HIT 878 Capstone Research Project
The Capstone Research Project, a requirement of the Health Information Technology program in Library and Information Science (LIS) of The Catholic University of America, offers a unique opportunity for students to gain professional experience in a healthcare setting. Students earn three graduate credits by working 120 hours on projects related to the application of information technology in a healthcare environment under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The Capstone Project is completed in the last semester of course work or after all course work has been completed. Students are required to have the approval of the Capstone Project Coordinator to enroll in a Capstone Project. Hours of the Capstone Project may be arranged at the mutual convenience of the student and supervisor. A variety of healthcare settings may serve as the site for the project. Graded: Pass/Fail.
Students who work in a healthcare environment may do the Capstone at their work site but the Capstone should not take place in the same work unit and cannot be supervised by the immediate supervisor at their place of employment.
Planning Your Capstone Project
Students will work with the Capstone Project Coordinator to identify a project. LIS is compiling a database of projects at local hospitals and will share that information with students in the spring semester. Students may identify projects on their own but the Capstone Project Coordinator prior to registration must approve the projects.
Project Plan for Approval
After the student has identified a suitable project and found an appropriate supervisor, the student and the supervisor will complete the Capstone Research Project application form. The following information must be provided:
- Information on the supervisor and the site (names, title, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses)
- Nature of the project, including major activities
- A draft schedule of the Capstone
- Expected learning objectives
- Expected learning outcomes of the project
The student must get the site supervisor to sign the completed application form. The student will then submit the application form to the student’s advisor for review. When approved, the advisor will send the approved form with the advisor’s signature to the Capstone Project Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will send an email to the LIS registrar indicating the project has been approved. A copy of this email is also sent to the student, the advisor, and the site supervisor.
Required Activities Throughout the Capstone
- The student will keep a reflective journal on the Capstone that not only logs what the student has done but also the connections between classroom learning, work experience and the Capstone experience. Each week the student posts the journal to a discussion board on a Blackboard site for Capstone students to share their experience.
- Midway through the Capstone, the Capstone Project Coordinator will work with students to arrange for a site visit and discussion with the site supervisor about the student’s performance and progress.
- Students with significant performance issues at midpoint of the Capstone may be asked to withdraw from the course.
- At midterm the supervisor will receive an evaluation form and is asked to complete it and email it to the Capstone Project Coordinator at the end of the semester. The completed evaluation is held in confidence by the Coordinator and shared only with the student's advisor.
Activities at the end of the Capstone
- When the student has completed the required 120 hours of fieldwork, the student will submit a report of at least 1,000 words that describes what the student has learned. It is expected that the reflective journal will be a source for this paper but the student must make sure the report provides evaluative information on the Capstone and the learning experience and outcomes. The student will submit this report, along with the complete journal, to the Capstone Project Coordinator by the date due specified by the Coordinator.
- An HIT Capstone Forum that is open to the public will be held at the end of the semester, and each Capstone student will give a presentation on the Capstone experience and what the student has learned.