

Purpose of the Capstone Experience

The School for Professional Studies, Undergraduate Program is designed with the adult learner in mind.  Adult learners approach with specific goals, want to be able to directly apply new learning to their work and personal lives, and tend to learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process.  Adult learners also bring their life experience to be integrated into the learning process.

The Capstone Experience is the culminating academic endeavor of students who earn a degree from SPS Undergraduate Programs.  The project provides students with the opportunity to explore a problem or issue of particular personal or professional interest and to address that problem or issue through focused study and applied research under the direction of a faculty member.  The project should demonstrate the student's ability to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in his/her academic program to real-world issues and problems.  This final project should affirm students' ability to think critically and creatively, to solve practical problems, to make reasoned and ethical decisions, and to communicate effectively.

Goals of the Capstone Experience

·         To provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their courses to a specific problem or issue.

·         To allow students to extend their academic experience into areas of personal interest, working with new ideas, issues, organizations, and individuals.

·         To encourage students to think critically and creatively about academic, professional, or social issues and to further develop their analytical and ethical leadership skills necessary to address and help solve these issues.

·         To provide students with the opportunity to refine research skills and demonstrate their proficiency in written and/or oral communication skills.

·         To have students demonstrate their achievement of the Regis University outcomes and their ability to extend and refine this knowledge and skill in the realization of their personal and professional goals

Capstone Experience Outcomes

The goal of our undergraduate programs is to prepare adult learners for the contemporary workplace and modern society, to educate them to take leadership roles, and to make a positive impact in a changing society.  Consistent with our mission and goals, the Regis University learner outcomes focus on the development of:

            Knowledge

·         Knowledge of discipline or content area

·         Knowledge of diverse cultures, perspectives and belief systems

·         Knowledge of arts, sciences, and humanities

Ability

·         Ability to think critically

·         Ability to communicate effectively

·         Ability to use contemporary technology

Commitment

·         Commitment to ethical and social responsibilities

·         Commitment to leadership and service to others

·        Commitment to learning as life-long endeavor

Capstone Project Guidelines and Expectations:

You are entering the final phase of your coursework with Regis University.  The capstone process is the culmination of all of your work toward your undergraduate degree.  Prior to attending your first night of class, you will be responsible for completing an essential step in the process.  The work assigned to you prior to your course is essential to your success in the course.  Do not take the assignment lightly.  Your capstone facilitator will be guiding you and directing your project.  You cannot proceed with your project until your facilitator has formally approved your proposal.  The Pre-assignment should be well thought out, as this assignment provides the material you will soon use to formalize your Proposal.

The requirements of the capstone course are outlined below.  Each component is explained in detail in the pages that follow.  Review all the material presented before you proceed with any section.  Your facilitator will be able to answer specific questions that you have that may not be addressed in the guidelines presented.

I.                  Capstone Component Requirements:

  1. Select Project Topic; Project Definition and Rationale
  2. Concept Draft
  3. Proposal
  4. Research Activities and Summary
  5. Implementation Phase
  6. Project Documentation

ü     This comprehensive project report (possibly bound) includes the following six sections: Project Definition; Final Project Overview; Updated Research Summary; Project Implementation Summary (action steps taken); Project Analysis, Evaluation, and Recommendations; and Materials Delivered.

  1. Formal Presentation: Your facilitator will specify whether this formal presentation will be made to your classmates, to a panel of interested parties, or to some other available group outside the class.  If you make your presentation outside of class, you may be required to present an in-class debriefing of the presentation. 
  2. Closure/Capstone Evaluation.  This is a requirement to complete the course and will be graded Pass/Fail.  In it you will present a brief Self-Assessment/Reflection of your experience at Regis University.

II.               Weight of components:

Component

Total Weight

Concept Draft

5%

Proposal

20%

·        Research/Implementation of Project

·        Final Written Product

50%

Formal Presentation

20%

Class Participation and Communication

5%

III.           Schedule:

First Night Assignment Concept Draft (Project Topic, Definition, Scope, Rationale)
By End of Week One Draft Proposal (Definition, Setting, Relevance and Rationale, Objectives, Methodology, Research Methods, Timetable)
By End of Week Two Final and Formal Proposal Due
By Beginning of Week Three: Formal Approval of Project by Facilitator

Weeks Three-Seven

Research Activities: Written Documentation assigned by facilitator.

