Students typically take the Capstone course in the last year or semester of their college career. The course invites students to consider all of the work they have done in the previous three to four years and reflect on what narrative those artifacts suggest of them as a writer. Students must then conceptualize, research, design, and complete a semester-long project that allows them to follow their interests, but integrate them in unique ways.
Neither the content nor form is predefined. While some students choose to work in more traditionally defined forms such as a research paper, short story, or a collection of poems, all students transcend the boundaries of established genres. Some choose to supplement traditional research papers with videos and images or choose to turn that paper into an interactive web page. Others create podcasts, promotional videos, or entire magazines dedicated to the subject of their choice. One student wrote a predictive State of the Union Address; another created a mental health campaign; and yet another created an interactive educational website focused on autism.
Similar to the Gateway course, there are numerous opportunities to reflect on what the college experience has meant to each student. But the Capstone presents the unique opportunity to do something about it – to show that computer science and poetry are not incompatible, or how powerful it can be to apply philosophical concepts to real world issues.
Below are some examples of eportfolios from the Capstone course last semester. For a full list of portfolios from the Minor Gateway and Capstone courses visit the Minor in Writing blog.