Topics for the Capstone typically fall into four categories
Development of an HR program with application in industry. Examples include developing an innovative training or retraining program, developing a retention program, developing a business-wide compensation package and structure
Develop a HR initiative designed for implementation in the business world. Some of these projects are sponsored or developed by organizations at which students are employed. Examples include organizational change initiatives, organizational restructurings, planning or expansion initiatives
Design a primary research study in the discipline of Human Resources. The Capstone for such research studies includes development of the research up to the point of conducting data collection/survey implementation. Graduates wishing to implement primary research projects, for the potential of publication can partner with an MCU Master’s faculty member to complete the research and develop publishable articles
Design a secondary research study in the discipline of Human Resources. The Capstone for secondary research would include completion of a final paper in a "close to" ready to publish form.
Capstone topics are reviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Graduate HR faculty. The Capstone topic is approved during the Research Methods class.
Capstone projects are typically 30-50 pages in length. The Capstone will include a presentation made by the student to the Capstone Review Committee. The Capstone Review Committee will include 3 or more members. Members come from the Graduate Faculty, Undergraduate Faculty and Administration of Mid-Continent University.
Capstone Paper Outline
Capstone projects will adhere to the following outline, and exceptions to the outline must be approved by the Capstone facilitator.
I. Executive Summary or Abstract
a. Statement of the Problem
b. Statement of the Purpose
c. Significance or Importance of the Study
d. Hypothesis/Research Questions (if appropriate)
III. Literature Review
b. Recommendations from the Study
VI. References (minimum of 30)
VII. Appendix – MHR Program Reflection
Definitions from Outline
The following definitions are designed to provide insight of the contents/requirements for each major heading listed above
Executive Summary/Abstract – A 150-250 word summary paragraph of the Capstone project. To include a statement of the problem under investigation, essential features of the investigation, study criteria, basic findings and conclusions. This section is designed to allow a potential reader to quickly survey the contents of the article.
Introduction/Background – A 3-4 page section containing the following:
Problem Statement – A single paragraph stating the problem addressed by the study. The Problem Statement paragraph includes a minimum of five (5) sentences to cover: 1. The general problem is, 2. The Specific Problem is, 3. Background on the problem, 4. Context of the problem, and 5. How the study addresses the problem.
Purpose Statement – A single paragraph stating the purpose of the study. The Purpose Statement paragraph includes a minimum of four sentences to cover: 1. The purpose is, 2. The type of study is appropriate because, 3. Methods description, and 4. The data or survey subject to be studied.
Significance/Importance of the Study – A 1-2 page statement of the reason you are conducting the study. The significance of the study to industry and/or society, and the biblical-based principle underlying your capstone. This section includes a minimum of 5 references demonstrating your knowledge of the research on which your study is based.
Hypothesis/Research Questions – Quantitative studies are built on Hypothesis and qualitative studies are built on research questions. These 1-5 questions are designed to answer your problem statement and are discussed in the Conclusions section
Literature Review – A 10-25 page section in which the writer demonstrates knowledge of the research on which the Capstone project is based. The Literature Review should provide the reader a background on the research basis for the topics covered in the Introduction/Background section. The Literature Review involves synthesis, analysis and the opportunity to demonstrate the gap in existing research that your capstone will fill.
Methodology – A 2-5 page section that describes how the author conducted secondary research for the Capstone project, or describes how the author will conduct a primary research study (after the Capstone is complete).
Conclusion – A 5-15 page section which includes the following:
Results – A statement of the results of the Capstone Study
Recommendations – Based on the results, the section describes the next steps or course of actions based on your research
Summary – A 1-3 page section which summarized the Capstone project
References – APA style reference section with the following parameters
Includes a minimum of 30 references
60% of the references will be scholarly or peer-reviewed articles. Peer-reviewed articles are defined as journal articles, conference presentations, or textbooks which were reviewed by a committee of experts prior to publication. Examples of peer-reviewed articles are articles from ProQuest (with the peer-reviewed tab marked for the search, and SHRM reviewed articles). Examples of citations that are not peer-reviewed include new paper articles, web sites without citations and consulting websites or materials. A simple method to determine peer-reviewed articles in the use of peer-reviewed citations in the article
50% of references should be dated within 10 years of the Capstone Project date.
MHR Program Reflection – A 2-3 page appendix to your capstone project. The topic is a reflection on key outcomes and experiences in the MHR program.
Each Capstone project is an individual scholarly work. Approvals to vary from the standard outline are approved by the Capstone Facilitator. The MHR program goal is for a student to develop the Background/Introduction, Literature Review and Reference sections during Research Methods MGT 6043 and develop the Methodology, Conclusion and Executive Summary/Abstract sections during the Capstone HRM 6053.