Implementation of Project

Project Documentation

Week Eight Formal Presentation

IV.           First Night Assignment:

Prior to the First Night: You are responsible for reviewing the student module and the Web resource site, which highlights the Capstone expectations, writing guidelines, topic selection, and other key information. This site is available at http://www.regis.edu/capstone.

You will be responsible for selecting your project topic, defining the project scope, and preparing a concept draft, which includes your definition and rationale (components 1 and 2 listed on page 1).  Submit this to your facilitator at the first class meeting (or equivalent for online students).  This assignment is worth 5 percent of your final grade; take care in closely utilizing the Web resource site to help you get off to a smooth start. 

V.              Your Capstone Proposal  

Students who have successfully finished their Capstone projects often write that – along with proactive diligence and flexible adaptation to uncontrollable variables – the key to Capstone success lies in the prompt development of a clear and detailed project Proposal. 

Extra effort now will considerably smooth your project progress, so develop this document with care, and be as specific as possible throughout this formal delineation of your project and its where, why, what, how, and when. 

Unless your facilitator has specified otherwise, follow the format shown below, including the numbering and main headings (those shown in bold under “Proposal Requirements”). 

Plan to present the following information at a "level of detail" that will require approximately three to five pages, typed and double-spaced.  Your facilitator will specify grading weight (generally 20 percent), due date, and submission requirements (e.g. number of copies, e-mailed drafts required, etc.) 

To avoid redundancy in your document, please review all the requirements of the Proposal (including all seven items), as they are described below and exemplified afterward in "Proposal – Examples") before you begin to write.

VI.           Proposal Requirements  

1) Project Definition: Provide a one-sentence description that defines your project.  Save the specifics for the sections below; here, simply label the big picture. 

2) Project Setting: Clarify the location and the most relevant background there – the "where" – of your proposed project.  Clearly specify the "arena” for this project. As appropriate (different project types involve differing ranges of external contact), include mention of any key agencies, departments, and/or parties involved.  If your project is primarily analytical (e.g. analyzing an organization, a group, a process, a body of rhetoric or literature, etc.), specify the genres and types of research materials you will be exploring. 

3) Project Relevance and Rationale: Identify the main issues that you have chosen to address and justify their importance – the "why" of your project.  Clarify the problem, or “opportunity,” at the setting named above, and explain the relevance, to your education at Regis, of addressing this problem or opportunity.  That is, in this section you will cover both why this project is needed for "them" and why it's an appropriate Capstone project for you.  

4) Project Objectives: State your targeted outcomes for this project – the "what" – of your project.  What, exactly, are you going to acquire, accomplish, produce, and/or deliver?  Note that the broader goals (e.g. "to improve communication between departments") are identified earlier, under "Relevance."  By contrast, in this section you must name the specific and concrete – if possible, measurable – accomplishments (external and personal) intended of your project. 

5) Project Methodology: Describe your proposed game plan – the "how" – through which you plan to obtain the outcomes described above.  That is, how will you go about accomplishing the objectives you defined in the previous section?  Save the "timetable" for Section 7 (see below), but do provide, here, an overview of your planned approach to reaching your stated objectives, and also list any essential resources (material and human!) you will need in order to succeed.  Be clear on how and when (during this project or at a later time) your project will be implemented.  Also, include a specific manner of project evaluation.  How will you determine your level of success?  What will you measure?  Whose evaluative input will you seek? 

6) Project Research Methods: Identify, in this section, your intended methods or modes of research (more on the “how” – and this is an important requirement of every Capstone project).  At minimum, you must find reference materials on how to succeed with your project and also interview experts who can provide project-specific direction and answer your specific questions.  Depending on your project type and needs, you might go further with your research, perhaps conducting a survey or otherwise gathering, organizing, and analyzing data relevant to your project.  Note that you will be summarizing your research findings in a separate assignment, the "Research Summary." 

