The greatest milestone for a Florida A&M University broadcast journalism or public relations major obtaining their degree is the Capstone process. Capstone is a presentation of a student’s portfolio, in which the student showcases works and projects throughout their time attending FAMU.
Capstone has been an integral part of the graduation requirements at the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication for decades. While the general consensus of staff and students is that the Capstone process is essential to graduate with a prepared and successful mindset, there is still debate on modifying Capstone to ensure more success and guidance within the program.
Ismara Cajuste is a senior at SJGC. She had her presentation earlier this week and said that the Capstone process and its instructors need to be altered to enhance the student graduation process.
“The thing that I wish we did have was more guidance with our portfolio. I believe Capstone should have directly appointed faculty that know exactly what [the students] need to get done to guarantee our success,” Cajuste said.
Other students in the Capstone program agreed with Cajuste’s stance on the matter.
Public relations senior Kayla Butler said while this particular Capstone semester helped her prepare herself more, it also created a sense of helplessness.
“It has been an interesting experience and also a little rocky, since we switched professors towards the end of the program,” Butler said. “Some people in class feel as though they aren’t as prepared or that they did not have enough time to focus on certain elements of Capstone.”
Even the best of SJGC’s students concurred that the Capstone process needs to be reworked to secure the achievement of students’ futures.
Lebaron Fields, a senior and leading public relations major, was well beyond prepared for his Capstone presentation, but said major changes need to be enforced for future graduating seniors.
“I was thankful enough to be prepared for my Capstone presentation ahead of time, but it was really wrenching to see some of my fellow students struggle with the lack of guidance and information for their portfolio,” Fields said. “I feel a collective effort of the faculty and the dean’s office is necessary throughout the Capstone process to enable a positive learning environment in which SJGC students can achieve their milestones.”
While many Capstone presentations won’t take place until next week, it is clear that the program needs to change for the better.