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The capstone course and project are designed to synthesize the leadership work students have completed during their undergraduate studies. Together with the program's faculty, each student will design a format that demonstrates his cumulative learning and development and reflects his leadership abilities. Like oral examinations at the graduate level, these courses are an opportunity for each student to present a body of work that demonstrates what they have learned as they address some of the critical questions associated with leadership development and their role as a leader in the 21st century.
The Capstone Course can be identified as LDSP 4010 or PRLC 4010 on the pathway requirements chart.
In this course students will be confronting leadership issues across disciplines. Leadership studies are multidisciplinary and students need to know how to assess research and writing from different perspectives, this class is meant to introduce students to the wide variety of critical issues in leadership.
Critical thinking is fundamental to leadership competency; leaders must be skillful at collecting information and making judgments. Students read, discuss and write critical evaluations of contemporary leadership theory from an ethical, military, community building and business perspective.
Instructors for the capstone course are Alphonse Keasley, assistant vice chancellor, Campus Climate and Community Engagement, and Angela Thieman-Dino, Ph.D.of the Presidents Leadership Class.
The Capstone Project can be identified as INVS 4932 or LDSP 4932 or through independent study.
The Capstone Project is designed to be a synthesis and application of the overall leadership work students have done. Like oral examinations at the graduate level, it is an opportunity for each individual student to pull together a plan to demonstrate what they have learned and to actively attempt to answer some of the critical questions associated with leadership development and their role as leaders in the 21st Century.
A capstone project is an experience that allows substantial opportunity to research, analyze, and observe or practice leadership. Together with their program’s faculty, students will design a project that documents their cumulative learning and development and demonstrates the student’s leadership abilities. For some this may take the form of a portfolio which catalogues their research and analyzes dimensions of leadership as well as their own growth and progress as future leaders. For others it may be an action-research project or the design, implementation and evaluation of a community-based service initiative in which they exercise their emerging leadership skills to help solve a particular problem. Last year, for example, a student researched and designed a leadership training protocol for a student organization. In another case a group of students planned and implemented a recycling project for a residence hall.
Leadership RAP students desiring to complete a capstone project must enroll in their junior or senior year. Students are encouraged to submit a concept paper for their project prior to the beginning of the semester in which they intend to receive credit. Full capstone project proposals must be approved by the Leadership RAP director within the first two weeks of the semester and before any substantive work is begun.
Proposals must include a statement of purpose, goals, intended outcomes, and criteria for success; an evaluation strategy; and a timeline. Students are required to meet with the supervising faculty on a regular basis at an agreed upon time.
Projects will be graded on the following:
- A comprehensive demonstration and understanding of the term “leadership”
- Demonstrations of what has been learned about leadership themes and the essential attributes of leadership
- Application of the skills acquired in course work, service, internship and elsewhere into an integration of research and practice of leadership
- Organization, coherence, and clarity of assignments
- Compliance with deadlines and completion of objectives and assignments