HomeAnnotated BibliographiesCapstone Experiences The Effects of Completing a Capstone Course on Student Identity Share: Section NavigationSkip section navigationIn this sectionAnnotated Bibliographies Capstone Experiences Conditions for Meaningful Learning Global Learning Internships Learning Communities Mentoring Service-Learning Student-Faculty Partnership Undergraduate Research Work-Integrated Learning Writing Transfer In and Beyond the University Reference List Entry:Collier, Peter J. 2000. "The Effects of Completing a Capstone Course on Student Identity." Sociology of Education 73 (4): 285-299. https://doi.org/10.2307/2673235.About this Journal Article:Collier’s article studies the effect of participation in a capstone experience on undergraduate students’ identification as a college student. He proposes that the increased identification with this role by capstone students over time indicate capstones’ effectiveness in socialization. Using different identity theories around role identities and role-identity acquisition as theoretical frameworks, Collier developed a longitudinal study of 26 senior capstone students (multidisciplinary and across the university) of one year’s capstone at a university, with a nonequivalent control group (n=26). Using pre- and post-measurements, Collier found that the nature of the capstone as a grounded and experiential course contributed to its transformative impact on students. Students connecting with the community in a capstone context were pushed to work more collaboratively, and this social aspect of their learning and work helped them to associate more strongly with the role of a college student. The development of identity as a student is a potential strength of capstones. However, Collier fails to discuss why developing a student identity–especially in the senior year–is a worthwhile or positive practice, nor does he discuss how that student identity intersects with other social identities a student may hold. Collier does offer several practical implications for curriculum and specifically capstone development.