7) Project Timetable: Determine and present a week-by-week plan – the "when" – that you can follow to balance the workload and assure that preliminary needs are met early on.  Remember, things you need from others (such as pre-project approval or post-project thank-you notes or other written acknowledgment of your work) usually require some lead time.  Show your plan "bullet-style" with each week of the term listed, followed by the actions and steps that need to be accomplished during that week.

VII.       Proposal -- Examples  

Note: The “Example” items below are adapted and excerpted

from two different Capstone projects:  

1) Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home –provided by Betty Scheetz

2) Setting up a Diversity Training Program at Work – provided by Joyce Daniel  

Example for Section 1, Project Definition

(from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

I propose to develop and organize a Family Council, consisting of families of the residents at (Name of Facility), and to arrange and lead the initial Council Meeting, which will include not only the Council members, but executive management from the facility. 

Example for Section 2, Project Setting

    (from "Setting up a Diversity Training Program at Work")  

I will conduct my Capstone project at the Denver office of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  Formerly known as the Department of Health, Education, Welfare, the DOE is an entity of the Federal government, headquartered in Washington, D.C.   There are eight regional offices located throughout the United States.  The department’s mission is to enforce civil rights laws, prohibiting discrimination in public educational institutions that receive federal funding. 

The parties involved in this project include are the employees and management of OCR, human resources, union representation, and an external consultant.  The employees of OCR are involved because of the direct impact on the outcome of this study.  Management of OCR is involved because they will need to demonstrate and set the example of future changes for promoting diversity in the work environment.  The Human Resources Director would be involved because she will assist in the institution of policies and procedures developed for promoting diversity in the work environment.  A union representation is involved because of the partnership established between management and the union.  An external consultant will be needed to provide impartial guidance during the research and development phases of implementing this diversity program. 

Example for Section 3, Project Relevance and Rationale

(from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

To organize the families involved with the care of a loved one in this specific healthcare facility would benefit a large number of people, and be very relevant to my degree major, as I will explain below. 

First, it would benefit the families who would come together with common experiences. 

Secondly, it would benefit the management of the facility as a communication tool to interact with family members on a different level, as a sounding board to evaluate new and existing programs for the residents.  Furthermore, it could be a tool for identifying problems of which the staff may not be aware.  

Thirdly, the working staff will benefit from increased family involvement and greater recognition of their good works. 

Most importantly, those who will benefit the most are the residents of the facility.  It has been my observation that when families become more involved in facility functions and visits, there is an increase in the quality of care given to all of the residents.  Having families come together on a regular basis will also be an effective tool for community resource organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice, and others, to communicate the benefits of their organizations to a larger group. 

Upon addressing my own personal need to communicate with other family members of residents at the healthcare facility, I found that the management staff had already recognized a similar need.  They said they had future plans to start such an organization.  My offer to develop and organize a family council or support group was readily accepted. 

Many of the classes I have taken at Regis toward my major in communication will be relevant to this project.  The nursing home has its own culture, with different cultural influences with all layers of staff.  I will utilize my skills with intercultural communication when I work with the different layers of culture within the facility; plus, the participants will bring their own cultural system into the organization.  Allowing the group to take on its own character is helping a new culture evolve. 

Additionally, I have already used, and will continue to use, interpersonal communication skills throughout this project.  Small group communication skills will be a major component of this project.  Furthermore, I will utilize negotiation, mediation, and public relations skills as I organize and coordinate with staff members for mailings, food, set up of the room, and utilization of equipment.  Advertising and promotion skills will be used to entice families to attend.  Interviewing theories and skills learned in research and communication classes will be used as I research the various components of this project 

Examples for Section 4, Objectives

(from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

1) To gain formal facility approval, and support, for the establishment of this council and the holding of our initial picnic meeting.

