School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


School of Professional Studies

Chief Instructor

Mary Piecewicz


The capstone project is a culminating experience whereby students choose to research a topic that is relevant in their field of study and have been highly regarded as important learning activities. The capstone allows students to use research, analytical, problem solving and evaluation skills they have learned in the course of the graduate program. McGill indicates the benefit of the completion of a capstone project not only in gaining knowledge in capstone but also in learning how to apply the knowledge gained in other courses in the major (McGill, 2012). Currently, COPACE (College of Professional and Continuing Education) has three separate capstone programs – one each for MPA, MSPC, and MSIT. The goal of this study is to evaluate our existing capstones at COPACE and identify the components of a quality capstone program to benefit future capstones. This study will also determine whether integrating these three separate capstones programs into a single standard capstone is more beneficial than the current model. We will also show how to improve the existing capstones programs. The methods used in this study are: survey, broad research on other universities and analysis of 44 COPACE capstones. The target populations of the survey are COPACE graduate students graduated from 2013 to 2014. An anonymous questionnaire was sent by email to approximately 120 Clark students. The survey results are interpreted with suggestions for achieving more consistency in capstones.



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