Capstone Fair on Thursday

As graduation looms for some, others look forward to the prospect of becoming seniors. But the senior year brings the Capstone requirement – the crowning jewel of the University Studies program; hated by some, loved by others. To help you pick out a Capstone that won’t make you shudder, the University Studies office is sponsoring a Capstone Fair tomorrow.

PSU’s 2001-2002 Capstone Fair will take place Thursday, May 10, in the Smith Center Browsing Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Almost 100 different Capstones will have displays and representatives at the fair – some of them former students – to answer your questions and help you decide on your final graduation requirement.

All students who enrolled at PSU after 1994 are part of the University Studies general education program, which requires participation in a Senior Capstone some time in your junior or senior year. Capstones are offered in one-, two- or three-term sequences for a total of six credits. The community-oriented classes are designed to give students real-world opportunities to apply their expertise and give them experience working with diverse groups of people.

Capstone topics range from working with schools and younger students to government agencies and engineering professionals. The majority involve a significant out-of-class time commitment, and some require travel to off-campus locations. Many of the Capstones that will be at the fair can be completed this summer. Students can get the requirement out of the way and not have to worry about it their senior year.

If you’re looking for the chance to work with kids, try the Girl Power Capstone, Learning about People with Disabilities or Enhancing Youth Literacy. In the Girl Power Capstone, students will work with teen girls to raise their awareness of resources and activities in the Portland area. They will conduct “rap sessions” with the girls to allow them to communicate about issues in their lives, and work with local teen agencies to build a community support network for teenage girls. In Learning about People with Disabilities, students will be counselors at a two week, live-in Kiwanis Camp that provides outdoor recreation for children and adults with severe disabilities. In Enhancing Youth Literacy, students will work in the Beach community to provide tutoring services and host a literacy night for parents and children.

For the more technically-minded students, try the Latin American Web site Capstone, Multimedia Production or Engineering Project Management. In the Latin American Web site Capstone, students will work with the PSU Center for the Study of U.S.-Latin American Relations to develop a Web site educating the public about Latin America. In Multimedia Production, students will have the opportunity to develop multimedia projects using state-of-the-art computers and software. In Engineering Project Management, students will work with customers and contractors to map out and implement all the elements of an engineering project.

Finally, for those interested in the environment, several Capstones offer the opportunity to expand your green horizons, including Neighborhoods and Watersheds, Air Quality and Vehicle Emissions, and Geology of the Northern Basin and Range. In the Neighborhoods and Watersheds Capstone, students will look at the health of cities and how it relates to the care of their watersheds, and will work with community organizations doing wetland restoration. In Air Quality and Vehicle Emissions, students will look at the effect of fossil fuels on the environment and how effective fuel additives are in reducing global warming. In Geology of the Northern Basin and Range, students will travel to the Malheur Field Station in southeast Oregon to gather data about the area and publish their findings in a pamphlet and Web page.

Many more options exist for potential Capstone students – for a full sampling, go to the Capstone Fair on Thursday. Capstones are a requirement for those graduating under the University Studies program, but are not required for students in the University Honors program. For more help with graduation requirements and Capstones in general, contact the Information and Academic Support Center (IASC) at (503) 725-4005, or visit them at the Capstone Fair on Thursday.