The Human Resources Management Capstone Project requires the student to synthesize the knowledge gained through the certificate coursework in the form of a project. Students must complete all required coursework before enrolling in the Human Resources Certificate Capstone course because the Capstone course incorporates skills from all the required courses. The Capstone Project must be successfully completed in the allotted amount of time to pass the Capstone course. Additionally, all elective classes must also be successfully completed before the Human Resources Certificate is awarded.
The objectives of the Human Resources Capstone Project are to:
- Plan, draft, and write a one-year project plan with timelines and success measures incorporating specified HR knowledge areas in relation to an assigned case study.
- Submit final project plan to instructor for evaluation.
- Present the project and recommendations in a 15-minute oral presentation.
Each student will select a project from a set of case studies. Each case study deals with companies in different industries, each presenting a unique set of challenges — challenges that the student, in the simulated role of the new HR Director, will have the opportunity to address in the form of a one-year project plan. The plan will be organized around the following HR knowledge areas:
- Employee engagement (includes onboarding, retention, training and employee relations)
- Performance management
- Compliance (includes policy development, recordkeeping, legal and safety)
- HR metrics
The deliverables for the individual project will consist of:
- A written one-year project plan with timelines and success measures not to exceed 10 pages at a word count of 250 per page. Please Note: The HR Metrics component can be addressed separately or as a part of each individual component, if it makes sense to present the metrics in the context of the particular component.
- A 15-minute oral presentation summarizing your project and your recommendations.
Course Plan and Deliverables
The Capstone course consists of three in-class sessions and an estimated 32 hours of student work to be completed outside of class.
- In the first class session (2 hours), the instructor explains the project plan, presentation and evaluation criteria. At the end of the session, each student selects a company for their project and makes an appointment with the instructor for the second in-class session (see below).
- In between the first and second session each student will study the company information and complete the HR Capstone Project Planning Tool to organize information for the project plan. The instructor will be available via e-mail to answer questions related to the project or to help a student “get unstuck” (up to a maximum of three e-mails).
- In the second session (3 hours maximum), each student will have a scheduled 30-minute one on one meeting with the instructor to review progress, discuss possibilities and get feedback.
- Between the second and third session, each student will complete his or her piece of the project plan and presentation. The instructor will be available for questions up to a limit of one hour for each participant.
- In the final session, students will give presentations to other students and the instructor, receive feedback and submit the written project plan to the instructor. A passing grade on the project plan is 70 points. If the student does not pass, the student has 15 days to make corrections and resubmit the project plan. If requirements are still not met, participants must repay the full course fee to repeat the course and receive a Human Resources Management Certificate.
Important Considerations Regarding the Human Resources Certificate Capstone Project
The Human Resources Capstone course is different from other classes in the Human Resources Management Certificate Program. You should be aware of the following considerations:
- Prerequisites: To register for the Capstone course, you must have successfully completed all required coursework in the certificate program. Concurrent enrollment in electives is allowed. You are expected to have a firm foundation of knowledge from the required and elective classes, which are considered to have given you the basic skills and knowledge for this culminating project. The instructor will assume your readiness and will not use class time or emails to teach or discuss prerequisites.
- Self-managed learning: The Capstone course requires you to work independently and manage your time over the course of the project to meet the required milestones. You attend only three classroom sessions with the instructor and other students. These sessions are designed to help you successfully complete the Capstone Project and you will be provided with the detailed evaluation criteria so that you can plan and self-evaluate as you work toward completion of your final project.
- Communication with the instructor: You have the opportunity to communicate questions and concerns with the instructor during the scheduled class sessions and between sessions via email (limited as noted above). The instructor will respond only at these opportunities, so you need to make sure that you address any issues then. You should expect directional answers rather than solutions.
- Course failure: The Capstone course is pass/fail. You must attend 70 percent of class sessions and successfully complete the project and oral presentation to successfully pass this course. No “incomplete” scores are given. Students who attend 70 percent of class sessions and successfully give the oral presentation yet fail to achieve a passing score of 70 points on the final project also fail the course. In either case, if all requirements are not met, participants must repay the full course fee to repeat the course and receive a Human Resource Management Certificate. (All required and elective classes must be successfully completed before the Human Resources Management Certificate is awarded.)