Some students see the Senior Capstone program as simply a requirement for graduating, but the program also provides students the opportunity to truly embody Portland State’s motto: “Let Knowledge Serve the City.” Like any other potentially life-changing endeavor, preparation is key.
Some students see the Senior Capstone program as simply a requirement for graduating, but the program also provides students the opportunity to truly embody Portland State’s motto: “Let Knowledge Serve the City.”
Like any other potentially life-changing endeavor, preparation is key.
On Tuesday, PSU’s Senior Capstone Fair will facilitate a yearly opportunity for students to learn about the hundreds of courses being offered, directly from the instructors who will be leading them. The two-hour fair will be held in the Smith Memorial Student Union, in room 327, starting at 11 a.m.
“[The fair] is a great opportunity for students to explore what different capstone courses are offered and the opportunities for civic engagement,” said Seanna Kerrigan, who has been the capstone director since the program began almost two decades ago.
“PSU was one of the pioneering institutions, and each year we are recognized for excellence in our community-based learning,” she explained. “You see more and more universities developing capstone programs, especially as the job market is so difficult, to make sure that college graduates are able to develop applied learning.”
Although most students attending the fair are upperclassmen making course arrangements for graduation, Kerrigan encourages students at all levels to participate and become more aware of what to expect for their future curriculum.
“So many freshman and sophomores aren’t clear about what the capstone requirement is,” Kerrigan said. “A lot of students don’t know that these courses are already formed by the faculty, rather than something [the students] need to form themselves.”
Scores of students may also be unaware of the sheer volume of courses available. According to Kerrigan, the fair will feature roughly 40 faculty members representing approximately 150 capstone courses. The courses feature various formats and learning environments.
“Some courses are international, some are close to campus, some are online,” Kerrigan said. “The international capstones take a little longer to plan for with finances, travel and logistics, so students spend a lot of time at those tables.
“With online courses, this may be one of the only opportunities for students to meet their instructor face-to-face,” she added.
To get the most out of the fair, Kerrigan encourages students to familiarize themselves with the capstone program website at capstone.unst.pdx.edu. Kerrigan said that, even though most information is already available online, there’s nothing like having your personal questions answered by faculty members.
“The fair has multiple points where it buzzes with students and faculty engaged in conversation, and it’s great to hear that level of exchange,” she said.