The thesis process: academic capstone or academic hurdle?
The thesis is the final project honors students complete before they graduate with honors. This project is thought of as a way for students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have learned as an undergraduate, yet there is little evidence as to how the honors thesis is beneficial to students. This study was designed to examine whether or not the honors students and mentors felt that the thesis was academically beneficial to students. Students who completed an honors thesis were surveyed and faculty who mentored an honors thesis were interviewed. Both cohorts were asked questions as to whether or not the thesis helped students' researching, writing, and/or oral communication skills, if they were able to decide their future after baccalaureate education based on completion of a thesis, and if the thesis process was a valuable experience for the student and the mentor. The results concluded that both students and mentor felt as though students' academic abilities benefited from completion of an honors thesis.