All candidates for the MA in Education must complete a Capstone Project as part of their program of study. This implies a combination of practice and theory and the ability to think critically about one’s work based on both experience and knowledge. The candidate will prepare an APA style paper and a power point presentation.

The purpose of the Capstone Project is that of a final performance assessment to demonstrate candidates’ proficiency with regard to standards for their area of study and the mission of the School of Education Graduate Programs. The assessment will consist of a 20 minute presentation and an APA style paper that provides an overview and synthesis of the program of study.

Capstone Paper

The candidate will prepare an APA style paper and a presentation to demonstrate the answer to the following question

How has the program of study influenced your development as a reflective decision-maker who demonstrates leadership, is a competent professional, and facilitates learning for all students?

For the APA style paper, candidates should plan to expand upon and identify key points that stood out to them throughout their program of study. The paper needs to be at minimum ten pages
using APA style and utilizing academic language. The paper should also identify artifacts, citing references and theorist, and inform the readers of key areas of weakness and growth.

Indicators may include, but are not limited to, these criteria

  • For the powerpoint presentation, candidates should plan to use selected artifacts from coursework and/or their professional activities as part of the evidence presented.
  • The Capstone Project will be evaluated within the context of the program of study as to the extent to which the presentation provides evidence of the candidate’s abilities. Indicators may include, but are not limited to, the criteria listed below.


  • Demonstrates initiative and strategic planning to improve student achievement
  • Uses collaboration and facilitation skills in managing change
  • Uses relevant data in decision-making
  • Communicates respect for individual differences
  • Promotes supportive & positive classroom/school environment
  • Uses inclusive communication strategies to involve school communities
  • Models integrity, fairness, and ethical behavior

Facilitates Learning for all Students

  • Demonstrates a personal belief system regarding how people learn
  • Engages in practices that support that belief
  • Articulates the theories or theorists that inform the understanding of learning
  • Explains how instructional practices provide for needs of diverse learners
  • Provides evidence of learning gains

Competent Professional

  • Demonstrates appropriate classroom management
  • Shows proficiency as a consumer of relevant data in decision-making
  • Demonstrates familiarity with instructional strategies
  • Demonstrates knowledge of standards, and
  • Demonstrates knowledge of field/content

The Capstone Project Panel may consist of some combination of these individuals

  • An Adams State School of Education faculty member from the relevant area of emphasis (Educational Leadership, Special Education, Culturally & Linguistically
    Diverse Education, Curriculum and Instruction, or Reading Teacher)
  • Practicing administrators or teachers
  • Professors outside the area of emphasis

After the candidate has completed the CAP exercises, they will be sent a letter informing them of their grade, Pass or Fail. This evaluation summary may be mailed to the candidate upon request. The candidate may also be provided with a summary of the evaluators’ comments to the candidate’s performance citing both strengths and areas needing improvement. If the candidate’s performance on any section of the Capstone Project is considered “below proficient”, a remediation plan will be developed by the CAP Panel Chairperson, jointly with the candidate in order to remedy the identified weaknesses. The candidate must then satisfy the requirements of that plan before a passing evaluation of the CAP is awarded.

Candidates must receive a rating of “proficient” or above in order to graduate.