Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Students: We're here to help you find opportunities that are a good fit for you! Schedule an appointment with a Haas Center Peer Advisor.

Email us

Support for Cardinal Capstones

Main content start

The Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) team provides support and resources to faculty and students interested in developing capstone programs, classes, or projects that connect with the broader community.

Cardinal Capstones

A Cardinal Capstone is a community-engaged experience in which students apply their cumulative academic knowledge to address community needs. In addition to demonstrating the relevance of a course of study to complex social and environmental challenges, Cardinal Capstones provide opportunities to develop skills in logistics, communication, and intentional application of ethical frameworks while meeting the criteria for Cardinal Courses.

The Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) team supports faculty and students interested in developing Cardinal Capstone programs and projects. Available resources include project funding, facilitated workshops, preparation coursework, and assistance in identifying community partners and scoping projects.

If you are interested in learning more or have a community-engaged capstone concept you wish to develop further, please review the content below or contact Shoshanah Cohen (course-based projects) or Clayton Hurd (research-based projects) to explore how we can support you. 

Cardinal Capstone options

Cardinal Capstones can take many forms—individual or group, creative or analytical—as long as they remain true to the goals of a capstone, include the community partner in critical stages of the project, and produce an output agreed upon with the partner. Like all capstone experiences, they must also meet the requirements of the relevant department or program. 

Cardinal Capstones can be completed along the same timeline as other capstones, but often require additional time to build a strong relationship with the community partner. In some cases, building this relationship and defining the project objectives can be done prior to the start of the associated course.

Cardinal Capstone resources for students and faculty

Cardinal Capstone course development assistance

Directors of Community Engaged Learning (DCELs) are available to meet with faculty members interested in developing a Cardinal Capstone. This individual consultation can provide faculty with an introduction to the broad range of resources available to support students and faculty interested in combining service with academic programs. Contact the CELR team to set up a consultation.

Cardinal Capstone course funding

Cardinal Capstone instructors are invited to apply for grants of up to $4,000 to support the development and implementation of their course. Allowable funding categories include undergraduate Community Engaged Learning Coordinator salaries, supplies and project materials, transportation to partner sites, modest honoraria for community partners, and background checks for students working with minors. Review the grant guidelines and complete the Cardinal Capstone designation and grant application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis leading up to each quarter.

Student project funding

Stipends of up to $300 are available to students undertaking a community-engaged project outside a designated Cardinal Capstone class. Allowable funding categories include project materials, transportation to partner sites, modest honoraria for project partners, and background checks for students working with minors. Complete the student stipend application.

Preparatory coursework for research-based capstones

Preparatory coursework is available for students participating in community-engaged research projects. Note that while these courses are offered through the Urban Studies department, they are appropriate for all majors and courses of study. Contact Clayton Hurd for more information.

Autumn quarter

  • URBANST 196: Community Engaged Scholars Program Seminar - 1 unit

Winter quarter

  • URBANST 123A: Designing Research for Social Justice: Writing a Community-Based Research Proposal - 3 units

Spring quarter

  • URBANST 84: Designing a Community Engaged Capstone or Thesis Project - 1 unit
  • URBANST 123B: Community Engaged Research - Principles, Ethics, and Design - 3 units

Community Engaged Scholars Program

The Community Engaged Scholars Program (CESP) is a year-long interdisciplinary cohort-based program for seniors and co-term students undertaking community engaged capstones or thesis projects. Contact Clayton Hurd for more information.

Prepare, Reflect, Engage (PRE) training

Online Prepare, Reflect, Engage training is available through Canvas and helps students understand their positionality as they approach their capstone project. Contact the Community Engaged Learning team to customize the curriculum for your course.

Principles of Ethical and Effective Service training

The Stanford Principles of Ethical and Effective Service raise awareness about Stanford’s responsibility to communities and organizations involved with the university’s public service activities. The principles inform program design and implementation as we continually align our work and guiding values. Contact the Community Engaged Learning team to request a facilitated training session as part of your course.