The Senior Capstone Experience/Senior Project is a student-selected exploration of a topic which results in a research paper, a project or a product, and a presentation. The Senior Capstone Experience moves students away from departmentalized learning toward a more interdisciplinary approach. This approach is one which allows students to use a variety of skills in the areas of writing, speaking, research, and documentation. Upon completion of the Senior Capstone Experience, students have learned more about their topics, their community, and, most importantly, about themselves.
As part of their English classes, students compose written proposals of their projects. Students then present their proposals to a teacher panel. The members of these panels will ask the students questions to help clarify the proposals.
Following the time line established for their projects, students write research papers with the guidance of their English teachers. Along with secondary sources, students are required to use primary sources. Students conduct interviews, read research, prepare reports, and complete self-evaluations as part of the writing process. Students follow the documentation rules of Modern Language Association (MLA).
The projects/products direct the students toward individualized learning. The projects/products require students to apply the knowledge gained during the research phase. The projects/products must be completed on the students’ own time, must be challenging, and must require from fifteen to forty hours or more of work. Mentors work with students during this phase of the Senior Capstone Experience.
At the close of the Senior Capstone Experience, students assemble their portfolios. The portfolios are electronic and consist of letters to the judges and to the students’ English teachers. Student work such as the research paper, the mentor log, and the work log are also included. Judges read the portfolios before presentations begin to formulate questions which they will ask students during the presentation.
In the final step of the process, students design ten minute presentations of their complete Senior Project experience. Students are required to speak to a panel of judges and then are required to answer questions from those judges. Community members serve as panel judges.
DOWNLOAD THE SENIOR PROJECT PROPOSAL FORM
Sample Senior Projects
The Senior Project COMM 4500 or Senior Seminar COMM student will work in conjunction with the faculty member and/or advisor working on a capstone project or research paper.
COMM 4500 Senior Project (3). Completion of individual research or project through application of the research methodology process. Required of all Departmental majors. Mass Communication majors must take either COMM 4500 or 4510. COMM Studies and Theatre students take COMM 4500. This may be a traditional research paper or creative project or production.
COMM 4510 Senior Seminar: Multimedia (News Capstone), Production capstone or Integrated Marketing Communication capstone in either Brand Management or IM Research (3) Advanced course combining previously taught skills in print, radio and television journalism into the emerging area of multi-media/on-line journalism (news) or its senior equivalent in production or IMC. Students are expected to produce portfolio quality work. Prerequisites: (News) Choose one of the following: COMM 3300, 3400 or 3800. Production or IMC prerequisites: See advisor.
Sample Student media capstone projects:
Kelli Volk: The Evolution of Journalism (11:00)
"Nashville on the Go"
"A Walk in my Shoes"