A capstone is an architectural term that refers to the final stone laid to finish a structure. Over the years, Capstone has also come to refer to a crowning achievement. Just as an architectural capstone completes a structure, the crowning achievement experienced in an Honors Capstone is intended to complete a student’s undergraduate career. Capstone experiences can elucidate coherence within the college experience in two different manners: first, they enable a student to draw together the various aspects of his/her academic, professional, and community involvement to produce a well-rounded, meaningful expression of his/her overall undergraduate experience; second, they can serve as an academic “culminating experience” where students demonstrate an integrated understanding of a specific field of study and apply the tools and methods of inquiry of that field in order to generate new knowledge (Wagenaar, 1993).
The Capstone is also a pivotal experience during which students move from education to professional practice. In other words, a Capstone serves as a transition from college to a career, a professional program, or a graduate school. Enabling Honors students to make the connection between their college careers and their professions or post-graduate studies increases their probability of success. Consequently, the Honors Program is committed to facilitating a meaningful Capstone experience for every Honors student.
Students who enter the Honors Program are required to complete an Honors Capstone project. Because Honors students are enrolled in every college, an Honors Capstone experience will be defined broadly, although its contours may be circumscribed by the overall requirements of Honors and those of a student’s major.
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