Faculty Guidelines: Integrative Capstone in Individualized Studies

Dear Faculty Colleague,

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Individualized Studies program! The integrative capstone is the culminating course for students in the Individualized Studies major after they have completed all of the other requirements in the major. Because each major has been individualized according to the student’s background and goals, the Integrative Capstone in Individualized Studies is done as an Independent Learning Contract (ILC).  As is the case with the structured majors in the Granite State College curriculum, the overall intent of the integrative capstone in Individualized Studies is to give students an opportunity to use the current research or scholarship in their field of study to their own best advantage, while at the same time gaining a greater awareness of the larger context for their field and their own place within this larger context. If you have any questions about mentoring an integrative capstone, please feel free to give me a call at 603-822-5416.

Best regards,

Liz Gauffreau, Director of Liberal Arts Programs

Capstone Guidelines

Please go to Select a Set of Guidelines Here on the main menu above, and take a few moments to review the Guidelines for the Capstone in Individualized Studies, which include:

• the program outcomes for the Integrative Capstone in Individualized Studies,

•  the shared learning outcomes for the integrative capstone across the curriculum,

•  a discussion of options for the content and approach for the Individualized Studies integrative capstone,

•  examples of integrative questions,

• a listing of the required components for the integrative capstone ILC.

Student’s Proposal

The student you have been asked to mentor has developed a capstone proposal from a series of prompts designed to help him or her develop an overarching integrative question around which all of the course activities will be based. I have reviewed the proposal to ensure that it aligns with the student’s goals as I understand them and meets the program outcomes for the Individualized Studies major, which are based on NEASC Standards for the Academic Program. I will also check to ensure that the student’s proposal meets the shared learning outcomes for the integrative capstone across the curriculum.  While I have approved the proposal, my approval is from the perspective of the program outcomes for the Individualized Studies major. Your role as faculty will be to provide the perspective of your academic discipline; the student understands that you may ask for revisions to the proposal based on that perspective.

ILC Syllabus

If you agree to serve as mentor for the student’s capstone, please use the template below to develop a syllabus with assignments that meet the student’s personal learning goals, the Individualized Studies program outcomes, and the shared integrative capstone outcomes. Please note that, depending on the academic discipline, a formal literature review or a review of current scholarship is mandatory for the integrative capstone, as well as an integrative paper. The format and structure for the integrative paper should be determined by the academic discipline of the student’s area of inquiry. Because the integrative capstone relies on current research or scholarship in the area of inquiry, the majority of the references for the required literature review (in the case of a Bachelor of Science) or the required review of scholarship (in the case of the Bachelor of Arts) will be peer-reviewed articles from professional or scholarly journals. Your student has already begun a working bibliography by identifying three journal articles which are relevant to the integrative question and associated questions he or she developed.

Syllabus Template: Integrative Capstone in Individualized Studies 2018-19

Grading Rubric for the Integrative Capstone

The College has developed a grading rubric for assessing the capstone learning outcomes shared across the curriculum. You can find a link to it on the For Faculty Mentors menu above.


A communication plan will also be an important part of the syllabus. Please be sure to describe expectations for communication (e.g., “weekly e-mails by Tuesday at 5pm from student to faculty”).  If meeting in person, list scheduled dates, times, and location. If you plan to meet at a GSC center, please complete the Meeting Room Request Form to reserve a room: http://my.granite.edu/node/2. (In-person meetings are not required.)

Moodle Course Shell

A Moodle course shell will be created automatically by the registration system for you and the student to use to manage the learning contract activities and resources. Posting the syllabus in Moodle and using the Moodle gradebook for submission and grading of assignments are required.

GSC Progress Reporting

A few weeks into the term, you can expect to receive an e-mail requesting that you report an estimated grade for your ILC student(s) and indicate any who are “at risk” because they are performing poorly, not participating, etc. This is the same reporting required of GSC faculty teaching in other course delivery formats. Our student support teams follow up with those students reported as “at-risk” before the official withdrawal date for the term to help minimize the academic and financial consequences of an unsuccessful term.  This follow-up is particularly important for a student at risk of failing an Independent Learning Contract. The notification e-mail you receive will include instructions for completing the progress reporting process in WebROCK. You can also find them in the GSC Faculty Center: https://faculty.granite.edu/student-progress-reporting.

Submitting Grades

Submission of grades for Independent Learning Contracts follows the same term schedule and process as classroom and online courses. You can find grading guidelines and submission procedures in the GSC Faculty Center:

http://faculty.granite.edu/sites/faculty.granite.edu/files/media/Docs/guidelines_for_grading_and_evaluation.pdf .