The Value of Capstone Projects to Participating Client Agencies

Schachter, D. & Schwartz, D.
Journal of Public Affairs Education (JPAE)  15(4): 445–461

Many schools have experiential learning projects, often termed “capstones,” where
students combine theory and practice for the benefit of an outside agency. New
York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU
Wagner) has devoted a great deal of thought and effort to strengthening and
sustaining its Capstone program from the students’ perspective, and it has seen
significant improvement. But we knew less about whether the project work our
students performed was helpful to participating Capstone client organizations, as well as what factors made certain projects more successful from the clients’ point of view. In an effort to assess and understand this perspective, we undertook a post-project survey of recent Capstone clients. The results indicate very strongly that the services offered and tools created by our Capstone teams are useful to these outside agencies, and the feedback offers indications of how to increase the
value of these projects going forward.

Wagner Faculty