2) To establish and foster relationships between the families of residents and staff, including management, if possible.  I’m hoping to involve at least eight families at my initial meeting and have at least four staff present, including a representative from executive management.

3) To identify at least three specific aspects of resident care that attention.

4) To secure facility and family commitment and support toward working toward solutions to the issues identified as needing attention.

5) To help educate the families of residents as to how they can help improve the care and quality of life for their loved ones at the facilities and to provide them a forum for voicing their ideas and concerns.  I will be reviewing feedback surveys from family members in attendance to assess my progress toward this objective.

6) To conceive, develop, and initiate at this facility a working model for a family council, so that other facilities in this ownership chain (and maybe others, outside this ownership) can implement similar councils.

Examples for Section 5, Project Methodology

(from "Setting up a Diversity Training Program at Work")  

1) I will present a persuasive speech about the implementation of a diversity program in our workplace.

2) I will construct a resource book of diverse organizations.   The resource book will serve as a source of references for information and activities.

3) I will seek and utilize an external consultant to serve as a professional-grade advisor for key project areas.

4) I will create, distribute, collect, and analyze an "experience survey" to ascertain the depth and breadth of our problems with lack of diversity awareness and to begin the process of improving sensitivities to improving diversity awareness.

5) I will construct a diversity manual.  The diversity manual will be a reference tool to provide an explanation of the diversity program and give a description of the roles and duties of management and employees.   In addition, the manual will identify goals and objectives for implementation and techniques, provide a resource for the purpose of diversity programs, policy, and guidance regarding diversity issues.  Each employee will have a copy for easy access.

6) I will construct agendas for two training meetings.

7) I will gather and analyze feedback from the trainees to use in determining "next steps."

8) I will also request written feedback from my supervisor, regarding program strengths, weaknesses, and other recommendations. 

Example for Section 6, Project Research Methods:

(from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

1) I have already completed research with a specialist in human resources to help me identify areas of concern from an HR perspective.

2) To organize this group and conduct our first formal meeting, I will require the input of the facility administrator, the director of resident services, other unknown (at this time) representatives from upper level management, and various kitchen and maintenance staff from the facility.

3) I will also research community organizations that benefit nursing home residents and other healthcare facilities to see what has been done before, and what has or hasn't worked well.

4) Lastly, I will compile an annotated set of references (listed in APA style) of at least ten print or electronic sources (of project-relevant journal articles and or Web sites).   

Example for Section 7, Project Timetable

(from "Setting up a Diversity Training Program at Work")  

Week 2:   Finalize project conception

Week 3:   Finish research

Week 4:   Set meeting date and make arrangements with the facility, including meeting site, menu, and equipment to be use at the meeting.  Finalize guest list, design and main invitations.

Week 5:    Organize agenda for the meeting

Week 6:    Design family input sheet; check on incoming reservations.  Finalize room set up according to RSVP numbers.

Week 7:      Make final preparations.  Facilitate meeting.

Week 8:    Process participation input sheet.  Meet with staff to evaluate the meeting.  Obtain signed thank you letter.

VIII.    Research and Implementation  

All of the Research and Implementation pieces must be completed by Week 7.  

This phase of the Capstone Project puts into action what you said you would do in the proposal section.  You will be responsible for conducting your research and interviewing, designing and develop key project components, coordinating with all interested and necessary parties, and, in general, DOING your project.  This is the call for action on your part.  And remember, you must keep your facilitator “in the loop” as your project unfolds.  

Communication with facilitator:

Your facilitator will specify, within the course syllabus and during the course, your communication requirements and, also, any additional (to what is outlined in this document) written requirements for this phase.  

Generally speaking, you will be responsible for keeping to your timeline, as submitted with your Proposal, and for informing your facilitator of your status.  Check in with any problems, report great news, receive clearance on surveys prior to sending them out, discuss any issues you are facing, and just check in.  

Examples of Research Activities:

·        Interview community members or experts in subject area

·        Design and Implement a Survey

·        Conduct Observation

·        Conduct Literature Review:  Recent Books, Journal Articles, Online Resources, etc.  

