Capstone Project and Mentorship
The Honors Capstone Project is a written manuscript of original scholarship conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. For most Honors students, completion of the Honors Capstone Project will be the climax of their college careers. Working on a capstone project helps student develop the ability to investigate a problem and to do serious writing, research, or creative work that will provide a foundation for work in their chosen profession. Students will often look back to realize just how much difference it made in their professional preparation.
In addition to independent work, the Honors Capstone Project involves a close relationship between the student and a capstone project advisor/mentor, particularly with the mentor supervising the student’s scholarly work. This relationship deepens the quality of students’ learning experiences, inspires more intimate and informative letters of recommendation, and sometimes leads to lifelong professional relationships.
Typically, preparation for the Honors Capstone Project starts in the junior year and finishes in the senior year. In the spring semester of a student’s junior year, students find an advisor/mentor and write a proposal for their project which must be approved by an independent reviewer and the program director. In a traditional Honors Capstone Project, students conduct research or scholarship for their project, usually into the Fall semester of their senior year. In a non-traditional Honors Capstone Project (Internship/ Co-Op), students conduct and evaluate a project while on assignment, which may be a design, technical implementation, managerial intervention, or other form of activities. A wide range of other activities may also qualify for a Capstone Project, including: engineering design projects, graphic arts exhibits, business plans, computer programs, plays, fiction, musical compositions, or various kinds of report, for example, from a service-learning project. Please refer to the Honors Handbook for more details on different types of our Capstone Projects. The Honors Capstone Project process is documented in several Honors Program handbooks (Student Handbook, Mentor Handbook, Guide to Capstone Projects), which include important timelines, formatting, and forms.