Undergraduate Capstones at Hamline

    by Gina Erickson, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Forensic Science  

    The work informing Professor Erickson's Faculty Fellow capstone report was funded by the 2014–2015 Assessment Fellow program of the Hamline University Committee on Learning Outcomes Assessment (CLOA) and supported by the Hamline University Center for Teaching and Learning. 



    What is a Capstone?

    Most broadly, a capstone course or experience “should enable the student to bring to a symbolic conclusion the acquisition of knowledge and skills that has preceded this final effort” while integrating and applying what students have learned throughout the major or college career. As such, the successful capstone experience will synthesize knowledge, insight, and personal development and will help bridge the transition from undergraduate student to college graduate. Successful capstone courses are both summative and transformational in that students will synthesize learning throughout the major (or college more generally) while recognizing and capitalizing on the capstone experience as preparation for life after college in a career or through further education. Capstone experiences are generally offered as one of two types of courses: discipline-based courses, often including a major paper or presentation, or interdisciplinary courses aimed to synthesize the general education and the major coursework. Beyond this, the main product or project of a capstone course is often a senior thesis or research paper, exhibition, or performance; a comprehensive exam; career or transition preparation; or an internship. Capstone courses are usually credit-bearing courses required for either the major or the general education requirements.

    VIDEOS: Undergraduate Capstones at Hamline University   

    In this first video Erickson provides an overview of capstones at Hamline and a brief synthesis of her findings. The second video describes the revised capstone course in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.