The senior research project course is one of the General Studies degree online capstone course options to be taken in a students’ final year. This course teaches and guides students through the procedures and mechanics of writing a research paper. Students then are required to present their research to the class.
“At first, I did not know that there were this much to sufficiently write a research paper. I just thought that in order to write a research paper, you had to do a lot of research and place all of your findings into a well written paper. Boy was I wrong! There are correct ways to cite your sources, specific ways to incorporate your research and helpful tricks that can assist you with organizing your thoughts and critical thinking.” – Jeffrey Norwood (’17)
Students who choose to do the Senior Research project course usually have a topic in mind when requesting to take this course as their capstone course for general studies. Most choose a topic that fits within their career focus. One General Studies degree online student who minored in Elementary Education researched technology in the classroom.
“My research topic is something that I am very passionate about. I am a teacher’s assistant in an elementary special education classroom and I see a lot of things day in and day out. Over the last two years, I noticed a lot of technology use. I remember when I was in elementary, and even high school, there was not near the amount of technology roaming the halls, as there is now. I remember going to computer class was the most fun thing ever. Now they do not even have a computer class. Some school give iPads to their students, some give laptops, and every classroom, in my school anyways, have three computers and at least four iPads.” – Nikki Mercado (’17)
Another General Studies online student minoring in English, Mia McCarter (’16), researched standardized testing in elementary, middle and high schools. Both of these students were currently working in the education field and used the research to further benefit their careers. However, even when research topics may not appear to fit within a students’ minor, students can learn skills that will benefit them. One student stated explains the valuable skills from the research project that will benefit his career:
“When I graduate, I am pursuing a career that will be centered around the business world, so creating presentations could possibly be a criteria for me to undergo. This course has taught me valuable lessons on how to gather data or findings and incorporate these findings in a well-drawn out presentation. My PowerPoint presentation was probably the most enjoyable thing that I did during this course and I can use the knowledge that I gained from this course and use it with my future career. People in the business world are always conducting presentations whether they are conducting these demonstrations to stockholders, future consumers or whatever the case may be, PowerPoint presentations are a valuable tool to know and conduct.” – Jeffrey Norwood (‘17)
The Senior Research Project capstone course is a great choice for students interested in researching a particular topic. Whether the topic directly prepares them for their future career focus, or simply is an interest for the student, this course will help hone research and communication skills useful for any career.