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Information and Computer Systems

Capstone Project


For over 30 years, Camosun’s Computer Systems Programs have successfully matched up industry, government and not-for-profit organizations with senior students to complete a final software project. With newly acquired skills, these students are ready to provide a solution for many business problems and are looking for real-world experience to hone those skills.

Handbook



 Overview



The course offers a meaningful learning experience to our students and allows our valued industry partners to tap into the resources and talents of our students. This presents an excellent opportunity for organizations to develop and recruit talented new graduates with company-specific knowledge.

Over a period of four months, our second-year students work in teams on projects proposed by a variety of organizations. For four months, they will analyze, design and implement a software solution for an industry partner. Most projects are completed by the end of August. Students may work off-site, at your organization, during the project.

In addition to you, the sponsor, an instructor in the Computer Science Department serves as an advisor for the student team.

 Capstone Project



An ideal Capstone Project will have the following attributes:

  • The domain of the project falls within the broad spectrum of software development. Projects in unique or specialized areas are especially encouraged. 
  • Students are responsible for most of the analysis and design decisions. This is an opportunity for students to learn project management skills as well as to apply knowledge gained in systems analysis and software engineering courses. The sponsor may enforce reasonable constraints, especially when the project involves integration to a current system.
  • A workload should be sufficient for a team of 2 – 4 students.

 Student Skills



Students take the full set of courses in the Information and Computer Systems Technology Program

By the start of Capstone you should expect students to be knowledgeable in:

  • Program, deploy, secure and maintain software applications to meet requirements.
  • Apply basic knowledge of operating systems and networks to the implementation and administration of computer systems and networks.
  • Apply knowledge of common operating systems and software applications to troubleshoot and provide customer support.
  • Design, analyze, maintain and interpret data to manage information effectively.
  • Retrieve, store and maintain data in keeping with industry and sponsor standards.
  • Use the fundamentals of computer architecture, operating systems and networks in all aspects of information technology.
  • Apply knowledge of basic project management skills to information technology activities.
  • Work as part of a team to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues, team members, employers and technical and non-technical personnel.
  • Demonstrate professional and ethical responsibility in the information technology field and workplace.

 The Process



After a project is submitted, it will be reviewed for appropriateness --- size, content, and so forth. If the review committee feels a submitted project does not meet the necessary criteria, but would be well received by the students, the sponsor will be given the opportunity to modify the proposal or withdraw it.

Once the project is accepted, a forum meeting will be set up at the College with all the sponsors and all student teams. Each sponsor will briefly present their project proposal to the group. After the presentation, sponsors will meet with each student team for 10 minutes to discuss the project. We often compare this process to speed dating for a project. At the end of the forum, the sponsors will be requested to provide the Capstone project course instructor their top three teams. Students will also provide the instructor with their top three project choices.

The committee reviews the matches. Once a decision has been made that the team and the project are a good match, the sponsors are contacted for approval of the suggested team. Should the sponsor feel that there is no team suitable for their project the submission may be withdrawn.

 Cost



There is no charge to submit a project proposal. Typically, a few more projects than we have project teams are initially approved for consideration. If your project is selected and you agree to accept the project team, there is a $300 symposium contribution fee to help cover the costs of the Capstone Symposium Showcase held at the end of June. Camosun College will bill sponsors once project work commences.

The $300 symposium fee is not sufficient to fund the symposium but we do not wish to eliminate potential sponsors by raising the fee too high. Students may be asking organizations for sponsorship funds to assist with the cost of running the symposium. There is no obligation for any project sponsor to pay more than the $300. All other contributions are gratefully accepted.

Sponsor
Requirements



In order to be a successful Capstone Project, a sponsor must be prepared to work with faculty and students to complete the project.

We require the following from Capstone Sponsors:

A proposal providing an outline of the organization’s problem, question, and/or goals. It may also include additional deliverables that are needed by the sponsors.

  • A primary contact who will serve as the project liaison. This person will be the key communication point for faculty members and student teams’ members.
  • During the first phase of the project, work will be done on campus and will not require students to be present at the sponsor’s work site unless there is a mutually agreeable time and space available. During the second phase of the project, implementation may take place on campus or at the sponsor’s work site.
  • Provide appropriate support for students such as access to data, stakeholders and providing timely feedback.
  • Provide timely feedback to the student team and, if necessary, the faculty advisor.
  • Provide any software or hardware not available at the College.
  • Complete a team evaluation upon completion of each phase.
  • Be available for the final presentation and showcase at the end of June.

Timeline



ICS 280: Winter Term (January to April).

Students form project teams, prepare resumes or portfolios and review approved projects. A team may put forward their own project sponsor, as long as the project gets approved by the Computer Science Department using the same review process and deadlines as all project submissions. During this term, the students will also create a Project Charter as a kick off for the project.

ICS 290: Summer Term (May to August)

The project groups will focus a majority of their time on the project through gathering requirements and implementation. Students are also preparing for their final Capstone Symposium Showcase that will take place during August.

Students typically need to meet with and/or talk to sponsors and stakeholders at least once per week throughout this process.

  • January: Project Requests are made. Project Teams are formed
  • February: The meet and great between prospective sponsors and project teams.
  • March: Final confirmation of match between sponsor and teams.
  • April: Completion of Project Charter.
  • May – July: Project requirement gathering and implementation.
  • August: Capstone Symposium and project wrap-up.

Confidentiality



All project products produced by students are placed under public domain with the College. We do not require the students to enter into any non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or sign away their intellectual property (IP) rights.

If you require a formal Intellectual Property agreement with Camosun College and students, please indicate in the Project Submission Form. Any Intellectual Property Agreement will: 

  • Consider Capstone group members as co-creators;
  • Allow students to write a report and make presentations to Professors and peers for grading purposes; 
  • Allow students to include a project description in their resume or work portfolio;
  • Not exclude students from seeking employment in the given industry;
  • Allow a short summary of the project to be published on the website and media releases to exhibit student work. Certain details may be left out at the sponsor’s request.

 Getting Started



If you have any questions about the ICS Capstone Project Course or would like to be contacted when a project opportunity arises for you please contact:

Saryta Schaerer
Chair, Computer Science Department
Camosun College
Chair of Computer Science
Phone: 250-370-4451

If you are ready to submit a proposal, please complete the ICS Capstone Course Project Submission Form and return by to ICS Capstone Team