Senior Project

Communication Studies Senior Project 

The senior project is a three-term capstone experience that provides the structure and support by which seniors in Communication Studies can use the skills they have acquired through the major to research, plan, implement, and document a relevant project. This year-long project showcases their skills, knowledge, life experience, and career passion related to the major. The course process models real-world professional projects.


Requirements include those to enter the course and those to complete the course. To enter the course, the student must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have completed 63 credit hours with a GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Commit to a pre-set class time for fall, winter, and spring terms

To complete the course, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Attend class regularly (fall, winter, and spring terms)
  • Define a project or study that has an application or opportunity for additional research (fall term)
  • Complete a proposal/project plan (fall term)
  • Give a proposal presentation to the department (fall term)
  • Implement the project or study (winter term)
  • Document results in a product that is useful to others (spring term)
  • Give a final presentation open to the department and campus community (spring term)

Instructor and Mentor Roles

At least two Communication Studies faculty members are actively involved with the senior project course: the instructor and the mentor.

The role of the instructor is as follows:

  • Help the student define a relevant and doable project
  • Work with the student to develop a schedule and to meet the deliverables
  • Be an outside audience and critic
  • Facilitate group discussions and sharing
  • Facilitate individual processes, especially during challenging project times
  • Ensure requirements are met
  • Review and grade products
  • See the big picture

The role of the mentor is as follows:

  • Be a subject area expert (or act as a facilitator to this expertise)
  • Require subject-area standards (e.g., research papers formatted for a specific conference or lesson plans formatted to state standards)
  • Be a professional peer providing guidance (when needed) throughout the process
  • Review products (and share the final grading responsibility with the instructor)

Example Topics

Students have completed projects in the following areas:

  • A project teaching elementary school children in Chiloquin conflict resolution skills.
  • A study investigating communication apprehension levels in a 3rd grade class in Klamath County, with the idea that such knowledge can help a teacher can develop teaching behaviors to meet the specific needs of the child.
  • A project teaching 3rd grade students the speech skills needed to pass their state benchmark tests.
  • A project building trust and cohesion with the Klamath Falls City Explorer Post Unit.
  • A study determining the relationship between span of control (which is how many people are supervised by one supervisor) and an employees ability to access a grievance procedure.
  •  A project teaching elementary students in Klamath Falls physics principles using ice skating and the Collier Ice Skating Rink as a hands-on motivator.
  • A project planning, implementing, and documenting a networking dinner for Communication Studies majors.
  • A study using a personal narrative that reports the factors that make people volunteer for specific organizations.
  • A study investigating if students majoring in psychology and communication studies self report at a higher frequency math difficulties than students majoring in engineering and science.