Geography 4990 is a required capstone course for all students completing a major in Geography at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This course satisfies the university requirement that all students have a "culminating capstone experience" that "should require disciplined use of skills, methodology, and knowledge taught throughout the undergraduate curricula." The seminar is "to bring reflection and focus to the whole of the college experience" within the framework of the major field. Thus the course not only focuses on the field of geography but also on linking geography to the entire undergraduate experience.
This course is a "professional seminar", that is, a seminar approached as professionals. You will be expected to contribute to discussion, and make prepared presentations to the seminar group. Your attendance is expected and required at every session. If you cannot attend, you need to inform the instructor, just as you would inform an employer if you were to be absent from your job. Your work must be turned in on time. Absences and late papers and assignments are factored into course grades, just as they would be factored into "work performance" for any employment.
This class also serves as the Geography Department's "vehicle" for assessment of the Geography major as required by the university. That is, class performance during the semester is used to evaluate the geography major program and discover how it can be improved. Note that this is performance of the class as a whole, not performance of any individual member.
Two major projects will be completed during this course. First, you will develop a professional portfolio. The actual items that you include in your portfolio will depend upon you and your career plans. The second project is a service learning group project focusing on a community-oriented activity allowing you to use your geographic knowledge and skills. Each year these projects will change. You also will be asked to write a variety of papers in the class and keep a detailed journal of your group project activities.