Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Elizabeth A. Jones.


As early as the eighteenth century students have been expected to complete the undergraduate education with a capstone course. Students spend on average, four years discovering, learning, analyzing, studying, and developing into well-educated graduates. As educators, we design curriculum to impact students' academic development in subject matter, provide connection through disciplines, and ideally deliver significant undergraduate experience to our understanding of student development and retention has become a foremost focus for educators. The purpose of this study was to determine whether capstone courses support the development of purpose (Chickering & Reisser, 1993, pp. 209-234) and integrity (Chickering & Reisser, 1993, pp. 235-264) through curriculum development and pedagogy. This study provided the opportunity to look at reflection and service as teaching tools.;The mixed method study incorporated methodological triangulation involving the use of document review and review of survey data. West Virginia University faculty members were asked to identify specific goals and outcomes of their capstone course thru an online survey. Additionally, each faculty member was asked to submit a syllabus for their course. The learning outcomes and activities were further analyzed. Results from the study show that although some skills from both purpose and integrity are being supported in these courses, there is a need to enhance the proficiency of specific activities and pedagogies in the classroom to more fully promote both purpose and integrity. Additionally, the results supported the argument that civic engagement and reflection play major roles in student learning and in turn the development of purpose and integrity.;The outcomes of this study will assist in the development of curriculum across disciplines. Understanding the impact of specific pedagogies on the development of purpose and integrity will allow faculty to take a closer look at the specific needs of their students. Also, the awareness of the use of specific learning outcomes will well thought out course activities assist with the effectiveness of meeting department, college and university strategic goals.