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Capstone Project

Since 2004, the Student Leadership Program on the Waterloo campus has existed to support a culture of purposeful student involvement and leadership engagement. We recognize that student success, both inside and outside the classroom, encompasses a commitment to intentional and experiential learning. As a result, the Leadership Ambassador Team is dedicated to providing leadership development opportunities as part of every student’s experience.

Everything we do is shaped by our belief that all students have the potential and the capacity to lead; that leadership is defined by action, not position; and that an understanding of self and others is key to leadership, learning, and success. We often call the Centre a “living-learning lab” where students can try things out, make mistakes, and evaluate past performances without the risks inherent in the world beyond these walls. That’s quite an opportunity when you stop to think about it and we are so proud of the students who choose to take advantage of it!

Since 2014, students who have completed the Student Leadership Program have had the opportunity to take their learning further by completing a capstone project.

What is a Capstone Project?

Briefly, capstone projects, which are more often seen on the academic side of higher education, provide senior students with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate studies in a more focused environment. Examples include team projects, case studies, interdisciplinary projects, seminars and theses.

Capstone projects, however, can also be found as parts of programs outside the classroom and these similarly allow students to critically reflect on their learning and experiences up to and including the capstone.

How It Works

The Student Leadership Program (SLP) is rooted in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, which focuses on change at the individual, group, and community levels. SLP capstone projects therefore:

  • Synthesize learning from the three pillars of the program.
  • Assist students in reflecting on and demonstrating what they have learnt over the course of their university career.
  • Provide a forum for students to participate in interdisciplinary activities that are in many ways self-directed.
  • Enable students to reflect on and imagine personal, social, emotional, and practical issues of transition beyond the university into the world of work.

Although you will be the leader of your project, you will receive guidance and support from the Leadership Ambassador Team, the Centre for Student Leadership and Engagement (CSLE) coordinator and the Centre for Community Service-Learning (CSL).

SLP capstone projects last a full academic year and follow a detailed timeline. The fall term is spent volunteering with a community organization, developing an understanding of the organization and designing a project in collaboration with the community partner to address needs of the community members.

The winter term is dedicated to the implementation of your project in alliance with the community partner, gathering feedback and reflecting on your experience.

Students who complete a capstone project receive an additional designation on their Co-Curricular Record.

2017/18 applications will be due in March 2017. For an application form or more information, contact


March-April, Previous Academic Year

September-November, Following Academic Year

  • Meet with community partner. Begin volunteer placement (approximately two to five hours a week).
  • Bi-weekly check-ins with leadership ambassador; journalling with reflection questions.
  • Connect with CSL to review placement.
  • Project work plan completed in writing by community partner and student (e.g. start and end dates, days off for holidays, etc.).


  • Host meeting with leadership ambassador, CSLE coordinator, CSL coordinator and community partner.
  • Submit capstone project proposal and reflection on placement.


  • Continue volunteer placement while working with community partner to initiate and implement project (approximately two to five hours a week).
  • Biweekly check-ins with leadership ambassador; journalling with reflection questions.


  • Host meeting with leadership ambassador, CSLE coordinator, CSL coordinator and community partner.
  • Submit completed project and reflection, including creative component.
  • Community partners provide final feedback on the product and overall experience.


  • Twenty-minute presentation at end-of-year celebratory ceremony.

Contact Us:

Waterloo Campus

T: 519.884.0710 x4664
Office Location: Second floor, Fred Nichols Campus Centre

Brantford Campus

T: 519.756.8228 x5822
Office Location: Second floor, Student Centre