- What is a capstone course?
A capstone course is a celebration of student educational experiences at Rhodes State College designed to assess strengths and/or weaknesses of individual and collective student learning. The course is a culminating program or degree experience that provides for learning without new skills being introduced. Such courses provide opportunities for students to integrate their specific program education goals with the Rhodes State College general education skills and abilities.
- Is the capstone course required for graduation?
Yes. All programs of study offer capstone courses as part of their curricula.
- When do students take the capstone course?
The course is taken near the end of the program of study, usually no sooner than one semester prior to graduation. It is important that most content areas have been introduced and covered before taking the capstone course.
- How will I know which courses are considered capstone?
The current college catalog designates capstone courses with a special icon(). Look for this icon to identify the capstone courses.
- Will students receive a grade for taking the capstone course?
Yes. The capstone course is a graded course.
- How many credit hours are earned while taking the capstone course?
A minimum of two credits will be earned while taking the course, which can be offered in a variety of combinations and hours. Programs may assign greater credit value to the course.
- What all is covered in the capstone course?
There are several elements to the capstone course. The first is the technical component which consists of a technical project featuring a written and oral assignment. A psychomotor skill demonstration is also part of the technical component. The second element is the final electronic portfolio writing assignment providing an opportunity to share views on diversity. The third element is the taking of the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP).
- What is a portfolio?
For the purposes of assessing student learning at Rhodes State, a portfolio is a collection of student writings used as a tool to measure and assess student writing performance. These writings will span the students’ educational experiences at the College and therefore demonstrate, not only a flexibility in responding to a variety of writing situations, but also growth as a writer and as a learner.
- What is the electronic portfolio database?
The electronic portfolio is essentially a server which stores your writing samples. The samples can be accessed by faculty to evaluate growth in writing. Once papers are submitted to the electronic portfolio they cannot be retrieved by students.
- Is the electronic portfolio required for graduation?
Any student who has taken a portfolio course will be required to have an electronic portfolio database.
- Will I still graduate if the collection of writing samples, which I have submitted, show little growth in my writing ability?
Yes. A certain level of performance on the writing samples is not required to graduate. You are, however, required to have the electronic database with the correct number of writing samples.
- Once individual student writing samples are submitted to the electronic portfolio can they be retrieved by students?
No. Papers or writing samples done while taking portfolio courses and submitted to the database are not accessible to students.
- When taking a designated portfolio course am I required to submit a writing sample to the electronic portfolio?
Yes. Any student taking a course designated as a portfolio course will be required to submit a paper to the database. The submission is a requirement to pass the course. Students who have not submitted the required writing samples will not receive passing grades for courses designated as portfolio.
- Do I have to submit a writing paper to the portfolio if I am a non-degree seeking student taking a designated portfolio course?
Yes. All students taking a portfolio course regardless of category, status, or major must submit a writing sample to the electronic portfolio.
- What if I already have credit for a course which is now designated as a portfolio course?
Any student who has been awarded transfer credit for or who has already taken a course which is now designated as a portfolio course will be given credit for having submitted a writing paper in that course or courses. For the most part, six writing samples are needed to complete the electronic portfolio; however, if a student has already taken and passed English Composition, COM 111 or General Psychology, PSY 101, but has not yet taken the other four portfolio courses, then his/her electronic portfolio will contain only four writing samples. This is acceptable. Prior to graduation, officials of the College will check student electronic portfolios to see if the appropriate number of papers have been submitted.
- How and when do I submit the papers?
Instructors who are teaching portfolio courses will help you with the submission process. Papers are simultaneously submitted to the electronic portfolio as they are given to instructors for grading.
- What are the primary themes of the papers to be submitted to the electronic database?
For the most part, students will submit six writing samples to the electronic portfolio database. The first paper will be submitted in SDE-1010 First Year Experience. The topic will be diversity and your perceptions of it. In COM-1110 (English Composition) a research paper written on a topic pertaining to the student’s major will be submitted. The next papers will be submitted when taking PSY 1010 or SOC 1010 (note: if all four courses are taken, then four writing samples will be submitted). Additional samples will be technically oriented and will be submitted while taking designated courses in your technical major. The final paper will be written and submitted while taking the capstone course. In this paper, students will discuss their growth and awareness of ethics, cultural diversity, and professionalism. It is important to point out that students will generally not be doing additional work that is beyond the present requirements for these courses. Most courses designated as portfolio courses already require a writing assignment, however in a few instances a writing assignment was added.
- Is my confidentiality respected when I submit papers to the electronic portfolio?
Yes! The College takes precautions to maintain the confidentiality of the writer and the contents of his/her paper.