Engagement and Collaborative Problem Solving through Service Learning
The GIST online capstone experience provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their accumulated degree skills and expertise by developing and communicating the solution to a complex geospatial problem through a capstone project.
Learning Approach: One goal of the capstone is to engage students with community partners to create a service learning experience. Service learning differs from community service in that the students are not merely providing a service to complete a task, but working with a community partner to collaboratively solve a problem. Both parties learn during the process. This strategy works well for our students because they are not only using the skills and knowledge they have developed through the GIST program, but are also applying their expertise to a real world problem in collaboration with the client.
The Process: During their last semester in the MGIST program, students select from a suite of possible projects spanning a variety of organizations and disciplines. We make every effort to match a student with a project of direct interest to the student’s career path. If students would like to suggest possible partners for an upcoming GIST online capstone experience project, they should contact us ahead of time and we will do our best to facilitate a project.
Once a project is selected students work one-on-one (or in small groups) with the community partner (a.k.a., ‘the client’) to examine the client’s needs, expectations, and deliverables. Throughout the semester students develop their project to meet the client’s needs, culminating in a professional presentation to the partner, representatives of the program, and the NC State community at large.
If you are an organization looking to partner with our students, click below to learn more.