Research Summary:

Also, your facilitator will specify the submission requirements and format of your Research Summary, which must be completed during this phase – at best, prior to implementing key steps, since the point of the research is to assure that you are well informed as you take action.  

See the next section for samples of two Research Summary approaches (of many available, per facilitator specifications).  

IX.           Research Summary – Examples (two approaches)  

The first example below is an excerpt from a student's Research Summary prepared in the "Annotated References" style. 

Following that is an example in "paragraph" form.  Your facilitator may specify or allow further formats for how you summarize your Capstone research.  

Research Summary – Excerpts of an Example in "Annotated References" Style

– provided by Barbara “Bobbie” Penberthy 

AARP.  (2000).  Overcome the barriers to employment.  Retrieved November 6, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.org/working_options

The AARP Webster contains many up-to-date articles related to people over the age of 50 who are seeking employment or are interested in changing careers.  Approximately one-third of the women laid off by my employer fall into this age group, so the information I find published by this highly reliable national organization will answer and/or prevent troublesome interview questions.  

Cox, J. (2000, November 6).  Forging a new career: Midlife layoffs special challenge.  The Denver Post, p. E1. 

Information in this newspaper article is succinct, timely, and specific to the Denver area.  The author includes advice from a human resources director, an image consultant, founder of a career management and outplacement service, and a former company president who lost his job last year.  The statistics and averages that are cited are interesting, also, and may be used to reassure or compel job seekers.   

Jolles, R. L. (1993).  How to run seminars and workshops.  New York: John Wiley & Sons.

As a former trainer with the Xerox Corporation, this author provides me with behaviors that contribute to effective presentations, and perhaps more importantly, tips on how to implement ideas so they sound like me.  He uses real world situations addressing variables such as seminar size, style, and topic.  I plan to use some of his evaluation criteria, such as “implementation testing.”  

Nelson, R.  & White, M. E. (2000).  Winning tips for high-tech job hunters.  Journal of Employment, 16, (3) 44-47.

This article adds numerous up-to-date online strategies for job hunters.   I learned several "do not" strategies, as well, including not giving too much personal information until far enough along in the process to be sure of a prospective employer's legitimacy.  

Peterson, A. (2000).  Regis Career Services.  Personal Communication. Interview of November 6, 2000.  Interview notes retained on file.

As a professional employment counselor for the University, Ms. Peterson has many resource materials that she shared with me.  I had several questions about how to approach or advise workshop participants on sensitive issues, such as personal appearance, and her advice was right on target.  I also asked her some specific questions about two of my co-workers who need financial assistance for training.  

Research Summary – Excerpts of an Example in "Paragraph" Style

– provided by Deborah Premselaar 

I researched traditional and alternative high school core curricula to determine standard educational requirements and to identify any major gaps in life-skills training.  I then researched job development opportunities for youth, local wage rates, and costs associated with infant care, transportation, insurance, and housing. 

In addition, I interviewed a teacher/youth counselor for input about the proposed curriculum, a financial advisor for assistance with structuring discussions related to money issues, and an organizational development professional for advice on targeting appropriate community groups. 

Finally, I researched books, articles and Web resources on topics relevant to life skills, such as ethics, decision-making, social interaction, career development, conflict management, and personal finance. 

[If required by the facilitator, following these paragraphs would be a listing of these just-mentioned sources similar to the list shown above in the first example, though perhaps without the annotations].

X.              Your Capstone Project Documentation  

Your Project Documentation presents an objective review of your Capstone project -- its definition, the actions you took to achieve your objectives, and an objective assessment of your results.  Appended to these project-summarizing descriptions (se format below) are copies (or originals) of any materials you created and delivered in the process and any other documentation (created, sent, or received) that you choose to include as substantiation of your efforts and success. 

This collection of assigned sections and related documents (possibly bound, check with facilitator) generally comprises about 30 pages, total. 

Your facilitator will specify grading specifics, due date, and submission requirements (e.g. type of binding allowed, number of copies, e-mailed drafts required, etc.). 

