The capstone is the culminating degree project where Western Governors University students integrate all of their online degree program competencies, rolled into one final demonstration of just how much they've learned.
Projects are archived with student permission and are available to other students, graduates, mentors, and accreditors. In 2012 the Capstone Recognition Program was inaugurated, with roughly two dozen students honored in two rounds of the Awards (February and July) for all graduate programs at WGU. In this the third round, the award was expanded to include undergraduate capstones for the online business degree and online IT degree programs.
During this round 15 graduate and six undergraduate students were chosen for their outstanding work during the second half of 2012. Students chosen for recognition were nominated by their Capstone Evaluator (for graduate awards) or Performance Evaluator or Student Mentor (for undergraduate awards) and selected by the Capstone Facilitator in their program/college area. They were chosen because their capstone projects exemplified one or more of these dimensions of excellence:
- Conquering Challenges—exerted exceptional effort, sometimes overcoming adversity
- Expressing Ingenuity—displayed creativity, originality, initiative, or resourcefulness
- Exhibiting Mastery—demonstrated higher competency, true craftsmanship, or proficiency
- Providing Synergy—created value, serving individuals, an organization, or their community
Current students and alumni can view an archive of all graduate-level capstone projects and undergraduate capstone projects, including the Capstone Excellence recipients, with their current or former WGU portal login.
The following WGU graduates were selected for Capstone Excellence in this third round:
- Andrew Austin, M.Ed. Learning & Technology, "Effectiveness of Technology Aids for Paramedic Students"
- Angela Mai, MBA Management & Strategy, "Countering the DSM -5: DSM-5 Enlightenment Project"
- Barbara Dempster Schmoyer, M.Ed. Instructional Design, "Effective Blended Learning Methods to Teach Science Courses"
- Barbara Singer, M.S. Nursing—Education, "Perceptions of School Nurses in the Care of Students with Disabilities"
- Beverly Reed, MS Nursing—Leadership, "Hypoglycemic Protocols and Nursing Perceptions"
- Carmen Matuszewski, MBA Management & Strategy, "Until You Return Pet Care"
- Charles Brent Chapman, M.S. Information Security & Assurance, "Post-Disaster Emergency Communications System"
- Deanna Hill, MBA Healthcare Management, "Healthcare Information Management Solutions Happy Acres Care Center"
- Jason Steik, M.S. Nursing—Leadership, "Improving Patient Throughput with the Implementation of an Electronic Bed Management System"
- John West, B.S. IT—Database, "Yellow Sheet Payment Process"
- Kathleen Meadows, B.S. Accounting, "iManage Software, Inc."
- Lyla Hippie, M.S. Curriculum & Instruction, "The Impact of the Special Education Label: A Deeper Look into High School, Special Education Classrooms"
- Matthew Osborn, B.S. Information Technology, "Design, Implementation, and Securing of Hotel Wireless Network"
- Melissa Schmidt, M.S. Nursing—Leadership, "Helping Teen Mothers Succeed"
- Munkhtur Enkhbold, M.S. Information Security & Assurance, "Revaluating Email Password Security Questions"
- Peter Van Baalen, B.S. Marketing, "Indiana Exchange"
- Robert Overstreet, B.S. Business—IT Management, "Remote Report"
- Samantha Davis, B.S. Information Technology, "Website Redesign Project"
- Stacy Denee Nelson, M.S. Information Security & Assurance, "ISMS for Mobile Devices Used by Mobile Workers"
- Tina Kay Patterson, M.S. Nursing—Education, "Training in Principles of Education for Nurse Credentialed
- Trainers—The Effects on End User Educational Helpdesk Calls"
- William Pruitt, M.S. Information Security & Assurance, "Securing a Not-For-Profit"