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Capstone classes prepare students for the future

Before seniors graduate, they must take capstone classes. These classes prepare students for their future jobs and give them experience in their fields.

The Weber State University Art Department is now offering its design seminar class in the fall semester as well as the spring. The design seminar is a capstone class required for certain art majors.

“It’s a growing program,” said Matthew Choberka, the art department chair. “We are needing to serve the students’ needs. We feel pretty strongly that we need to have small classes, there needs to be a lot of one-on-one time for individuals’ projects. We aren’t able to grow classes like in a lecture class.”

Choberka said that even though the class is available more often, it will not necessarily mean that more students will be graduating in the fall. Students might still have some uncompleted requirements after completing graphic design.

“Capstone classes generally brings together everything they’ve learned in upper-division classes,” said Ron Holt, an anthropology professor. Holt has taught Anthropological Research Methods, one of the anthropology capstone courses. “It prepares them for the grad-school environment.”

In Anthropological Research Methods, students are able to do their own research projects, which, Holt said, many students have not had the opportunity to do before.

“It usually has legitimate research in it,” Holt said. “For going on to grad school, it’s imperative.”

Students can often present the research they do in their capstone classes. The design seminar class allows students to show off their artwork at the end of the semester in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. Graphic design students used to only be in the spring BFA exhibition, but will now be in both. The anthropology department also hosts a research show with the sociology department at the end of spring semester.

Shelby Page, a theater technology major with a costume design emphasis, will graduate in the spring.

“I would say (the capstone class I need) is probably directing, but that is required even for techs like me,” Page said.”Directing, I think, is probably the capstone class. There isn’t really one for techs.”

She said taking a directing class will give her another perspective. She also said the theater program prides itself on making everyone learn everything. Actors have to take design classes as well. Page also had to take acting and stage management classes.

“Things I have no intention of doing professionally gives us a different way of approaching problems and understanding what other people’s jobs include,” Page said. “So we know what our job is when it comes time to do it and what isn’t. It’s all about making the show, the final project better.”

She said there is also a junior seminar class that many students take as seniors. The junior seminar is about finding work, honing skills they need and learning how to build their resume.

“Finding work is trickier than just browsing Craigslist and putting in applications,” Page said. She said she plans on going to graduate school and getting a master’s in costume design.

Holt said the capstone classes won’t prepare students for everything.

“It’s certainly one part of job preparation. No one class is going to prepare you for everything.”

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