Capstones represent the gained competencies and expertise that WGU graduates immediately take into their profession. Only a select few of capstones are awarded for excellence. Sharing these work samples is just one of the ways that WGU supports continuing education through relevant industry ideas and research.

Capstone Excellence Awards

As an alum, you can read through any of the shared capstones in the Capstone Excellence Archive.  Below, choose either graduate or undergraduate work—or peruse the featured topics, hand-selected for our alumni readers.

Addressing and Inaccurate IT Workstation Inventory

A business proposal to resolve the problem of an inaccurate inventory system for government offices in a California county is presented. The proposal identifies clear recommendations to address the inventory system, as well as provide broad organizational benefits, including the following: improved customer satisfaction, better resource accountability, and a more secure IT environment.

Read Joyce's recommendations and the full article.

Posted on 1/5/2017
Teaching Reading Comprehension: A Collaborative Approach

In this study, a mixed methods action research design was implemented at a small, urban, Title I school to investigate the effects of collaborative learning methods on student reading comprehension and student perceptions. The participants were made up of twenty-three fourth and fifth grade students, ages nine to eleven, that were taught a folk tale unit of study within a multi-age classroom. Data were collected using pre-tests/post-tests, student self-assessments, student survey questionnaires, and interviews. Quantitative data analysis showed mixed results on reading comprehension pretest and posttest measures, while qualitative data analysis revealed that almost all students had positive feelings and thoughts about participating in collaborative learning.

Based on the findings, the researcher concluded that collaborative learning methods did not significantly impact students’ reading comprehension in the study’s three week period of time, but may improve learning outcomes over longer periods after observing increased student engagement, motivation, and personal accountability. Additional studies, especially longitudinal, are needed to determine if collaborative and cooperative learning methods have an impact on student academic outcomes and other prosocial behaviors that support future success in and out of the classroom.

Read the details of the collaborative approach.

Posted on 10/22/2016
Health Information Technology Interoperability: Local and National Implications

Health Information Technology (HIT) Interoperability is a dynamic concept that is currently in a state of evolution. It is important for healthcare communities to monitor the evolution of HIT Interoperability when formulating strategic plans that relate to health information exchange. This paper explores the current state of HIT Interoperability on a national scale and demonstrates current health information exchange challenges faced by a particular healthcare community.

The paper builds on this exploration by documenting solution proposals that are relevant for two specific EMR platforms, which are EPIC and Cerner. These proposals are specifically designed to provide a multi-specialty physician practice with an alternative solution to migrating from a hospital hosted EPIC EMR to a hospital hosted Cerner EMR. All proposed solutions are hypothetical and meant to demonstrate that technology and methodologies exist to enhance the interoperability of the Cerner and EPIC EHR software platforms that serve this particular healthcare community.

Posted on 8/23/2016
Regional Manager Succession Program

This capstone asks the question: 'How much more cost effective and beneficial to the company would it be if there were employees ready, willing, and able to fill vacant positions at a moments notice?'

This proposal identifies and discusses a key issue in ensuring the continuity of a successful business organization. The plan discusses human resource, sales and financial impacts of business continuation in a thoughtful and relevant manner.

Read Don's perspective on succession planning.

Posted on 3/28/2016
The Orphanage Delimma

A small church committed to its mission of service sent a team of people to volunteer at an orphanage in Guatemala. Little did they know that trip would be the beginning of something far greater than they could have imagined. Through caring hearts and the leadership insights of volunteers, a floundering orphanage has been renewed. The lives of hundreds of children will be positively impacted. This MBA Capstone illustrates a ripple effect; showing how the dedication of a WGU student can positively impact a community and the world - truly inspiring.

Read the full capstone article.

Posted on 4/19/2014
Risky Faith: Church Culture and Information Security

Small-to-medium sized churches and other faith-based organizations tend to run bare-bones information technology (IT) operations due to budget constraints, lack of expertise, or other reasons. For some churches, the perceived threat against their information resources is either lacking or non-existent. Church leaders may say, “Who would want to hack us?”

This project sought to undergo an information security risk assessment at a local church in Kansas using both technical and non-technical solutions. The assessment included a review of the church’s IT policies and procedures, interviews with key personnel, a wireless survey, a survey of the church’s public internet presence, and a vulnerability assessment using Nmap and Nessus. The goal of this endeavor was not only to provide the risk assessment to the subject organization but to help the church gain insight into the concepts of security awareness and managing risk to assure the continued operation of critical business processes.

A church that is constantly in reaction mode due to security breaches or financial losses loses its focus on the things for which it was created.  Read the full article.

Posted on 3/31/2014
Seven Lessons in Writing Mechanics

This capstone reports on the development, design, and efficacy of a series of automated, interactive lessons designed to provide directed instruction and practice on seven of the most ubiquitous mechanics errors made by junior college Learning Support Services (LSS) English students in college. The Seven Lessons provide just-in-time, personalized instruction on a student s own error(s) and require the student to correct the error that prompted the assigning of each lesson, completing the revision cycle and assuring an attempt at transference of learning.

The research question being asked is whether such lessons, assigned and completed as described, will reduce the overall incidence of the seven mechanics errors in students subsequent writing by 10% or more. Post-intervention incidence of the seven errors is compared to the institutional baseline to determine whether or not improvement has occurred.

Posted on 5/22/2013
Helping Teen Mothers Succeed

On a national level, adolescent mothers in low-socioeconomic communities have had a high risk for adverse health outcomes and high school dropout leading to intergenerational poverty and decreased child development. School-based programs have been effective at decreasing these risks. This study evaluated the support of adolescent mothers in three high schools located in a low-socioeconomic urban community and explored barriers to having a school-based young mother s program in this district. The participants of this study consisted of high school counselors and administrators that have supported teen mothers. 

See the full study.

Posted on 10/31/2012

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