Knowledge in Action

Looking to the Future

Knowledge in Action (total of 3+ credits) includes Experiential Learning and Senior Capstones: Throughout their education, but especially as they approach graduation, students are encouraged to look to the farther horizons of their future in the world. Students participate in experiential learning and, as part of the culmination of their Miami education, a Miami Capstone course. These experiences place a special emphasis on applying knowledge and skills they’ve gained during their time at Miami to settings beyond Miami.

Senior Capstone Proposal

Miami’s Senior Capstone, completed near the end of baccalaureate studies, is integrative of a student’s liberal education. Each Senior Capstone emphasizes sharing of ideas, synthesis, and critical, informed reflection as significant precursors to action, and each includes student initiative in defining and investigating problems or projects.  Senior Capstone courses  must include a "student-initiated project that encourages students to integrate knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate experience" (SR 14-21 p. 3). See resources and ideas for creating integrative, iterative, and meaningful Capstones by the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, including action-focused and change-making projects

Tips for Miami Capstones

Miami’s Senior Capstone may be completed in or outside students' majors. In some departments, the Senior Capstone may be a requirement of the major with specific prerequisites, while others have no prerequisites, are not tied to majors, and are open to all students. In either case, a Senior Capstone does more than culminate a particular major or years of baccalaureate study: Rather, it culminates a student's entire liberal education.

  1. Senior Capstone courses must include a "student-initiated project that encourages students to integrate knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate experience." 
  2. Senior Capstones are integrative of a student’s entire liberal education, not only of a given major. However, it is appropriate to forefront a disciplinary (i.e.  major) specialty if an integrative approach is taken.
  3. Assess the role of Senior Capstones in your program. Majors and minors are not required to include a Senior Capstone.  Courses currently called “Capstones” in some departments/programs may be more suited as a regular, upper-division course if it is intended as specialized content for the major and doesn’t include a significant student-led culminating project.
  4. A course being used to fulfill the Senior Capstone requirement cannot be used simultaneously for any Perspectives Area requirement (2023), or Foundation, Thematic Sequence, Advanced Writing, or Intercultural Perspectives requirements (pre-2023). It can, with approval, be used for the Experiential Learning requirement.


Senior Capstone Outcomes

All Capstones must include the following SLOs. By the end of their Senior Capstone courses, students will be able to:

  1. Employ and evaluate multiple sources and types of sources;

  2. Address real-world problems by asking questions and exploring solutions through a student-initiated project;

  3. Apply knowledge gained throughout the undergraduate liberal education experience;

  4. Create artifacts/deliverables that communicate ideas to wider audiences beyond the instructor and appropriate for the problems and ideas taken up in the course.

Proposal Criteria

All MP course proposals are submitted through the CIM system.  Before entering information into CIM, you should be prepared to answer the following questions and provide the requested materials. All Senior Capstone SLOs must be met for any given Senior Capstone course.  NOTE: You will need to copy/paste the relevant SLOs from this webpage into the appropriate text box of your CIM submission.

For Senior Capstone proposals, CIM will ask for the following information:

  • Bulletin description, Course Rationale (an explanation of how the course fits into your curriculum and/or the MP), Enrollment restrictions, regularity of offerings. Course-specific SLOs. NOTE:  These are distinct from any MP SLOs and are required of all courses regardless of MP status.
  • How will the Four Pillars be met?  Provide specific information about how the course will meet each of the Four Pillars through e.g. assignments, activities, pedagogical styles.  Also, provide a short student-centered explanation appropriate for a syllabus.
  • How will each of the MP SLOs be met?  Prepare one or two sample assignments that meet each required SLO.  That is, you need to explain how course activities serve to meet EACH student learning outcome for Senior Capstones.  This should be included in the text boxes where requested.  Materials such as longer assignments may also be  uploaded to CIM. NOTE: appx. 70% of the course should meaningfully engage the requested SLOs. You will also be asked how you will ensure that each section and iteration of the course will meet the same SLOs.
  • Overview and guidelines for the culminating or final project that illustrate and describe how the project will generally be a "student-initiated project that encourages students to integrate knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate experience" (SR 14-21 p. 3).
  • A course syllabus (uploaded). NOTE:  The syllabus is different from the CIM text box responses in both audience and genre.  The syllabus is an outward-facing, student-oriented document that should show students what they will actually learn in your class.  The CIM responses are for Liberal Education Council review, Office of LIberal Education records, and documentation that courses are meeting MP outcomes. When asked for “syllabus language” in a CIM text box, it is most efficient to copy/paste that language from your syllabus rather than re-creating it.
  • While the CIM text box responses require addressing each Pillar and each relevant SLO in detail, do NOT simply cut and paste the Pillars and Miami Plan 2023 SLOs into your syllabus. In the Syllabus, your course content should be privileged but should reflect the Pillars and Student Learning Outcomes of the new MP. They should be integrated into your narrative, unique and contextualized, and make links among the course content, student assessments, pedagogy, and the overall MP.  That is, explain how MP courses address the goals of a Liberal Education by making connections between the MP and the unique features of each course.  

Thus your syllabus should include student-centered explanations, and the course topics and amount of time spent on them should be clear. The OLE/LEC is not concerned with syllabus items such as grading rubrics, attendance policies, or administrative details.  We only review items specifically related to content/topics, assignment/assessment descriptions, and pedagogy/class activities.

When you are ready to submit for approval, you must use the Curriculum Management System (CIM) on the Registrar's website.

Experiential Learning Proposal

Faculty course proposals for Experiential Learning can use the following checklist to prepare to submit their course (s) to the Course Information Management (CIM) system:

All EL-designated courses/programs must involve significant experience-based learning beyond that which typically occurs in the undergraduate classroom or class-related laboratory setting; and a level of academic rigor and educational effectiveness comparable to what is found in a typical Miami University undergraduate course.

Proposal Criteria

  • A program description (1-2 paragraphs) that helps to explain how the course, program, or initiative reflects the goals of Experiential Learning
  • evidence of an application of academic knowledge and/or skills. Does the proposal briefly describe the opportunities present in the course/program for students to apply academic ideas, concepts, theories and/or skills to practice?
  • evidence of sustained and significant mentor/student interaction: Does the proposal briefly describe the opportunities present in the course/program for students to interact meaningfully with their faculty/staff mentor(s) throughout the experience?
  • evidence of sustained student involvement or immersion: Does the proposal briefly describe the total amount of time that students will be expected to devote to this experience? Note: At minimum, the time commitment should be roughly equal to that required in a one-credit hour course.
  • evidence of student reflection: Does the proposal briefly describe the opportunities (e.g., portfolio, final essay, faculty/student meeting, or other structured assignment) present in the course/program for meaningful student reflection on their learning?
  • Specific information about how the course will meet the Four Pillars.
  • Course Syllabus: Description of the course, course goals, and a statement noting that the course meets the Miami Plan requirement(s) selected. 
  • Prepare one or two sample assignments that meet the appropriate SLOs

When you are ready to submit for approval, you must use the Curriculum Management Forms for courses or programs on the Registrar's website. If you have questions about the CIM system, please contact Leighton C. Peterson, ( .

How to use CIM

Propose a Course in CIM