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|IPOL 8605 - Capstone:Rsch&Writing Proj-PA|
The capstone experience is a culminating learning opportunity for students in MPA program. The capstone requirement has two main objectives. First, it enables students to demonstrate, integrate, reflect on, apply, and deepen their knowledge and skills (such as those related to policy analysis, management, research methods, data analysis, communication, etc.) acquired in the MPA program to diagnose and solve actual problems in public and nonprofit organizations. In this course students will have opportunity to link theory with practice; deepen their knowledge and advance the skills applicable to their professional career objectives; apply relevant frameworks, skills, and other tools to gain better understanding of problems and needs of public and nonprofit organizations; and generate comprehensive, innovative, well-informed and thought-out solutions.
Second, this experience is designed to help students prepare for specific career paths they wish to pursue upon graduation. Ideally, capstone should serve as a stepping stone for the job a student wants to get upon graduation. Therefore for their capstone projects students are encouraged to select and explore the pressing themes, issues and problems concerning the organization/field they want to work with in the future. For example, students can do a thorough analysis of an emerging policy problem, do an organizational assessment, or evaluate programs or projects of the entities they are interested in working with. Students are encouraged to select capstone projects that build on their comparative advantage and/or their previous professional experiences and incorporate comparative approach.
Ultimately this seminar aims to help students produce a deliverable which they will be proud to submit to employers and/or journals. Be innovative, creative, critical, daring, and passionate in your research and writing. Make this capstone opportunity work for you.
The capstone deliverables – the final report and its presentation to the MIIS community – must demonstrate the student’s mastery of the MPA core competencies.
Content: Every capstone project must have a specific client who will benefit from student’s capstone work. Students will choose applied projects – the questions and tasks which will help existing organization and/or field – which can be pursued individually or in teams of students' choice. The capstone projects must focus on creating positive impact on actual practice of public administration, and should respond to public and/or nonprofit organizations’ needs and/or potential. Specific examples of capstone projects undertaken by MPA students are provided in the appendix.
Format: Capstone deliverables can take any form – a research paper, a website, a video etc. Select the format that which meets and facilitates the purposes of the capstone project best.