All Chicano/Latino Studies majors must complete a Capstone research project during their senior year. This requirement is central to the design of the Chicano/Latino program. Planning and pursuing a serious original project is the most rewarding and demanding academic task most undergraduates undertake, and represents the culmination of the coursework in the major. To successfully complete the Capstone research project requires serious thought and careful planning.
The purpose of the capstone research project is to help the student:
- Integrate reflectively and critically what you have learned in your Chicano/Latino courses and other courses outside your major at Sonoma State University.
- Hone your theoretical and methodological skills by applying the Chicano/Latino perspective to some aspect of our past or future life experiences, or to some local social problem.
- Become an expert at locating, evaluating, and summarizing both print and online data sources related to the field you will soon enter.
- Prepare yourself for what comes after graduation - whether this is a job that utilizes your Chicano/Latino expertise or post-graduate study.
Capstone projects must be approved by the CALS faculty to fulfill graduation requirements.
CALS majors are welcome to begin working on their capstone projects whenever they discover a topic that moves them. Students must have a capstone topic and preliminary research completed by the end of the first semester of their senior year.
What do I need to do to get my capstone project started?
- 1. Complete Capstone Proposal Form
This form must articulate a clear and focused research question and a detailed bibliography pertinent to the research question. You should also list the course in which the capstone project will be completed. This form must be completed and given to your advisor prior to the end of the semester before you graduate.
- 2. Complete Capstone Contract Form.
In order to do this, you will want to develop your ideas for your research project in consultation with one or more faculty members in the department. You will also need to choose a CALS faculty member as your Capstone Advisor. Once you have chosen a Capstone Advisor, you will consult them in order to complete the Capstone Contract form, which must be submitted to the Chair of the Department within the first two weeks of the semester in which the capstone will be completed. The Capstone Advisor will guide the student on research, analysis, writing, and other scholarly aspects of the work.
- 3. Enroll in one of the following courses: CALS 405, CALS 426, CALS 445, CALS 458, CALS 480 OR CALS 474. All of these courses include a substantial research component. The professor teaching the class may be asked to serve as capstone advisor. Students who are not able to enroll in one of the designated capstone courses can enroll in CALS 495 and have the faculty member sponsoring that section serve as their capstone advisor.