Unless your facilitator has specified otherwise, follow the format shown below, including the numbering and main headings (those shown in bold).  As with your Project Proposal, to avoid redundancy in your write-up, please review all the items below before starting in with the writing.

XI.           Project Documentation Requirements  

Feel free to borrow from your Capstone Proposal in addressing the first three items.  But be sure to look for places where it would be appropriate (now that the project is completed) to revise or update the information you presented in your proposal.  That is, keep what didn’t change, and switch-in what did.  

1) Brief Project Definition: Provide a one-sentence description that defines your project.  

2) Final Project Overview: Present an updated overview of your project context, relevance, (a.k.a. "rationale"), objectives, and basic methodology.  Where and why did you set out to accomplish what -- and through what means?  Give extra emphasis to any details that have changed/evolved from those stated in your proposal. 

3) Updated Research Summary: Present an updated version of the document you prepared, mid-project, as your Research Summary. 

4) Project Implementation Summary: Here, present a clear and credible account of the action steps you took in executing your project (including such steps as gaining approval and support, conducting research, producing and delivering key materials and/or implementing your project and performing any assessment measures). Don't be shy – or sketchy – in relaying the details of your actions.  Only you know just what challenges you faced and what effort you put forth; this is your chance to ensure that you receive credit for your out-of-class activities. 

5) Project Analysis, Evaluation, and Recommendations: Provide an honest, complete, and objective (as possible) assessment of the results and effects of your Capstone project – and what you recommend for its future developments.  Evaluate your outcomes (both observable and speculative) against your "predetermined" criteria (as stated in your proposal), and also against any other evaluative mechanisms that have since arisen (e.g. an opinion or other outcome you hadn't expected).  As possible, refer to both short- and long-term aspects of both results and recommendations.  

6) Project Materials Delivered: Following your write up of the above-specified information, append documentation to support what you have written.  In some cases this may be just a page or two (e.g. thank-you letters or other formal acknowledgement of your project).  In most cases, however, additional relevant documentation items will have arisen as you worked on your project, and these, too, should be appended.

XII.       Project Review and Documentation -- Examples  

Note: The “Example” items below are adapted and excerpted

from two different Capstone projects:  

1) Conducting a Used Eyeglasses Collection Drive – provided by Giuliana Brunner

2) Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home – provided by Betty Scheetz

Example for Section 1, Project Definition

(excerpted from "Conducting a Used Eyeglasses Collection Drive ")  

For my Senior Capstone project (which I named "Project Vision Quest") I created and led a very successful campaign to collect donated used eyeglasses and sunglasses, mostly at my workplace, (name of company), to benefit the (name of) organization. 

Example for Section 2, Final Project Overview

(excerpted from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

The reasons and rationale for my project were these: first, it would benefit the families who would come together with common experiences.  Secondly, it would benefit the management of the facility as a communication tool to interact with family members on a different level, as a sounding board to evaluate new and existing programs for the residents.  Furthermore, it would be a tool for identifying problems of which the staff may not be aware.  Also, the working staff will benefit from increased family involvement and greater recognition of their good works. 

But most importantly, those who would benefit the most are the residents of the facility.  It has been my observation that when families become more involved in facility functions and visits, there is an increase in the quality of care given to all of the residents.  Having families come together on a regular basis will also be an effective tool for community resource organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice, and others, to communicate the benefits of their organizations to a larger group. 

My objectives remained as presented in my proposal; namely, I intended to 

1) To gain formal facility approval, and support, for the establishment of this council and the holding of our initial picnic meeting.

2) To establish and foster relationships between the families of residents and staff, including management, if possible.  I’m hoping to involve at least eight families at my initial meeting and have at least four staff present, including a representative from executive management.

3) To identify at least three specific aspects of resident care that attention.

4) To secure facility and family commitment and support toward working toward solutions to the issues identified as needing attention.

5) To help educate the families of residents as to how they can help improve the care and quality of life for their loved ones at the facilities and to provide them a forum for voicing their ideas and concerns.  I will be reviewing feedback surveys from family members in attendance to assess my progress toward this objective.

