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Rather than focusing on a traditional thesis which too often provides an academic document that few read, the goal of our capstone project is to produce a practical work that could be useful to the student, organizations, businesses or the general public. The Capstone project represents the culmination of the student experience in the MTSE program. The Capstone should show an integrated interdisciplinary understanding of the overall Science, Technology, Society and Ministry program. The capstone project should represent a practical work that could be useful to an organization, business or the general public. There are three types of projects that may constitute a project:
- Content-Focused Project. The student will produce a major work of content that can be of use to others. This content could be a course, content-focused website, toolkit, book or major research paper or some combination of these.
- Technology-Focused Project. The student will create a new technology tool which might include a mobile/web app, module, open source software, project, code-driven website or other project that focuses on developing a technology product or component. These projects will be modeled similar to Google’s Summer of Code. Students will work with the Capstone Course Instructor to define their coding project.
- Entrepreneurial-Focused Project. The student will work to create a new business, organization or initiative. The completed work might include a business or strategy plan and other practical elements of launching the initiative.
While most students will select one of the above types of projects, students may also involve elements of all three types of projects if they prefer.
The capstone project is a significant piece of work: it represents work of a higher standard than what is normally expected of a term paper and provides an opportunity for students to synthesize all their learning into a substantial piece of work contributing to their field of interest. Students are strongly encouraged to use their ongoing MTSE courses to incubate and develop aspects of their project. For example, exploring the theological basis of it in their Theology of Technology Course or the systems perspective in their Systems Thinking course. These ideas could then be synthesized into the research paper for their capstone project.
Capstone Goal and Objectives
A major goal of the capstone project is for you to do a practical work that will improve your employability and marketability. If your sponsoring organization is your employer, the question you should be asking is “What would make this project valuable enough to my employer that they would feel that your MTSE Master’s degree was well worth their time and money.” If your sponsoring organization is not your employer, the question you should be asking is: “How do you design your project so that it is valuable enough that your sponsoring organization would either want to 1) hire you 2) keep you on as a volunteer 3) continue your project with other staff.” If you are seeking a job, the question you might ask is: “How would this project demonstrate my skills that would improve my chances with the types of employers I’m seeking?”
Students may select to do either a 5-credit or 8 credit capstone project course. Students planning to take this as a 5 credit course, should expect to spend at least 225 hours working on this project including reading, writing and other aspects of the project. Students taking an 8 credit course should expect to spend at least 360 hours.
Upon completion of the Science, Technology, Society and Ministry Capstone course, students will be able to:
- Create a major product (content, technology, entrepreneurial) that significantly contributes toward the field of MTSE in a way that can be used and replicated by others.
- Synthesize materials learned in the MTSE program and apply it toward a significant program or opportunity in the field.
- Collect and evaluate comprehensive research in a particular domain of MTSE and apply that toward significant program or opportunity in the field.
- Help spread this solution by communicating, defending and distributing (in written, oral and multimedia formats) a solution to a particular problem or opportunity in the field of MTSE in a way that can be effectively replicated by others.
Each capstone project in the Science, Technology, Society and Ministry program will consist of four components:
- Research Paper. This will provide a summary of major reading, research and background relevant to the student’s project.
- Product. This will include the end product related to the student’s project. This could include a course, website, toolkit, book, research paper, mobile/web app, module, open source software project, business plan or other elements of a new initiative.
- Presentation/Oral Defense. This will provide a summary of the overall project. The presentation should be one hour and will be presented to other students and faculty via video conference.
- Project Web page on CityVision.edu. For all projects this will serve as an archive of all elements of the project including the research paper, product elements and presentation. For website and content driven projects, this will include the content produced in the project.
It should be noted that the type of project will determine how much emphasis should be placed on each component.
Capstone Timing and Process
Students are encouraged to begin planning for their capstone as soon as they start their MTSE program. Students with a good idea of what they want for their capstone project may take the Capstone Project Design course in their first term, while other students may want to wait until the middle of their program. Students should plan to have completed their Capstone Project Design about halfway through the program if not earlier. It is expected that for many students, the 508 Capstone Project may be conncurrent with other courses in their last few terms, , although some students may prefer to focus on it after other coursework is completed..
- Discuss ideas for your capstone with the MTSE Program Director during your first term. This will help you plan for how individual projects from courses might build toward your Capstone.
- Take 507: Capstone Project Design. This will help you refine you capstone project in a concrete proposal. Should be completed about halfway through the MTSE program.
- Students will select their Capstone Advisor during 507: Capstone Project Design. The capstone advisor is typically one of the faculty in the MTSE program, although exceptions may be considered as needed.
- Take 508: Science, Technology, Society and Ministry Capstone Project. It is expected that for many students, the 508 Capstone Project may be conncurrent with other courses in their last few terms, although some students may prefer to focus on it after other coursework is completed. Note, for this course students work on the capstone until it is completed and approved by their advisor and the MTSE program director.