Senior Capstone

This requirement is an academic, credit-bearing experience completed during the senior year. It is designed to ensure that concentrators participate in an experience that applies basic knowledge (theories, frameworks, concepts about families) to real families in a setting beyond the classroom. It must be approved by the chair of the Department of Social Work and Family Studies prior to enrollment. A St. Olaf faculty member must teach or supervise the experience. The senior capstone experience results in a product or project that involves working with real families. It could be a panel or talk organized by the student(s), a pamphlet, a web site, a portfolio, an integrative paper, or another approved project. Through the experience, students demonstrate attainment of intended learning outcomes for family studies.

Guidelines for the senior capstone experience:

  • Includes 50-80 hours devoted to direct experience with families;
  • Can be domestic or international;
  • Can be taken either graded or Pass/No Pass (P/N);
  • Can be submitted for distinction in a major, if it meets that department’s guidelines for distinction.

The experience must be:

  • For credit (.5 credit or full credit); and
  • Beyond the classroom; and
  • Approved by the Department Chair or Family Studies advisor; and
  • Taught or supervised by a St. Olaf faculty member.

The experience may be:

  • A project in a senior year course, social work practicum, or nursing clinical; or
  • A senior year independent study (294); or
  • A senior year independent research project (394); or
  • A senior year internship with families (half- or full-credit).
  • A summer experience prior to senior year.