Honors Capstone Internship Program


Instructor: Dr. Anne Hubbell

Email for more information: ahubbell@nmsu.edu

Course Overview

In this class students will be working to gain professional experience. The class portion will consist of articles students will discuss with each other, reflections or journals, a resume for extra credit, and a final project. The goal of the class is to provide professional experience as well as professional development for students.

Course Learning Objectives

At the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate the following:

Cognitive Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrating understanding of professional customs and practices
  • Organizing and maintaining information
  • Applying knowledge to the task
  • Serving clients and stakeholders
  • Negotiating and arriving at a decision
  • Working with diversity/diverse populations
  • Identifying, understanding, and working with professional standards
  • Improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Monitoring and correcting performance

Professional Learning Outcomes

  • Exercising leadership
  • Behaving professionally
  • Behaving ethically
  • Listening effectively
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Addressing colleagues and superiors appropriately
  • Allocating time effectively
  • Adapting effectively to changing conditions
  • Participating as a member of a team
  • Developing appropriate workplace attitudes
  • Understanding and managing personal behavior and attitudes
  • Developing individual responsibility

Assignments in Class:

Learning Contract: Each student needs to fill out and return the Learning Contract the FIRST or SECOND WEEK of their internship. The contract asks for the student to clarify what they will be doing at the Internship and when they will be there. For a regular semester the expectation is an average of 10 hours a week. For Summer, it is 20 hours a week.

Journals: Each week students will submit a journal. These provide an opportunity for students to talk to Dr. H about what is happening in their internship and for them to also talk about their final Capstone and/or Non-Capstone project.

Article Discussions: There are articles posted as "Discussions" with points. Student posts should include: 1) what they thought about the article AND 2) how it applies or could apply to their Internship or future career.

CAPSTONE Project: This class includes the Capstone Project needed to Graduate with a Distinction in Honors. There are 3 sub-assignments related to the Capstone: 1) the Approval form, 2) a Draft of the Final Project, and 3) the Final project. Student Capstone projects should provide some type of deliverable to the organization and/or for other Honors students. Examples include: a marketing program to attract more interns for an organization; research on hormonal levels of cows; and developing a customer service survey instrument and gathering data to help the business. Because some projects may involve needing Human Subject, or IRB approval, it is important to start working on project ideas at the beginning of the internship.

CAPSTONE Internship Project Format/Sections:

Project Title

Project Summary

A brief summary of the overall goal of the project and the final outcomes to be developed from the work. Answer the question, “What is the planned deliverable as part of the project?”

Background on Project Area

This should include a review of the background situation and/or problem you are solving. Answer the question, “Why does this matter, what does it contribute to the organization?” Also, include relevant background information. For example, background information could include:

  • A traditional literature review with peer reviewed scholarship
  • Internet research (for example if you are researching different art exhibits to improve one you are working on)
  • Research on social media or websites (for example, if you are working to improve a website for an organization)
  • The background for your project area should demonstrate that you have learned about the relevant issues you are working with or on and your mentor in the organization and at NMSU for your internship should help guide you on what is appropriate to include in this area

Target Audience

Students should consider the individuals in the organization who will use the project they will create. This is not an extensive section but gives the student an opportunity to think about how they will write up the final project so that it is accessible to everyone in their target audience. Please also consider the students, faculty, and staff in Honors who you may present your project to upon completion. For this section, then, students should think about the demographics and education levels of the people in the organization where they work as well as the students, staff, and faculty in Honors they may present to. This should only be about a page to two pages long and not go into excessive detail. Also, if demographic data are not available, focus on what you do know about the individuals with regard to education and do not make any assumptions about the audience.

Project Implementation/Methods

Although the nature of the work will vary widely depending on the project to be completed, students must first provide a detailed description of the steps to be taken to complete the project. This is an opportunity for the student and advisor to ensure that the steps in the process from inception to completion are clearly identified in advance.  For research projects, this will be the procedures and nature of the analysis.  For an original creative activity, this might be the steps in the creative process to develop the final product.


After completion of the Project the student will need to write up their findings and how what they found impacted or will impact the organization with whom they are working and how it impacts them in their future education and/or careers.


Final Product 

Regardless of the format of the work, all students are expected to submit a final written report as part of their end product.  The written report might be a major final paper itself but for other students, (e.g., creative work) the report might be more like an artist statement or reflection on the work completed.  Although there is not formal page limit, almost all capstone papers will be 10+ pages in length but this is dependent on the discipline and the proposal (e.g., mathematical proof, brief research report with poster presentation for conference, 100 pages of a novel).


All capstone work should be developed with a plan for dissemination - proposals should specify where this work can be shared.  Students can share on campus at URCAS, RCW, or structured exhibitions, but everyone is encouraged to design their work to share off campus in professional settings, at research conferences, or other public exhibitions. 


A reference list of work cited in the proposal must be included in whatever format is appropriate to the discipline.


Capstone Internship Project Format