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Community-Engaged Signature Work - Campus Examples

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Front Page / Campus-Wide Integration / Community-Engaged Signature Work / Campus Examples



Community-Engaged Signature Work

Overview   |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download




Capstone Preparation Examples


Siena College

Siena College made capstones a requirement for Bonner Leaders several years ago. Students work with their community partners to identify a project, coached through the process by staff during 1-to-1 advising meetings using a structure that discusses their academic work, site projects and roles, and other personal development. In 2017-2018, Siena will be working to strengthening the capstone process by focusing on the training and development structure that is provided for students. Dr. Ruth Kassel will be spearheading this initiative by increasing the rigor of training in preparation for the capstone work. Beginning in the Fall 2017 semester, Siena's Bonner Program will implement monthly two hour meetings with our senior class and students in the Dake Fellowship program (which is a year-long intensive research program) where our fellows will meet to discuss progress on their capstones. They will hold writing workshops where fellows and Bonners are trained and supported to write an abstract, get and give feedback on their writing, complete the research and project work, and put together a capstone presentation. All students will be presenting on their capstone process throughout the semester to receive feedback. Siena also plans to support capstone students to submit abstracts at the end of the fall semester to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) which will help to solidify their projects earlier in the year. This might also support their independent publishing opportunities. Finally, students will put together a capstone poster which they will help them draft and edit during the spring semester in preparation for the campus-wide Academic Celebration. Below are some examples of past capstones, which have involved CBR and capacity-building projects.


Below are two handouts that might be useful for others working on similar integration:



College of Charleston 

The College of Charleston has senior students complete a fused Capstone and Senior Presentation of Learning Project. The students identify and describe their capstone project in an initial proposal in fall semester, create their research question(s) with the Bonner director and their advisor (if a faculty member and/or their Community Partner supervisor). If they can articulate the impact of their project, it will most likely be approved. The seniors check-in with the CCE bi-weekly to discuss their project (what is going well? Do they need to broaden/narrow their scope? Etc.) and follow the basic timeline on the Project Proposal form (see below). Throughout the year, the seniors must present a two minute overview on their capstone projects. 



Stetson University

Stetson opted to create a Junior Capstone project requirement, which would involve a specific capacity-building project or role at the service site for students. As part of an overhaul of our Junior and Senior cornerstones, Stetson Juniors are create and implement a capacity-building project during their junior year that is then institutionalized during their senior year in order to ensure that there is sustained long-term impact at their main CLA site. Stetson's Senior Legacy Presentation then challenges the student to reflect on their tenure in Bonner, particularly their Junior Capstone Project’s impact on the self and the partner. Over 2017-2018, Stetson's goal is to look at the requirements for the Junior Capstone more closely and determine how they can make these projects even more beneficial for students’ development as well as partner capacity-building, particularly in how they are able to articulate some of the major needs of their community partners/CLA sites upon completion of the research and needs assessment required to build a capstone proposal.


Colorado College

The Bonner Capstone Canvas module at Colorado College is a resource designed to walk students through the development of their capacity-building Capstone projects. Within the module, students have access to the capstone expectations, junior capstone proposal preparation resources, and capstone presentation expectations.



Macalester College

Macalester College brings partners together to work through the Capacity Building Opportunities Form. The program also integrates an introduction and discussion of the partners' interests in capacity building projects into meetings with students. Together, Bonner staff, students, and partners then create positions that enabled Bonner students to take on new projects. See this guide for more help in how to do this. 



Capstone Project Examples


Capital University 

Capital University’s Bonner Program was established in 2018. The first graduating cohort was encouraged and supported to develop a community-engaged capstone level project. Since then, Capital now requires every Bonner to complete a capstone in their senior year of college. In 2021-2022, eleven graduating seniors each completed a capstone. The topics for these projects centered around research, program management, communications, fundraising, and volunteer management. While some of these projects were linked to an academic course, all of them were advised by the Associate Director of Student and Community Engagement. Below, are some notable projects from this outstanding group of students.




High Point University

At High Point University, all Bonner Leaders are required to enroll in the Civic Responsibility and Social Innovation Minorhowever the minor is available to all High Point University students. This minor “engages Bonners in weekly training and reflection workshops, team and skill-building activities, ethics courses, persuasive speaking courses, and a community-engaged senior capstone project.” It builds on the learning outcome of the Service Learning (SL) ProgramThese outcomes are assessed with a rubric based on The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) VALUE Rubrics for the Civic Engagement and Ethical Reasoningbut mainly focusing on the Problem Solving Rubric.


There are seven courses required for this minor including: four Bonner-related workshop courses: a) CSI-1000 Service and Success Workshop, b) CSI-1002 Civic Engagement Workshop, c) CSI-2001 Civic Leadership Workshop, and d) CSI-2002 Community-Based Research Workshop; two service learning courses: a) CSI/WGS-2020-SL Identity Gender, and Social Justice in High Point, b) an ethics course CSI/PHL-3010-SL Civic Responsibility & Social Innovation; and lastly the Senior Capstone course CSI-4098/4099 Signature Work Praxis I/II.


The Signature Work Praxis is taken both semesters of senior year. The first part of this capstone series course challenges students to draw from their engagement and experiences working at their Bonner sites, and address a problem that the High Point community faces. Through completion of “community-based research projects, community transformation projects, and social entrepreneurship endeavors” the end goal of this capstone project is for each senior Bonner Leader to implement a long-term solution, service and/or program that will leave a lasting impact on the community even post-graduation. At the end of the school year, Capstones are presented to the entire Bonner Leader Program, collaborating student organizations, faculty members, community partners, etc. Contact Dr. Joe Blosser and/or Kimberly Drye-Dancy for more information. 


Below are examples of 2022 Senior Capstones:



College of Charleston 

In 2016-2017, the six graduating seniors at College of Charleston (a program in its 9th year) each completed a capstone, as shared by Domenico Ruggerio with the Foundation. Each graduating conducted a year-long capstone project that connected their service and academic work. These projects and poster board artifacts allowed students to bridge their civic work with personal and intellectual interests. Highlighting their vast and interdisciplinary pursuits, and the depth of their service reflection, the Seniors presented their capstones during one of the last Bonner meetings of the year. Further, their poster boards were on display during the Bonner Commencement event. Attached are select capstone artifacts. They show the range of disciplinary and service interests that can be linked with civic work.


  • American Cancer Society Capstone: Brooke Horton analyzed social factors in the quality of healthcare.
  • Chronic Geriatric Diseases Capstone: Julia Taylor conducted a thematic analysis of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and Alzheimer's Disease among older adults.
  • Humanitarian Machine Learning Capstone: Stephen Baldwin did a case study (using computer science) of loan approvals, analyzing them from a humanitarian framework. 
  • Meat Consumption and Early Onset Puberty Capstone: Jasmine Lazarus did a small study to analyze the effects of consuming meat containing antibiotics and its effects on the development of early onset puberty in females. This research was then shared with the after-school program to help guide its nutritional programming. 
  • Reducing Youth Health Disparities Capstone: Angela Jones applied her major in Public Health to analyzing five health interventions and their effects on students in a local after-school program that she worked with throughout the year.
  • School to Prison Pipeline Capstone: Anjali Naik took a transdisciplinary approach to computers, art, and social justice through the creation of an interactive data visualization. She compiled and displayed the data of the year’s annual Charleston County school-based arrest report to analyze social disparities in student arrests within the local community.
  • Download the full set of six examples here!