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Public Affairs 8211 Capstone Essay

1324 words - 6 pages

As the capstone experience in the Truman School MPA Program, student teams (typically 3-4 students per team) conduct an applied research project that addresses a public policy or management problem presented by a client organization. The resulting paper is a practical, professional report similar to those prepared by public service professionals in variety of settings and fields. The capstone paper integrates the knowledge and skills acquired by MPA students during their coursework and internship. The capstone paper critically examines the client’s problem and determines feasible solutions or alternative courses of action. Teams are required to (1) formulate a conceptual framework for analyzing the problem, (2) collect and analyze relevant data, (3) develop alternative solutions to the problem, evaluate their feasibility and effectiveness, and make recommendations to decision makers. The paper must be prepared in such a way that it is useful to the client organization.

The capstone project involves a major commitment on the part of the client organization, student team, and instructor(s). Students will be able to choose from a number of projects and every effort will be made to match students with projects that interest them and use their skills appropriately. Teams should be prepared to devote significant amounts of time and effort to the project (equivalent to that invested in a 3 credit class) throughout semester and to complete all requirements by the end of the semester. At the end of the semester, teams will be expected to present their findings and recommendations to the client organization and to the TSPA faculty.

Competencies (need to add)

Course Grading Scheme:

Team-based components:
5% - On-time quality submission of bi-weekly project updates
10% - On-time quality submission of research proposal
10% - On-time quality submission of draft capstone project
10% - Capstone Presentation
40% - Final Capstone Project

Individual-based components:
10% - Individual capstone project contribution assessed by faculty member and team members
5% - Assessment by client of individual performance
10% - Active, constructive participation in class discussions and workshops

Attendance and On-time Class Arrival Policy
We will be taking attendance at all class meetings and team meetings with the faculty. Missed classes/meetings and late arrival to classes/meetings[ I have added "s"] will result in a reduction of your final grade. Attendance is mandatory for class and meetings as noted on the schedule.  The first absence from a mandatory meeting will result in a 1 percentage point reduction in the student’s final grade. For each absence from a mandatory class after the first one, 3 percentage points will be deducted from the student’s final grade.  For example, if a student misses 2 mandatory meetings, his/her final grade will be reduced by (1 + 3) = 4 points.  If a student misses 3 mandatory meetings, his/her final grade will be reduced by (1...

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