As students complete their final semester in the VCU Honors College, the HONR 494: Capstone Course will provide opportunities for them to examine how their experience in the program has shaped their development as community-engaged citizens, as well as to explore how they will remain engaged in the community after they have completed the program. In this course, students will engage in various types of reflection, produce a presentation of their learning in the Honors College, prepare to leverage their Honors experience in future educational and vocational pursuits, and formulate a Capstone final project to assist a Community Partner agency located in the Richmond community. This course will also analyze the strategic development and participatory action between communities of change and partner institutions of global learning. Students will study the nature of community, Richmond history, community engagement, and their own role in it. Students will not only identify assets within a specified community, but will then be challenged to develop an extensive, strategic project plan to promote community collaboration and partnership across every facet of that community in order to create long-term, sustainable growth.
This course will also examine community engagement, including theories of citizenship, human rights, social movements, civic leadership, social justice, civil discourse, and social capital strategies. Through the use of case studies and field observations gained from neighborhood visits in RVA, students will be able to use an interdisciplinary lens to analyze and apply principles and practices of community engagement. Lastly, while engaging in this capstone course, students will connect the nine priority areas established by the Capital Region Collaborative. These pillars – Education, Job Creation, Workforce Preparation, Social Stability, Healthy Community, Coordinated Transportation, James River, Quality Place, and Demographics – serve as a framework for community engagement. Those areas of interest are particularly relevant, having been established by the greater Richmond region through lengthy engagement with the Collaborative.
Visit our Defining: Capstone Experience page to learn more about our Spring 2020 Capstone students' experiences.
Capstone Policies and Notes
Students will need to enroll in HONR 494 during their last semester. To enroll, please contact Jared Johnson, Coordinator of Academic Affairs.
HONR 494 is a 4-credit hour course. Students should work with their departmental advisors to include this course in their final semester plans.
Students must contact their Honors advisor at least two semesters in advance of enrolling into the capstone so as to plan for any contingencies that may arise.
Students will be placed into a new cohort in the capstone. Students will not continue with their same cohort from Humans of RVA and VCU.
Please fill out the required capstone form during the semester prior to enrolling in the capstone.
As Honors students are preparing for the HONR 494 capstone in their last semester, many will need a refresher on what they learned in their first-year Humans of RVA & VCU and Investigative Inquiry courses, especially in regards to the Capital Regional Collaborative and issues facing the RVA Community.
Mocktails are a series of three events, taking place in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, and designed to inform our students about local issues facing the RVA region. Mocktails will bring in community partners to share ideas and information with our students, and then allow students time to network and have meaningful discussions with those community partners in turn. The students will then be able to start narrowing down their priority area interests and start formulating potential ideas for capstone projects.
Event Dates and Notes
Mocktails will be held in the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. RSVP information will be sent out in the Honors College Opportunities and Events weekly update eblast.
Mocktail events are strongly encouraged for third-year students who plan to enroll in the capstone within two semesters. Each Mocktail will count for four engagement points for participating students.
Mocktail events are required for students currently enrolled in HONR 494.