Capstone Courses and Projects

Arete Education

Operational and Cost Analysis for a New Educational Model
The administration of Middle School 223 seeks to transform the school into a com­bination middle and high school. The newly­formed nonprofit organization Arete Education will offer after­school program­ming to all MS/HS 223's students, extend­ing the school­day until 6pm for those who elect to participate. Additionally, Arete Education will select a portion of male high­school students to board free­of­charge at a nearby facility and engage in supplemental learning that will further their development. Arete Education engaged the Capstone team to develop a best practices summary of “winning” solutions from innovative schools around the country, a suggested programming structure for the afterschool programs, a sample structure for the boarding program in compliance with legal and empirical guidelines, and a draft financial analysis from the organization's development stage to fully operational stage. The Capstone team created materials that Arete Education can use to design its programming and secure the funding necessary to attain its vision of developing an innovative afterschool and boarding program for lowincome youth in the South Bronx.

Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation

Financial Planning and Analysis
Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC) is an emergency shel­ter and soup kitchen that aims to defeat the cycle of poverty by providing shelter, food, social service referrals, and educa­tion programs. The Capstone team was engaged by PERC's Executive Director to develop and help implement financial tools to create accurate reporting systems. The Capstone team analyzed current pro­grams and grants, previous budgets, cash flow, and internal controls. The team also researched best practices from other organizations. Using this research and analysis, the Capstone team created a comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2011 along with detailed program budgets. In addition, the team created a new chart of accounts that would be more responsive to the organization's budget and more closely aligned with GAAP and nonprofit standards set by the IRS Form 990. Finally, the Capstone team advised PERC on best practices for grant and gift track­ing as well as internal controls.

Standard & Poor's

Scoping Financial Literacy Partnerships for Corporate Social Responsibility
Standard & Poor's (S&P), a leading provider of financial market intelligence, seeks to harness the intellectual resources and competencies of its worldwide staff to help educate and inform future genera­tions of financially literate citizens and investors. S&P requested a Capstone team to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships and design a pilot financial literacy program powered by S&P employ­ee volunteers in Chicago, Illinois and Melbourne, Australia. The Capstone team gathered extensive research on financial literacy needs and existing financial litera­cy programs in order to identify synergies with S&P. The final report provides a selection of partnership opportunities with government and nonprofit institu­tions that S&P executives can evaluate and pursue based upon available funding and resources. The team's recommenda­tions for identifying, evaluating, and creat­ing partnerships can help S&P scale its employee volunteer program to offices in 23 countries around the world.