Published In

Metropolitan Universities

Document Type


Publication Date



Community-based learning, Civic engagement, Higher Education -- Social aspects, Online learning and distance education, Portland State University -- Curriculum


Given the design of Portland State University’s (PSU) undergraduate curriculum culminating in a capstone experience, the dramatic growth in online courses and online enrollments required a re-thinking of the capstone model to ensure all students could participate in this effective learning model and have a powerful learning experience. In recent years, a number of capstone courses have been developed that are offered fully online. This article examines PSU’s development of and institutional support for community-based learning (CBL) capstone courses in a fully online format. Emerging best practices and lessons learned may be useful for other institutions seeking to integrate experiential elements into online learning at any level, including capstones.


This is the publisher's final PDF. Permission received from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) on behalf of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. The definitive version was published online at

Persistent Identifier