Saint Joseph's University

How to Prepare for Your Capstone Project

If you have made it to the capstone project, then congratulations are in order, because you are nearly completed with the program! In my opinion, this will be one of the most interesting assignments you will complete throughout this program.

Unlike most capstone or thesis projects, which will require extensive research and a panel, the Capstone (thesis) project for the Master’s in Health Administration program at Saint Joseph’s University is quite different. And though, I didn’t do this project in the traditional way that the capstone will probably be designed for you, I was one of the first classes to do the capstone in the new format, and I still found it to be a great learning tool.

Unless you are fortunate enough to be in a position ideal to your health administration goals already, the big question you may be asking yourself is, what do I do now that I am about to graduate? The capstone project allows you to take an introspective look at yourself and determine where you were coming into the program and how you have grown since then, while providing ideas and areas on how to continue your growth.

The brilliance of this project is that it can be adjusted for whatever you may encounter later on in your career, whether it is a new focus within your current position or finding a new position entirely. While I was successful in completing my project, it was a bit of a struggle to keep my focus on the specific areas within each focus. However, if you have a good idea going into the capstone of what you want to be doing upon graduation, it will be easier to have focus throughout the project, and you will be able to manipulate it at a later date if needed.

You will focus on and use as a guide, the American College of Healthcare Executives’ 5 competency domains. Each phase of the project will allow you the opportunity to look deeper into where you are on the path to being a health administrator and how you will build on this current status. I truly believe the more critical you are when you get to this point, the better you will be in the long run.

I am still at a point of uncertainty about what I want to do after completing my studies, but during school, I had my focuses narrowed down to a couple of specific areas. Therefore, when I began my capstone project and grasped the concept of what I was supposed to do, I was able to set it up so that I could establish goals and objectives for either of my focuses. This allowed for an easy transition from one to the other if my future goals took me away from the position I am currently in.

My recommendation to you would be this: think long and hard about what you want to be doing when you graduate from Saint Joseph’s University before you begin this project.

If you have applied yourself throughout the program, then you should see substantial growth by the time you reach the capstone experience. Try to remember that this is a learning tool and while it may sound cliché, you will only get out what you put in.

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About the Author

Nicholas Godbey

Nicholas Godbey is a graduate student from the HAD program at Saint Joseph’s. Nicholas is currently an Education Technician at a medical center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In his free time, Nicholas enjoys spending quality time with his wife and their cat, Vegeta, as well as going to the beach, catching movies, and participating in triathlons.

Grad Year: 2016
Program: MS in Health Administration

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