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GDS and political studies capstone changes

GDS and political studies capstone changes

New calendar allows changes to global and development and politics capstone format

Global and development studies and political studies students will have a different opportunity to complete research for their capstone projects with the implementation of the new Augustana calendar.

Augustana’s new calendar will consist of a three-week session in which students will take one course for three hours a day, followed by an 11-week session in which students will take four courses.

With the new calendar comes changes to the capstone course, which is offered every year to fourth-year global and development studies and political studies students. The course was previously taken as six credits over one academic year.

Sandra Rein, associate professor of political studies and acting associate dean of research, will be partnering with Karsten Mündel, associate dean academic and associate professor of global and development studies, to deliver the six credit capstone course over both the three-week and the 11-week sessions in Fall 2017.

In the new structure, students will complete a qualitative research project that will be largely community based and involve interviewing people. Students will learn how global and development students and politics can fit into their future pursuits.

Rein said that in the first week of the three-week session, students will formulate and refine a research project question. “The three-week term will be a lot of concentrated work, along with meeting community members and focusing on research, without having to worry about other things,” said Rein.

Rein said that in the past students haven’t been able to have large chunks of time to work on their capstone, because of all their other commitments. Instead of being a full year six credit course, it will only be in the fall semester. “The more traditional aspects of the capstone will take place in the 11-week semester,” said Rein.

Rein said that her and Mündel are excited to implement the course in a new format. “It’s largely focused on local learning, which will be enhanced with the three-week period,” said Rein.

“Students will collect and analyze their own data, becoming experts in their areas.”

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