The Honors College
at West Chester University
Dr. Kevin Dean, Director
703 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Students will identify and investigate a problem in a community business, nonprofit agency, or research laboratory, and then work to solve the problem. It is expected that students play an active role in the problem-solving effort and contribute a minimum of ten hours each week to help solve the problem. Interaction with the CEO, senior officer(s) and/or senior investigators of the business, agency, or laboratory, will serve as leader models for student study. A final paper will require students to reflect on the 27-hour core of Honors course work and indicate how lessons from each of the classes helped inform the project. Additionally, attention in the final paper will address the project's sustainability. While projects are generally completed in the senior year, students may register for this course upon completion of the 27-hour core or by special permission of the Honors College Director. More on capstone here.
Featured Capstone - Jackie Read
My freshman year of college I was fortunate enough to land a role in WCU Theatre's annual Children's Show. It was truly one of my favorite experiences here at West Chester. After each performance, we had a small talk-back session with the kids so they could share their thoughts and opinions about the show. Their responses were always funny and heart-warming and really provided us with a sense of fulfillment and a feeling that we had really connected to our community through this show. Unfortunately, that was the last Children's Theatre show that WCU presented because the director retired! Ever since, the students of the theatre department have been eager to reinstate the children's show into our season. I saw the Capstone Project as the perfect opportunity to do just that!
The 24-Hour Children's Theatre Project is a weekend-long event during which WCU students will have exactly 24 hours to write, design, produce, and rehearse a short, interactive children's show. At the end of the 24 hours, we will give a free performance of the finished product to the children in the community. After the performance, we will have a brief talk-back session with the kids to find out what they learned and how they intend to apply it. The show has been publicized all semester long in order to ensure that we get a good-sized audience. The idea of this project is not only to reintroduce Children's Theatre to WCU, but also to really reach out to the community in a positive way, so I decided that we should pick a theme for the show that will educate children about a relevant social issue. Considering my own personal values, I chose environmentalism as the theme for this year's production.
The event takes place this upcoming weekend and I am so excited! I am mostly thrilled about the amount of enthusiasm that all of the volunteers are showing! It's been a long and arduous process, (booking space for us to work, obtaining the necessary permission from certain authorities, publicizing throughout the community) and hearing all of the excited comments from the participants has really helped me maintain an optimistic and enthusiastic outlook! I really think that this project is something people can get animated about! It's a great chance for WCU students to reach out to the local community and inspire children to get involved. I also think this project is entirely sustainable and has the potential to really blossom into something special - my hope is that future theatre students will take over the event and really run with it!