There is need and value in the students, on the verge of graduation from high school, to summarize, evaluate, and integrate their education into one culminating experience - The Capstone.
The Capstone project entails an independent in-depth examination of a topic. All Capstone projects must include both a written and public presentation. The Capstone student is guided by a project mentor selected by the student. This is likely to be the most challenging and rewarding academic project undertaken by the Bellarmine student.
- First semester of sophomore year select mentor and develop core question to be analyzed. Complete Capstone Project Proposal Worksheet.
- Beginning of second semester turn in completed worksheet to Capstone Director.
- Middle of March student notified of acceptance or rejection of proposal. Student may rewrite the proposal and re-submit.
- Student spends junior year researching topic and answering core question.
- First semester student writes Research Paper and Reflective Essay.
- Second semester student orally presents research at Capstone Symposium or other appropriate venue.
Goals for Characterizing the Capstone Experience
- Provides the student nearing graduation the opportunity to explore deeply into an academic area of interest.
- Promotion of meaningful connections between the student’s high school education and future education and/or career experience.
- Explicit and intentional development of important student skills, competencies, and perspectives that are tacitly or incidentally developed in the high school education.
- Provides the student the opportunity to distinguish him/herself to compete for financial scholarships, as well as, admission to the more competitive universities and honors programs.
Candidate Selection Criteria
- Student must have a 3.4 cumulative GPA by beginning of sophomore year.
- Student must have selection of adult mentor by beginning of second semester of sophomore year who endorses the student’s core question and research plan.