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. 

Program Overview
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. 

Program Outline

Sophomore Year:
  • 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. 
Junior Year:  
  • Student spends junior year researching topic and answering core question.
Senior Year:
  • 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.