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The Capstone is Back

Most master’s programs have a final project or thesis, and the MSC program is no different. The MSC Capstone Project integrates all of the coursework and practical experience of the MSC program.  Students will demonstrate that they have achieved all of the learning outcomes of the program through a three-part class that extends the entire duration of their program. First, using an ePortfolio format, students will reflect on the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies they gained in the MSC program and provide tangible samples of work as substantial evidence of these accomplishments. Second, students will demonstrate that they can apply their knowledge and skills to new problems through case interview or through developing a written case. Third, students will demonstrate their communication skills through a public presentation about the added value their MSC degree confers.

Elizabeth Kollross, class of 2011, has sat in on parts of the new Capstone project. “There were three practica we had to complete during my program,” Kollross said. “They were beneficial and important but felt a little separate from the overall program. The capstone project does a better job of having students draw in the experiences throughout the program.”

Annotated Bibliography

We hear time and again about alumni turning to their “MSC Box” when facing a new challenge at work or simply looking to refresh on some material from their time in the program. Now, students collect the papers, research, notes, and other materials they find useful and annotate those so that they will have a living resource available to them when they graduate.

In addition to simply creating an index of materials, it also helps students think about the throughlines in the program and investigate the topics they have encountered throughout the fast-paced year.

Case Interview or Case Development

If the Annotated Bibliography is about collecting information in a meaningful way, this section is about using the things students have learned to solve a problem.

Students choosing to conduct a Case Interview, sign up for a time and are emailed a case 24 hours in advance. That case is closely related to the core course and the student is expected to present a brief diagnosis of the case’s problem as well as their suggested solution, relying on what they have learned in the program.

Kollross has been a part of the panel giving feedback to students completing the case interview. “The MSC has done a great job in developing an assignment that shows what students have learned and is very much a real-world type of exercise. There is also great value in the immediate feedback. Most students (or people for that matter) aren’t used to this level of analysis/critique of their work. It’s a good opportunity for reflection and feedback.”

Students choosing to do a Case Development have a different experience. These students use data and experiences from a real-life situation and conduct an in-depth study of the underlying causes of the problem and their recommendations for a solution.

Both of these options give students a place to put the lessons they have learned into practice and begin to think about how they will transition their knowledge out of the classroom and into the workplace.

Value Proposition Statement

Most students in the MSC program are looking to leverage the degree to change careers, jobs, or become more confident in their current role. In order to help them make sense of their journey, we have introduced the Value Proposition Video.

Students record a brief statement about themselves where they create a concrete description of who they are, what skills they have, and what they bring to the table.

This video helps students understand that they are more than just the sum of their job titles and experiences and that it is up to each person to tell their own story. This section of the Capstone also gives students yet another opportunity to practice their presentation skills as well as reaching a tailored audience of their choosing.

The MSC program is excited to offer students these new opportunities that enable them to explore and share the value of their time in the program.