6) To conceive, develop, and initiate at this facility a working model for a family council, so that other facilities in this ownership chain (and maybe others, outside this ownership) can implement similar councils. 

In a nutshell, my project methodology involved six stages:

1) Gaining authorization and support from the facility to create the family council.

2) Developing an advertising and promotional campaign (including making several posters) to assure solid attendance at our initial meeting, including.

3) Developing the agenda and activities for the meeting, which included preliminary steps such as utilizing a needs-assessment sheet for the participants to ascertain their areas of interest. 

5) Providing organizational tools to the facility, such as making a sign-up sheet for reservations, coordinating the food for the event, and taking care of room set-up,

4) Facilitating the event.

6) Gathering, assessing and sharing (with management) the feedback from the event participants. 

Example for Section 3, Updated Research Summary

Please refer to Section IX, Research Summary – Examples, for a look at two approaches that are used.  Your facilitator will specify which approach (one of these two or something else) you must use in presenting a summary of the research you conducted. 

Example for Section 4, Project Implementation Summary (aka “Action Steps Taken”)

(excerpted from "Organizing a Family Council at a Retirement Home")  

After a number of phone calls and meetings by which I gained formal approval to create the Family Council, I began a three-stage advertising campaign.  The first stage was sending written notices to all of the families, which resulted in seven sign-ups.  The second stage was designing colorful posters with eye-catching designs, producing five more participants.  And the third stage was placing phone calls to those families of residents whom I know personally, boosting the roster to fourteen.  I also wrote personal notes to invite six guests from various community organizations involved in elder care, and three of them attended 

For my next action phase I provided organizational tools to the facility, such as a sign-up sheet for reservations. I then coordinated the food and room set up.  I then established the meeting agenda, using information gained via the needs-assessment sheet I had developed and distributed for the participants to indicate their areas of interest and involvement. 

Facilitating the Council's first meeting was the pinnacle of my project.  I was able to keep the meeting flowing in a positive direction, made sure everyone had an opportunity to speak, and kept the program focused and on schedule according to the agenda I had set. 

Example for Section 5, Project Analysis, Evaluation, and Recommendations

(excerpted from "Conducting a Used Eyeglasses Collection Drive ")  

My "targeted e-mail" (as my company calls these) was sent to over 6,000 downtown employees on Tuesday, August 8, 2000.  Project Vision Quest’s collection drive started on Wednesday, August 9, 2000, and ended on Wednesday August 16, 2000.  By late Friday, August 18, 2000, I had hauled all the glasses home, bagged them for delivery, and completed the count total to discover I collected 517 pairs. 

Mixed emotions settled in when I finished my count of 517 eyeglasses, with my inner voice saying, “Out of 6,000 plus employees, I only collected 517 eyeglasses.”  But in talking to agency personnel, I discovered that the most they had ever received in any previous drives was approximately 1,000 pairs – and that drive lasted over period of several months, not one week, as mine did. 

Then came the exciting news. Their representative called me and said the referral I had given her (which had come from a "far-fetched" call I received from one of my donors) did deliver!  I hardly thought it truly possible, but the lady really did know of someone who had 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses in her garage and could not find anyone (not even the Lions Club) who would be willing to take them.

 
So now my final results tally changes from 517 to 20,517 pairs of glasses collected!!!!! 

This project involved much more work than I originally thought it would, including coping with complex politics, discovering correct contacts, and learning many lessons which come along during various project phases, from conception to implementation.  Narrowing the scope to only targeting downtown locations turned out to be a great idea, as I would have had to take a week's vacation (instead of the few days) to manage it all. 

My “Project Vision Quest” did not turn out as I originally had planned it to be.  Willingness to learn, changing courses in mid-stream, and learning the value of tenacity has been of great benefit to me.  New relationships and contacts have come into my life, and may extend to further work in the future.  In addition, I have learned some personal and valuable lessons about judgments, remembering one’s original purpose when the going gets tough, and the importance of paradigm shifts in beliefs. 

