Graduates Successfully Complete Capstone Projects

May 15, 2009

Capstone projects at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University are integrative, team-based, applied research projects required of all students. Led by a faculty member on behalf of a client agency, these projects require students to think independently, frame and analyze issues, and apply their academic knowledge and skills.

Capstone students and their course instructors define the project with the client, allocate tasks, and establish deadlines, using effective communication, teamwork, and collaborative learning strategies. The projects fully prepare students to supervise, conduct, and evaluate large-scale public policy research and culminate in a formal, written report and oral presentation to the client.

Interim Dean Benton Cocanougher noted that capstone projects are a key component of the student experience at the Bush School.  “By working on ‘real world’ projects for prestigious clients in the public and private sectors, students learn the value of objective research and also get to see their results affect policy at all levels,” he added.

To satisfy their graduation requirements, all second year students worked on projects for clients ranging from the RAND Corporation, the United Way of Texas, the Congressional Research Service, the National Counterterrorism Center, to the City of College Station. They studied such varied public policy topics as current terrorist threats and effective intelligence operations during counterinsurgency campaigns to the consequences of Texas’s high dropout rate and ways to reduce child labor in Panama.

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