Book cover of Cultivating Capstones: Designing High-Quality Culminating Experiences for Student Learning, edited by Caroline J. Ketcham, Anthony G. Weaver, and Jessie L. Moore

This chapter provides a holistic, high-level overview of the global capstone landscape by reviewing a sampling of institutional objectives, faculty goals, and student perceptions of the outcomes of capstone. The chapter provides an inventory of capstone purposes presented in the framework of “what could a capstone be?” These purposes are gleaned from institutional documents, faculty perceptions of capstones, and student perceptions of capstone purposes.

Discussion centers around institutional decisions about capstones, such as disciplinary vs non-disciplinary, required vs elective, etc. and includes commentary on the drivers or influences on capstone purposes such as institutional, disciplinary, or accrediting body requirements. Next, the chapter includes case studies of exemplars of capstone courses.

Discussion Questions

  • Discuss how the institutional and non-institutional stakeholders can impact the development and implementation of the capstone.
  • How can an institution’s mission, and their disciplinary guidelines affect the specific learning outcomes of their capstone experiences?
  • Compare and contrast the three case studies presented in this chapter.  How have stakeholders influenced the primary purpose of the capstone at each institution?