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

Hostos Community College created a multidisciplinary faculty development course-redesign seminar to craft capstone learning experiences rooted in varied faculty identities and dissimilar pedagogical expertise. We prioritized creating a safe, interdisciplinary, and collaborative environment that was rich with brainstorming, mentoring, and constructive feedback. Eight individual seminars ran for 15 weeks each involving groups of seven or less faculty between 2015 and 2019. Thirty-five faculty participated in redesigning twenty-two courses, using one of two models. This chapter focuses on the first model, a traditional model of individual faculty designing capstone assignments for specific courses in a structured workshop with bi-weekly meetings. The workshop involved developing the assignment, adjusting curriculum, teaching the course, and assessing the delivery and outcomes. This chapter provides a close look at the administrative structures designed to support faculty.

Discussion Questions

  • What are some similar characteristics in the capstone experience between the community college capstone and the capstone offered at a four-year institution?
  • Discuss how Silverthorn’s faculty-development model influenced the development and implementation of the capstone seminar. What community of practice examples do you see—or would you like to see—at your institution that support the capstone?
  • Does your administration support faculty in capstone development including identifying and utilizing new pedagogical approaches? How does this impact the quality of capstones?
  • If you teach at a four-year institution, how might you systematically consider or assess the experiences students bring from their two-year colleges, including their prior capstone experiences?