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NPS Capstone Assessment Program

The objective of the capstone experience at NPS is to be a culminating learning event integrating earlier components of students’ programs, and requiring original, analytical and critical thinking. The capstone in NPS’ programs is typically a thesis, although some programs use a capstone project, either individual or team-based. Within the NPS’ Capstone Assessment Program, all departments and programs conduct formal thesis/capstone assessments for the purpose of assessing program learning outcomes and initiating program improvement.

A largely common, campus-wide, general approach to capstone assessment is in place, modeled on the methods employed by early adopting departments (ECE, MAE, SE, OR). This common approach uses a formal capstone assessment online tool and rubric to assess the capstone against identified program outcomes, using both qualitative and quantitative measures.

 

CAP Outcomes Assessed:

The common CAP tool employs a set of program outcomes that are broadly similar across all NPS’ master’s degree programs.

  1. Subject Matter Competence: Student demonstrates graduate-level knowledge and competencies in their academic field.
  2. Methods and Technical Merit: Student demonstrates the ability to apply technical expertise and appropriate methodological rigor in conducting research and analysis.
  3. Critical Thinking: Student demonstrates the ability to apply critical thinking and logical reasoning to research questions and to implement creative or innovative approaches to answer them.
  4. Written Communication: Student demonstrates proficiency in communicating and presenting the written results of their inquiry in a thesis or final project report appropriate to their academic program.
  5. Oral Communication (optional): Student demonstrates proficiency in communicating and presenting the results of their inquiry in a thesis or final project report in an oral presentation.

 

The assessment results collected with the NPS CAP Instrument are distributed back to the academic units to be incorporated into program review processes. The departments using their own instruments report results to Academic Affairs for inclusion in NPS’ summary reporting of capstone assessment results and is available at the links listed below.

Sign In to view the links to CAP Resources.