- What is a Thesis Like in Nursing?
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- What Is the Difference Between a Capstone and a Thesis? | Synonym
In principle, any course offered by the department can be designated a capstone course, including independent studies. In practice, most students designate an upper-level course or seminar as their capstone course. When the student has a potential capstone course in mind, he or she should approach the faculty member teaching the course and ask about the possibility of using the course as a capstone.
If the faculty member agrees, a discussion about the nature and form of the capstone project itself should take place. The faculty member may require periodic meetings in addition to the regularly scheduled class meetings, or may ask the student to write a more substantial research paper than the other students in the class, etc. In the fall of senior year, the student should fill out a capstone proposal form, write the castone proposal itself, obtain the necessary signatures, and submit these materials to the Departmental Administrator, Tina Creamer.
A thesis is an opportunity for students to conduct extended independent research under the guidance of faculty. To be eligible to write a thesis, a student must have earned a grade point average of greater than 3. Writing the thesis is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for receiving Honors.
What is a Thesis Like in Nursing?
The thesis must earn an A from its readers for the student to receive Honors, and the student must have earned a grade point average of greater than 3. Students write their thesis in their final two semesters. In his or her sixth semester, a student contemplating a thesis should approach the faculty member with whom he or she hopes to work. Most social work programs culminate in a final capstone or thesis. Usually, students complete a capstone or thesis in their final quarter, semester, or year of study, but some may begin preparing for the project weeks or even months in advance.
Schools assign capstones and theses to assess a prospective social worker's ability to apply classroom concepts in a professional social work setting. In general, both kinds of projects require students to undergo internships or complete field work in a social work role.
Oftentimes, students must critically analyze a social justice or human rights issue relevant to their field experience. Alternatively, students may offer potential solutions to problems their employers face. In combining research with field work, social work programs also prepare graduates to transition from the classroom to the workplace. Students can complete their capstones or theses in a diverse range of settings. Common placements for both projects include clinical or hospital environments, public policy organizations, and nonprofits.
Within these core settings, students work with underserved populations and address issues such as systemic racism, economic inequality, access to healthcare and education, and substance abuse. This guide outlines the similarities and differences between the social work capstone and thesis, and provides general guidelines for both projects. Both a capstone and thesis are supervised research projects that include a practicum or internship in a professional social work setting. These projects also include a written essay synthesizing the student's internship experience and applying relevant lessons from the social work curriculum.
At the end of the process, students give a final presentation. However, significant differences exist between the two options. Social work bachelor's students usually complete a capstone, while social work master's students usually complete a thesis.
In general, a capstone demonstrates a student's ability to apply classroom principles in a professional setting. By contrast, a thesis combines internship work with original, publishable research. Thus, while students prove their mastery of social work theory in completing a capstone, students contribute new ideas to the field in writing a thesis. Typically, a social work capstone is a final project embedded within a required research or practicum course. Field work for the capstone project requires a time commitment of one quarter to one academic year, with many students beginning their practicum or internship experience the summer before their senior year.
Capstone projects include extended written components, usually an essay of 30 to 40 pages.
In the written portion, students identify an issue or need at their field experience site. They then research the topic and suggest potential solutions. Students often present their papers to an audience of their professors and peers. Most capstones are individual projects, but some programs ask students to collaborate.
Since the capstone incorporates an internship in a social work setting, it also provides an opportunity to network with industry professionals and launch a post-graduation career. As such, students' professional goals within social work should determine their capstone focus. After choosing a topic, students hone their research goals with the help of faculty advisers, professors who typically have work experience relevant to each student's interests. Capstone topics vary depending on the program, but students often analyze current human rights or social justice issues such as multicultural family systems, health and wellness, public policy, and sustainable development.
While each social work program maintains unique capstone requirements, the project's timeline typically follows a similar sequence.
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Prior to securing a field work site, students attend informational forums in which instructors explain field work expectations and available partnership locations. Students apply for field work locations that most closely align with their academic interests and professional goals, and professors assign sites accordingly. Field work usually takes place in social service institutions such as hospitals, children's welfare agencies, or housing transition programs. Occasionally, students can complete capstone research in their current workplace if they already hold employment in an eligible social work setting.
Once students start field work, they meet regularly with advisers, either one-on-one or alongside a group of peers. During these meetings, students analyze their field work experiences, identify problems or needs in a given area, and design a research topic that offers potential solutions. Usually, social work interns also work with a field site supervisor.
What Is the Difference Between a Capstone and a Thesis? | Synonym
This supervisor acts as a mentor and ensures that students meet expectations and log the required number of hours. Most social work students present their capstone projects in front of a panel of professors and peers. Capstone panels range in size from a few faculty members to audiences of 30 to 40 people.
Occasionally, presentations open to the public.