Capstone Sponsorship Opportunities

Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Sciences: Sponsorship Opportunities

Partnering with the Carnegie Mellon METALS program as a capstone sponsor provides companies with a unique perspective into employing evidence-based educational technology. (See past  projects here; read a description of the capstone project process here; see our list of current & past sponsors.)

Common Reasons to Sponsor a METALS Capstone

  1. Brings teams of highly-trained master students to focus on a sponsor defined project.
  2. The team’s exploration of research, ideas, and solutions culminates in a proof-of-concept prototype.
  3. Relationships that sponsors establish with Carnegie Mellon faculty typically last well beyond the capstone period and yield benefits far beyond the program.
  4. Capstone Sponsors interact with METALS students prior to graduation and is an effective recruiting tool for them.
  5. Companies benefit from the unique perspective and ideas that our students apply to client’s projects and problems.
  6. Significant project value for a small outlay.

Sponsor Relationship and Project Responsibilities

All sponsoring companies commit to three in-person meetings with capstone teams in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh meetings are held in January, May, and August. These meetings cover the project kick-off, the end of spring semester report presentation, and the presentation of the final capstone report and high fidelity prototype.

During the project, sponsors meet via conference call once a week with teams and are expected to remain available via email to provide feedback or answer questions. Sponsors do not actually assist students in any design or development of the coursework, however, they may need to make employees or customers available so that the students can conduct research related to the project.

Capstone Project Runs for 28 weeks from January through Early August

The capstone project runs over two semesters for a total of 28 weeks, from the third week of January to the first week of August. The first semester typically focuses on research while the second focuses on ideation, design, development and usability testing. During the first semester, the students are finishing up other courses and electives for their degree, so they are expected to work on the project part-time (typically 12 to 15 hours a week). For the second semester, students work on the project full-time.

Significant Value Proposition…

Similar to a consulting team, a typical five-person cross-trained student team consists of a:

  • Project Coordinator
  • Research Lead
  • Design Lead
  • Content Development Lead
  • Developer Lead

Additional team members include

  • Faculty
  • Alumni mentors

The student team contributes a significant number of hours over the life of the seven-month project. On average, each student team member spends about 12 to 15 hours per week on the project during the spring semester and work on the project full-time during the summer semester. In addition, faculty contributes an additional 100 hours to each project; alumni mentors contribute up to 200 hours to each project.

With no additional overhead, travel or fees, at standard consulting rates this is a very attractive opportunity for capstone clients.

…with some non-negotiable caveats and requirements:

  • Any Intellectual Property (IP) or materials provided by the sponsoring company for the capstone project remain the sponsoring company’s IP and may only be used by the students and Carnegie Mellon for the capstone project unless otherwise permitted by the sponsoring company.
  • Students build upon the sponsor’s IP.
  • Students retain ownership of only the new IP (coursework) they create exclusive of the company’s existing IP.
  • The students grant:
    • the sponsoring company a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to copy, modify, use, translate, publish, and distribute their coursework.
    • Carnegie Mellon a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to publicly perform, publicly display, modify, create derivatives of and otherwise use for academic, educational, administrative, promotional, publicity, or research purposes the students’ coursework.
  • The sponsoring company must agree:
    • that the coursework is provided by the students to the company without warranty.
    • to fully indemnify both the students and Carnegie Mellon from any legal action or fees resulting from the sponsoring company’s license or use of the student coursework.

See past  capstone projects here; read a description of the capstone project process here; see our list of current & past sponsors.

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