Hostos Capstone and Undergraduate Research Initiatives Presented at AAC&U

Silvia Reyes, Title V Director


Since Fall 2014, Title V has engaged faculty members from across disciplines in professional development activities through research, course redesign (capstone assignments seminar) and travel grants. I am pleased to share some of the work faculty presented at the General Education and Assessment Conference: Foundations for Democracy that took place on February 15-17, 2018 in Philadelphia.

“Can I have a capstone with that? Developing Capstone assignments at community colleges,” was presented by Professors Cynthia Jones (English), Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez (Natural Sciences), Jorge Silva-Puras (Business), and Kate Wolfe (Behavioral and Social Sciences). These capstone faculty took the opportunity to talk about the process of crafting their capstone assignments and the impact these assignments have had on student engagement and performance in the classroom. Together, the four faculty members represent several groups of faculty cohorts who have been supported by Title V grant to redesign their assignments; making them into capstone assignments.

Capstone assignments are opportunities for students to apply acquired skills and knowledge to practical and real-world tasks that prepare them for further study and/or for entry into the workforce. The Title V capstone initiative is interdisciplinary and has impacted 25 courses since the beginning of the grant. A large audience of about 30 people from both four-year and two-year institutions took time to engage with our faculty during their presentation on Friday afternoon.

It was a delight to be a witness to the sharing of this work at AAC&U and since presenting at AAC&U, the group has been invited and accepted to present at the upcoming NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) conference in May 2018 in Texas.


Additionally, “Summer Research Seminar: Strengthening General Education Through a Co- Curricular Initiative,”  was a poster presented by Professor Elisabeth Tappeiner (Library) and I. We shared how a two-week undergraduate research seminar was developed as an option to the student-research with faculty initiative, where faculty involve students in their research projects.  The poster showcased how the summer seminar helped students work on their own research as they learn how to locate academic publications, evaluate the credibility of sources, organize articles, and use information in their own research. Of the 18 students who have participated in the seminar over two-years, 72% have been women, whose average GPA is 3.18 and average credits earned is 44.



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