When I was asked to develop this guidebook by my well-respected peers at Touro University, I experienced similar emotions to those I felt while on my capstone journey during my OTD studies several years ago: anxiety, excitement, uncertainty, confusion, patience, and eventually, passion and self-awareness. I utilized what I consider my most powerful characteristic trait, tenacity, to put this project into motion and to make it a reality. Although capstone projects related to allied health professional programs are typically defined as self-directed final-year projects that focus on evidence-based practice in a specific context, they really should be considered the beginning of professional and personal development on a meta-cognitive level.
This guidebook is designed for you, the student. Each chapter in this guidebook provides you with useful information, tools, and examples that will support you before, during, and after your capstone journey. I encourage you to reflect on the material and key ideas presented in each chapter so you can understand and appreciate the multitude of possibilities that capstone projects have to offer. Above all, this is your capstone journey. Using your ideas along with the knowledge and skills you have developed and refined throughout your doctoral studies, you can shape the kind of project you wish to undertake, and make your capstone journey uniquely yours. This guidebook was created to help you bring your capstone journey to life in ways that are important and meaningful to you. Naturally, this journey will help to advance the quality and recognition of evidence-based practice in a variety of healthcare arenas, which will increase the richness of your capstone experience, both personally and professionally. Embrace it!