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Capstone project

If you are one of those students nearing the end of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree, you might hear your advisor tasking about capstone project. His expression and attitude may lead you to believe that it is a very important event. Well, it turns out as true but what is a capstone project and why do many degree programs prefer it?

A capstone project is a multifaceted project that is a culmination of academic and intellectual experience to students. Capstone projects can also be required of high school students. However, they are usually mentioned in the post-secondary context.

Students engaging in a capstone project pursue independent research on a question or a problem of their choice. They engage in scholarly debates in relevant disciplines as their advisor, or faculty mentor guides them. They produce a substantial paper that shows their deep understanding of the topic.

Students have always been encouraged to go for capstone project ideas in which they are competent, and this is premised on their academic work, professional experience, or exploring future career choices.

It is a valuable experience because the student can demonstrate their research and analytical skills to prospective employers or graduate and professional schools.

Capstone projects are also meant to assist the student in developing their public speaking, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, and goal setting skills. For high school a student, the idea is to develop, skills that will are going to prepare them college, modern careers and adult life. Capstone projects are also interdisciplinary. Students have to apply skills to investigate capstone project ideas across many disciplines and domains of knowledge. They also encourage the student to connect their projects to community issues or problems as well as integrating outside-of-school learning experiences. This includes activities such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships. Capstone projects differ from one school to the next.

Capstone projects for specialisation

A capstone project allows you to put what you have learnt in specialisation to a practical question or a problem that relates to the specialisation topic. Some of the specialisations end with a capstone project. If you need credit for your specialisation, you will have to complete a complete a capstone project. 

Enrolling in a Capstone project

If the capstone for specialisation is a stand-alone project, one needs to enrol in the project the way they would in a course.  The most capstone project will require you to have earned a course certificate for every other course in that specialisation. If you face difficulties when enrolling for your capstone project, refer to the accomplishments page to ensure that you have a course certificate for every other course in that specialisation.

The capstone project, framework, and guideline

There is certain characteristic that a capstone project must have. Each characteristic is satisfied uniquely depending on the topic, discipline and the approach used. Even as such, all these characteristics represent the framework of the capstone project.

Originality

You have to use your deep understanding to reach an informed and defined capstone project ideas. Formulate your point of view on a topic and infer your conclusion. The final form of your presentation will hinge on your originality and creativity.

Independence

You will have a capstone mentor to guide you along the way, but primarily you will be working on your own.

Appropriate scope

The capstone projects amount to a specific credit course. As such, you have to spend at least as much time on the capstone project as you would to your most difficult courses. You will have only a semester to complete your research and writing. Therefore, your research needs to be within the limited time scope. 

The orderly and objective inquiry process

The capstone project shows your facility the methods of inquiry. This encompasses the ability to ask the right questions, to synthesise ideas, identifying and using evidence, drawing and supporting conclusions, recognising the compelling research, communication ideas, or solutions to problems using a specific set of tools.

Intellectual stretch

This project should take you to a place you have never been and perhaps you never thought you could reach.

Capstone project for high school students is meant to: 

Increase their academic exactitude of the senior year
As it is, high school students take a lighter course load or left school early during their twelfth-grade year. This can contribute to learning loss or inadequate preparation for the work during their first year in college.  With an academically and intellectually challenging senior year, a capstone project can reduce the loss of learning loss. This keeps the students in school longer and increases their college work preparations.

Increases the motivation and engagement of the student
Since capstone projects are creative and self-selected by the students, they are based on personal interests. They strengthen a student’s motivation to learn especially during a time when academic motivation and engagement is waning.

Increases education and career aspirations
When students are involved in long-term projects that align with personal interests and professional ambitions, capstone project can assist the students with future planning, goal-setting, post-secondary decision, and career exploration. This applies particularly to students who are not focused are not certain, or they have decided on their post-graduation plans and aspirations.

Improving students confidence and self-perceptions
Students are working on capstone project ideas usually are required to take on new responsibilities, become more self-directed, set goals and flow them through on commitment. Completing such a project can boost one’s self-esteem, build confidence, and teach students about the value of accomplishment. Students have an opportunity to become role models for younger students. This cultivates leadership abilities and has positive cultural effects on the learning environment.

Demonstrating learning and proficiency
Capstone projects can serve as benchmarks for student’s proficiency in knowledge and skills acquisition or readiness for college tasks by requiring them to show what they have learnt over the course of their projects.

The length if the capstone projects
The length of the capstone project varies, but you can rest assured that it will take between four to eight weeks to work on your projects, make necessary revision and review your work and that of your peers. Most of the capstone project will take 40 hours of the total work time.

Guidelines for the capstone projects
There is capstone project that takes one or two-semester to complete. During the first semester, students can enrol in Capstone 1 develop the capstone project proposal and get the approach from the faculty mentor and the capstone instructor. In the second semester, the student joins Capstone 2.

Once the complete their projects, the students are supposed to present a formal academic paper, both in soft and hard copies.

The student will then make his or her presentation to an audience of students and faculty members. The grading of the presentation is not done separately.

Students can agree that the final project is seemingly daunting but once completed it is one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences in a student’s career. With the capstone project coming ad last in the course, it is called a capstone because it is a representation of a crowning achievement just the way a capstone does in architecture.  Some degrees may require a capstone project and its presentation whereas others may require only an assessment exam to test interdisciplinary skills. The idea is to allow the student to use and demonstrate his skills and knowledge gained throughout a high academic career.

Capstone projects not only help students in learning the necessary skills that will be relevant to their success but also it can be used for employment portfolio. The integration of theoretical and practical experience sets you apart from graduates of other institutions

Capstone projects allow you to do things on your terms. This is based on your interests and future aspirations. It gives the students an opportunity to explore topics which otherwise they would not have had they stuck with their regular school projects.

If capstone project is taken seriously, it enhances the development of the student in every aspect.  The ability to be independent thinking with little help from concerned parties proves that one is ready to take on bigger tasks and overcome challenges through the provision of relevant solutions. Having taken a capstone project, you become the stone that is noticeable from far away. When you complete a capstone project, you have achieved a monumental task of earning your degree. You are ready to face the world with confidence. You will also encourage others to follow suit and take on something that otherwise seems hard, but it is not.

Do not grumble about this project or course, get in it, and enjoy the rewards later.

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