Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Keith Hearit, Office of the Provost

Second Advisor

Diana Berkshire Hearit, Office of the Vice President for Research


Capstone experience


This thesis is a cumulation of my experience as a participant of Western Michigan University's COM 4500: Public Relations Program Development and an observer after completion of the course. I took the course in the fall of 2011 and in the spring of 2012 interviewed previous clients. I was most curious with what the process of the course was like for the clients and what recommendations they had for the future. The biggest take-away from my interviews is the notion that the capstone course is essentially the finish line for the students and the starting point for the clients.

This thesis contains recommendations for future students and clients of the course and other courses with similar formats. The incorporation of research, electronic submission of campaign proposals and the implementation of an internship opportunity are all suggestions I pooled from my interviews. The methodology used for data assembly and analysis was the general interview guide approach. This qualitative method provided deep insight from the clients' perspectives. Although drawn from one course, this report contains information that can be applied to other capstone experiences.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Communication Commons