Student Consulting Lab Capstone Presentation

For more than two decades, the Evans School Student Consulting Lab (formerly Public Service Clinics) has been producing program evaluations, strategic plans, policy analyses, and new program proposals that address the real-world needs of public, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private organizations. These students are not interns helping with day-to-day administrative tasks; they are project-focused professionals working independently with key guidance from faculty advisors and periodic assistance from you. 

How it works:

Consulting teams of three to five skilled Master of Public Administration (MPA) students dedicate approximately 10-12 hours of work each week for a period of five months (totaling 200-250 hours of work per student consultant). Students satisfy our capstone degree requirement by completing their projects over two academic quarters (January – May) and their work is supervised by experienced Evans School faculty.

Examples of projects:

  • Conducting organizational policy research, including stakeholder analyses, feasibility studies, and strategic plans
  • Conducting funding or donor analyses and developing organizational funding strategies
  • Evaluating public policy initiatives and program options or support structures behind them
  • Developing program evaluation strategies, performance assessment plans, or impact studies for funders or authorizing stakeholders

Our "capstone crew" was very professional. Part of their scope of work involved learning new skills, and they leveraged UW faculty and resources to bring a professional level of tools and skills to bear on the project. It was a value-add to our performance management work in the County.

- Priti Mody-Pan, Senior Analyst, King County Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget


View sample projects:

Cost: The participation fee for accepted projects is $1,850. Financial assistance is available to nonprofit organizations that cannot afford to pay the full fee. See Step 4 below for more details.
 

Step 1: Submit a proposal (deadline: September 10, 2019)

Proposals will be vetted based on the following criteria:

  • A feasible program scope for a team of three to five consultants and a five-month timeline
  • A clearly-stated problem, challenge, or opportunity to be addressed by the project
  • An emphasis on value-added research that can be conducted by an offsite team
  • Clear and achievable deliverables, including but not limited to written reports, presentations to decision-makers or board officers, or tools to aid in program implementation
  • Clear reporting assignments, including timetables for regular meetings, primary points of contact, and written expectations of the consultant team and your organization

Some sample proposals to guide you: City of Seattle ARTSMedina FoundationDepartment of Ecology

Submit a Proposal

Step 2: Proposal Review & Matching Process (October to November)

Once your proposal is reviewed and accepted by the Evans School, it will be matched with a faculty advisor, who will then match your project with a student team. If your project is not matched, we can make the project available for students pursuing internship projects.

Step 3: Client Intake Meeting (December to January)

You will meet with the consultants and their faculty advisor to draft a Letter of Agreement using our template.

Step 4: Participation Fee and Project Work (February to May)

The participation fee is $1,850* per project payable in two installments of $925. The first payment is due upon signing a letter of agreement (January-February) and the second is due upon acceptance of the final product (June). Student teams receive faculty guidance and consult with your organization while conducting research and developing deliverables. Student consultants present their research to your organization (this can include staff meetings, board meetings, etc.). 

*Financial assistance is available to nonprofit organizations that cannot afford to pay the full fee. Those organizations can request assistance as part of the online proposal process. 

Questions? Contact Us!
For more information, contact the Evans School at evansconsulting@uw.edu or 206.616.1613.