The benefit to the community is that the agency I served now has a contact in the corporate world (my company) should others need assistance in planning a collection drive of this type.  I also plan on giving my contact at the agency, and my supervisor at my company, a copy of my completed paper when my class is over. 

Last, and most importantly is the result that I will not see, but will trust it to happen: Over twenty thousand people in small, remote villages in Africa will be able to see clearly, some for the first time in their lives! 

Examples for Section 6, Project Materials Delivered:

The following are examples of document types that you might, as appropriate to your project, append as this last section of your Project Review and Documentation:   

1)   The text of a manual created or of a major analysis performed.

2)   Appropriate (as permitted) documentation of an audit conducted (or other spreadsheets).

3)   Printed materials from computer programming or Web design work created.  

4)   Printouts (even thumbnails) of PowerPoint (or other) slides from a presentation made.

5)   Participant feedback sheets (and/or summaries tabulated) from a workshop presented.

6)   A program, agenda, and/or promotional materials from an event hosted.

7)   Copies of key correspondence generated during the project.

8)   Copies of thank-you notes or other acknowledgement of your project's value and success.

Your Capstone Presentation  

You have conceived, planned, and executed a Capstone project of value to yourself and to others.  Now, it is time for an oral presentation through which you will share your plan, efforts, and results. 

The variety of Capstone project types and course delivery modes (e.g. in-class or online) affords significant latitude in the definition of the Capstone Presentation.  Within guidelines specified by your facilitator, you have several options. 

Perhaps you will deliver your oral presentation to your classmates, in the mode typical of Regis courses.  Or maybe you would prefer to orally present a project overview to certain individuals directly connected to your project – and gather presentation feedback from this “external audience” to share, in a formal, in-class debriefing with your Capstone classmates.  WebCT may be available and appropriate.  There might even be other options that fit your project, your needs, and your facilitator’s preferences. 

XIII.                Capstone Presentation Requirements  

However you approach this oral “capper” to your Capstone project, there are four standards that apply to all presentations, and these follow below:  

Delivery to a Live Audience

You must actually deliver your presentation; you cannot simply generate a manuscript, visual aids, and/or other materials and call them your “presentation.” 

Dynamic Oral and Physical Delivery Style

Do not read your notes to your audience; rather, deliver your presentation with energy and enthusiasm befitting all the work you put into planning and executing your project.  Maintain rapport.  Move. Keep things lively and interesting. 

Formal Presentation Structure and Timing

You are expected to firm up your presentation with a clear-cut introduction, body, and conclusion, which are tailored to fit the time constraints given by your facilitator (normally about ten minutes).  Your presentation “body,” especially, should be carefully constructed to include two to five major areas or phases (i.e. “main points”).

Do not, in particular, subject your audience to a seemingly endless and formless string of slides.  And don’t overdo it on project technicalities of little interest to your audience.  Mainly, let them know what you intended to accomplish, how you went about accomplishing it, how things turned out and were received, and what you learned or otherwise gained from planning and executing your project. 

Lastly, if you plan to take questions, “budget” your allowed time for these by limiting the duration of your prepared material; be sure to check your time before deciding to ask, “Any questions?” 

Preparation and Use of Speaking Aids

You may use PowerPoint slides, overhead projections, flip charts, handout materials, audio or video clips, stage “props,” live demonstrations, or other project-appropriate speaking aids.  What you can’t do is just talk, unaided.  The point is to enhance both clarity and impact as you present your material.  Your facilitator might restrict the above list, so be sure you understand what is or is not allowed in your specific case. 

XIV.   Closure and Evaluation  

All students will be required to complete an evaluation of their capstone experience and their experience as students of Regis University. 

Your facilitator will create and distribute specific guidelines for this process. 

This process is intended to be a reflective activity that will allow you to share your thoughts about your educational experience in both the Capstone Course and your experience with Regis in general. 

To facilitate a sense of candor and freedom of expression, the grading for this assignment will be “pass/fail.”   However, you must complete this assignment to pass the course (failure to so will result in a grade of “Incomplete”)