General Bulletin Description
UCAP 395 affords students the opportunity to pursue a Capstone experience outside the SAGES Capstone courses offered by academic departments. Students must identify a project, a mentor, and an oversight committee. If the mentor is not a Case Western Reserve University faculty member, then the student must also identify a faculty advisor who does hold such an appointment, and who will serve as the instructor of record. A Capstone experience can take various forms, but must include certain elements: critical thinking, regular oversight by the project advisor(s), periodic written and oral reporting of progress, a final written report which describes the project activity (which may be a performance, experiment, student teaching, live case analysis, creative writing endeavor, etc.), and a final public presentation. More details about course policies, including procedures for registering, are available via the SAGES office and website. UCAP 395 may be taken as a one-semester or a two-semester course for 1-6 credits in any given semester and 3-6 credits total. A permit from the Director of SAGES is required.
Capstone Experience Content
The crucial elements of any SAGES Capstone experience, which must be incorporated into any UCAP 395 project, are:
• Critical thinking on the part of the student.
• Clear goals with an appropriate plan of action.
• Regular oversight by the project adviser.
• Periodic reporting of progress.
• Regular writing (e.g. drafts, progress reports, critiques) throughout the project including a final written report which may be a thesis or equivalent document associated with the project or activity, (e.g., such pursuits as performance, experiment, live case analysis, or creative writing), as approved by the advisory committee.
• A public presentation at the Undergraduate Symposium and Poster Session, a conference, a performance, a public lecture, a teaching presentation, or other, as approved by the advisory committee.
The contract, which every student must file for UCAP 395, attempts to insure that these elements are taken into consideration at the beginning of each project. For clarification of any policies associated with UCAP 395, see the list of Frequently Asked Questions or contact Dr. Erika Olbricht, the Interim Director of SAGES.
In addition to the student, the parties to the contract, each of whom must approve the contract terms, are:
Mentor – The mentor is the person who has primary (day-to-day) responsibility for supervising the student and guiding him or her through the project. If the mentor is not a CWRU faculty member, he or she must be approved to act as a mentor by the CWRU faculty member who serves as the project advisor and by the Director of SAGES (or his designee).
Project Advisor – The advisor must be a CWRU faculty member. The advisor will assign the final course grade in consultation with the mentor and other advisory committee members. (If the mentor meets this condition, he or she may also serve as the project advisor.)
Advisory Committee – Students must identify a three (or more) person advisory committee. The responsibilities of this committee are to hear and read at least one progress report during each semester of the project and to help evaluate the final oral and written reports. The student should choose the committee members in consultation with his or her mentor and advisor, who must approve the choice and who themselves are (1 or 2 of the 3) members of this committee.
It is suggested, but not required, that at least one member of the Advisory Committee be a member of a department in which the student is pursuing a major.
SAGES Capstone Coordinator – Each School/College has jurisdiction over the SAGES Capstone Program for its departments and each School/College has identified a SAGES Capstone Coordinator to oversee its program. These individuals are identified, here, on the SAGES Capstone Contacts link.
Director of SAGES or Designee – The Director of SAGES will issue the permit that allows a student to register for UCAP 395 but the final grade will be assigned by the Capstone Project Advisor.
Students are expected to begin work on their project the first day of classes and must be registered for UCAP 395 by the end of the drop/add period. To allow time for review by the Director of SAGES, and to make any necessary modifications, UCAP 395 contracts should be delivered to the SAGES office (Crawford 110) at least one week before the start of the semester.
Students who wish to pursue a SAGES Capstone of their own design should make plans significantly in advance, preferably starting by the time registration opens for the semester in which UCAP 395 will be taken and having everything complete before leaving campus for the winter or summer break that precedes their UCAP 395 experience.
UCAP 395 is part of the General Education Requirements of the university and therefore must result in a letter grade using the scale A-F. The assignment of grades is left largely to the discretion of the faculty advisor, although the advisor is expected to seek the counsel of the mentor and advisory committee.
If the project will extend across two semesters and the second semester is required, then a grade of R must be given at the end of the first semester. At the end of the project, a Change of Grade Form must be filed so that the R grade can be changed to the final grade for the entire project. (Both semesters must have the same grade since this is considered a single course.)
UCAP 395 Contract
Students who wish to satisfy the SAGES Capstone requirement via UCAP 395 must file a formal contract with the SAGES office. A link to downloadable copies of this contract and instructions for completing it are provided on this page as a Word doc or pdf. (If you are having trouble downloading or viewing a file, right-click the file link and choose the “Save File As” or “Download Linked File” option.)
Students must print out a copy, settle various issues noted in the contract, and obtain the signatures of all the parties to the contract.