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Marion Wyser
Most of the capstone projects focused on graphic design are often designed in order to
demonstrate the skills and abilities developed by the students as they take their major. Most of
the time, the link between what the students have discovered as graphic designers, is overlooked.
The creation of a unique individual voice is the trademark concept supporting the core curriculum
that has been developed at ABC College. The four year sequence of courses which is entitled
Details of the Common Good (DCG), Justice Matters are implemented with the goal of raising
awareness of different social problems, going down to their root causes, involving students in
various hands-on issues on social justice, ultimately connecting the practice and theory of social
justice into each of the students major.
This article offers examples of completed work in order to show how it is possible to tie in
together cumulative learning under the Justice Matters curriculum as well as graphic design
education, allowing students to view themselves while participating at a unified experience in

In preparing a capstone experience for a particular major, we often search for different ways in
which the students can potentially demonstrate the breadth and depth of the overall learning
which has mostly taken place in the major. While all of the projects include a particular
connection towards the core curriculum, it is not apparent all the time to the student. Being able
to connect certain aspects of the major to the core curriculum should always be taken into
consideration. In a particular article with the title The Course on Capstone, Michael Theodore
defines a course as a rewarding experience in which a student is expected to connect special
studies along with the major, and eventually critique, extend, as well as apply knowledge that
has been learned in their major. (Theodore, 1995). In 2009, Cabrini College faculty decided to
make a redesign on the overall curriculum. One of the primary reasons in which there is a need
for curriculum redesign was the opportunity to update the courses and reexamine the learning
output with utmost respect to the assessment and evaluation. At this point, the most important
part was to connect the core curriculum rather closely to the mission of the College and most
particularly, for the common good. This new curriculum encourages various departments to link
the learning objectives particularly within the major. (White, 1994; Holder, Wobbler & Davis,


An Integrated Approach
In 2009, the college has introduced the new curriculum with the use of a smaller pilot group. This
only means that there are only a few years available in order to come up with great ways in which
it is possible to integrate the major with the overall DCG experience. In his special book Great
Design, Designers Change the World , Ferdinand announced that it was the best timing ever,
and profitable at the same time in having a responsible design. (Ferdinand, 2009: 110). In his
book, he presented a very persuading case to various designers by telling that Designers, in
general, have an important social responsibility since design is at the center of the largest

Getting to the Core

The goals included in this study, combined with the concepts presented by Ferdinand, have
created the formation for the development of the entire capstone experience. Since we will be
using this project as a portion of our departmental evaluation, it is highly important that this
project can cover as many elements of the learning objectives as much as possible. The objectives
also include both web and print development. The project also consists of two parts.
The first one is the development of a print advertising campaign which consists of a family
composed of three ads. The second part is web development. The students create a website for
The project starts by asking the students to perform a research on various non-profit
organizations as well as causes and in developing a complete list of potential choices. Each of the
students meets with the instructor in order to decide on a project cause towards the end. The
students then present each of the options and provide a brief summary of the issue or cause. I
typically use this opportunity to assist the students in choosing the organization that they feel
passionate about. I think that it is very important for students to promote or discover a cause on
their own instead of choosing one for them. The goal here is to encourage each of the students


While this particular study is just starting to connect with various students who have taken
advantage of the Justice Matters curriculum for four years, there is still a long way to go to expect
progression. The challenge to move forward will become possible upon evaluation towards
success in terms of the DCG curriculum. We are already working towards data collection, allowing
us to make the necessary changes in the major. More challenge will happen upon assessing
success in terms of DCG and the hope of potentially encouraging students to keep an active
interest in the creation and promotion of the common good. We have started the evaluation of
the DCG process and will soon discuss how it is possible to access the learning objective of the
Personally, one of my goals for this project is to install interest as well as passion for the students
that they can pursue throughout their lives and careers. I am sincerely hoping that this project
can serve as a blueprint which can offer students with the necessary courage, knowledge as well
as motivation needed in order to use their skills, whether for part-time, full-time or at least once
a year duty in order to create a commitment in the promotion of a positive change for a world
Ferdinand, Walter B. G reat Design, Designers Change the World. ( Berkeley, Calif.: Old
Theodore, X.J. Teaching the Rite of Passage with Capstone , 22(4), (1995).
White, A., Holder, K., & Davis, M. Creating Capstone Experiences. California: University of
California (2010)