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Hicks Honors College

Honors Capstone

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The Honors capstone project is an effort that both "caps" Hicks Honors College students' educational and co-curricular experiences at UNF and supports the individual's future career goals and aspirations.  To identify a topic, students should think about what they want to do when they graduate and think about how a capstone experience will help them get there, whether that is to:

  • Prepare for graduate school
  • Prepare for a professional career
  • Continue academic research and contribute to a particular field of study
  • Express their creativity
  • Or pursue other unique goals

The capstone project will be completed in the junior and/or senior year, but students may begin thinking about potential projects prior to that time. The capstone project must:

  • Display engagement in one's field of study or another clearly defined area of interest
  • Total 120 hours (or the equivalent effort of a 3 credit semester course)
  • Be guided by the goals of the Hicks Honors College
  • Include an approved capstone proposal, an approved capstone reflection, and supporting documents
  • What is capstone?

    The term capstone is derived from building construction in which the cap-stone represents the final decorative touches used to complete the building or monument (Wikipedia, 2022).  According to Merriam-Webster, capstone by definition means "the high point" or "crowning achievement."  In the mid-twentieth century, higher education started using the term capstone to represent a culminating project or experience.  

    The Hicks Honors College embraces student participation in a capstone project or experience to showcase their talents and learn new skills.  While this project may take many forms, in every instance projects should provide students with the occasion to think holistically about their university education, their Hicks Honors College experience, the goals of the Hicks Honors College, and their future ambitions.

    Capstone projects can take many forms depending on the needs and interests of the student.  The capstone is meant to be purposefully flexible to allow the student to design a project or experience that will allow them to showcase their talents and, perhaps, learn new skills.  Past capstone experiences have included internships, semester and year-long study abroad experiences, research experiences, special interest projects, art exhibits, and volunteer work. 

  • What steps are required to complete the Honors College Capstone requirement?

    One or two semesters in advance of the start of the capstone project, you should:

    • Register for and complete IDH3942:  Pre-capstone Symposium.  The pre-capstone symposium is an opportunity to interact with fellow Honors College students and staff to learn about upper-level degree requirements, identify unique resources and opportunities on campus, and begin thinking about your capstone experience.  
    • Decide on the purpose of your intended capstone and explore possibilities (find an internship, find a professor with whom to conduct research, identify a study abroad activity, etc.)
    • Identify a potential capstone project and capstone mentor

     

    The semester prior to the start of the capstone experience, you should:

    • Submit a Capstone Proposal.  Instructions for the capstone proposal are outlined in the tab, Capstone Proposal below.  
    • Students are encouraged to submit their capstone proposal in enough time for review and revisions, if needed, prior to the approval and start of your capstone experience.  

     

    Capstone experience

    • Immerse in the capstone project or experience.  

     

    After completion of the capstone experience, you should:

    • Submit a capstone reflection and your supporting documents.  Instructions for the capstone reflection and the required supporting documents are outlined in the tab, Capstone Reflection below.
    • Students are required to submit their capstone reflection and supporting documents at least 6 weeks prior to the date of graduation for the term in which they intend to graduate in order to be included in the printed Honors College graduation program.  
  • Capstone Proposal
    • Capstone proposals should be submitted using the format outlined in the Capstone Proposal Template.  Download this template and replace the 'boilerplate' text with text specific to your capstone.  Be sure to rename the file so the file name does not include the word 'template.'

     

    • Proposals should be typed, 12-pt font, 1” margins, 1.5 spacing, Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman Font.  Students should use the Capstone Proposal Template when drafting their capstone proposal.   

     

    • Share your capstone proposal with your faculty mentor and obtain the faculty mentor's signature.  It will be especially helpful to review the 'Learning Outcomes' section of the capstone proposal with your faculty mentor.  The Capstone Proposal Template includes the Faculty Mentor Approval Form.  Capstone mentors and students are welcome and encouraged to sign the document electronically.  

     

    • Use the Capstone Proposal Upload Form to submit your capstone proposal onlineYou must use your UNF email address when completing the Capstone Proposal Upload Form.  You will receive an email within 2 weeks of your submission notifying you of the outcome of your capstone proposal review.  

     

  • Capstone Reflection and Supporting Documents

     

    • Your capstone reflection should be typed, 12-pt font, 1” margins, 1.5 spacing, Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman Font.  

     

    • You should use the templates to complete your supporting documents. 
     
    • You should submit your 'Capstone Reflection', 'Letter to My Former Self', and the 'Upper Level Requirements' at the same time using the Capstone Reflection Upload Form.

     

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some examples of capstone projects or experiences?

    Capstone projects can take many forms depending on the program of study, needs, and interests of the student.  The capstone is meant to be purposefully flexible to allow you to design a project or experience that will allow you to showcase your talents and, perhaps, learn new skills.  Past capstone experiences have included internships, semester and year-long study abroad experiences, research experiences, art exhibits, and volunteer work.   We encourage you to think creatively and to find an experience that will be meaningful and exciting for you!

     

    What is the time commitment required to complete the capstone requirement?

     It is expected the capstone project or experience will total 120 hours or the equivalent effort of a 3-credit course in a semester. 

     

    I am already completing an internship as part of my degree requirements.  Can I use this experience to fulfill my capstone requirement?

    Yes!  Students are welcome to use a project or experience they are already completing in fulfillment of degree requirements as their capstone experience.  What distinguishes the Honors College capstone requirement is the reflective writing pieces:  the capstone proposal, the capstone reflection, and the Letter to My Former Self.  

     

    I see that study abroad is listed as a potential capstone.  I am going on a 3-week faculty-led study abroad trip.  Can I use this to fulfill my capstone requirement?

    Study abroad is an exciting and enriching opportunity!  We encourage all Hicks Honors College students to consider undergraduate study abroad.  For a study abroad experience to be used as a capstone experience, we require the study abroad trip to be at least one semester in length.  Study abroad experiences less than one semester in length can be used to fulfill Honors College upper-level co-curricular requirements.  

     

    Do I have to have a faculty mentor for my capstone project?  Can an Honors College staff member serve as my mentor?

    Every capstone project requires a discipline-based mentor who can attest to the appropriateness of the learning outcomes of the proposed project (in the capstone proposal phase) and to the satisfactory attainment of those outcomes (in the capstone reflection phase).  In rare circumstances, the capstone project may fall under the discipline purview of a Hicks Honors College staff member; in these cases, the Honors College staff member may serve as the student's faculty mentor.  

     

    I recently submitted my capstone proposal for review.  When will I know if it was approved?

    Students can expect a response to their capstone proposal submission within 2 weeks of submission.  If you have not heard a response within 2 weeks, please email honors.capstone@unf.edu.

     

    Who should I contact with questions about the Hicks Honors College capstone requirement?

     If you have any questions about the capstone requirement for the Hicks Honors College, please contact Dr. Denise Monti at honors.capstone@unf.edu.