Each student will compile Student Portfolio to serve as written evidence of the experience and expertise acquired during the course of completing the Professional Science Master's program in Environmental Sustainability and Resource Management. The portfolio is a vehicle describing the student's learning outcomes and emphasizing his or her broad competencies acquired throughout the program as indicated by:
- mastery of required and elective coursework
- certificate of completion of the material presented in the Business Skills Computer-Based Training modules or completion of a Graduate Certificate in Essentials of Business (Rawls College of Business)
- successful completion of a research experience (if elected) and
- the results of the student's internship or capstone course (whichever is elected).
The material in student portfolios will provide evidence of accomplishments and activities across every aspect of a student's academic life to document growth as a professional in the area of environmental sustainability and natural resource management. Its purpose is to provide the student and future employers with a comprehensive portrait of academic training received, achievements, and accomplishments. It is a living document that can be modified over time as a student progresses professionally.
What to Include
The student portfolio must contain the following items, along with related documents to indicate mastery of coursework, business skills, a research experience (if elected) and successful completion of the internship or capstone experience.
- Title page
- Home Page including Goals and Objectives
- Table of contents
- Curriculum Vita, updated annually
- Coursework summary as indicated on the Student Progress and Placement Template
- Business Skills
- Research Experience(s) – if applicable
- Internship/Capstone Experience
- Letters of recommendation
- Students' work/Assessment
- Professional Development
- Faculty Review
Your title page should be simply that: A title that introduces the student and the portfolio
Home Page (2 pages maximum)
- A brief synopsis of student contact information
- Educational summary and professional experience, if applicable
- Volunteer experience, if applicable
- Student's statement of educational and professional goals, achieved and perceived
Table of contents – self explanatory
Curriculum Vita – check the Career Center web page for examples, or use the departmental web site; update annually.
A. Student Progress and Placement Template indicates which courses the student has completed, which are underway and which ones are to be completed as part of the PSM program.
B. Information as follows concerning each completed graduate course:
a. Explain the requirements for passing the course (use syllabus)
b. Include copies of exams (w/o answers) with the explanation that an average grade of X% on a total of Y exams had to be attained to achieve a passing grade of B or better.
c. Synthesize or summarize the course's content [and how it affected personal growth/understanding]. For example: NOTE: CLOSE UP SPACING – LEAVE NO SPACE
1. What I learned from this course
2. What I took away from this course
3. How this course changed by thinking about ________
d. Students are to include copies of reports, projects, term papers, etc. that were part of the course requirements and a brief evaluation of how these assignments contributed to their understanding of the course material.
Business Skills – Certificate of Completion of the required 25-30 hours of Business Skills SkillSoft Computer-Based Training modules or completion of a Graduate Certificate in Essentials of Business offered by the Rawls College of Business. Students are to provide information for items a-c below if they completed the SkillSoft modules, OR d-e if they completed the Graduate Certificate.
a. Include the titles of the SkillSoft modules completed if this option was elected.
b. Provide an evaluation of each module including what useful business information was learned from it.
c. Include an electronic copy of the certificate of completion for the entire set of modules
d. If Rawls Graduate Certificate in Essentials of Business was completed, place a copy of the certificate in the portfolio
e. For each course in the certificate program, complete the coursework evaluations, a-d under the heading "Coursework" above.
Research Experience(s) – if undertaken as part of the student's program. Include the following information in the portfolio:
a. Proposed topic
b. Proposed research summary (abstract)
c. Materials and methods
g. A reflection on the effect the research experience had on the student's personal growth/understanding
h. Research advisor's evaluation of student's research performance
- If the student has not had significant work experience in the area of sustainability and natural resources management, part of the educational experience in the PSM program is to complete an internship. If student have held one or more positions in this area, they may elect to complete a capstone project.
- The internship/capstone experience must be arranged with an agency whose primary purpose is related to the student's area of concentration, i.e. environmental sustainability or natural resources management.
Documents to be completed from an internship experience which are to be included in the student portfolio are:
A second document the student will prepare for inclusion in the portfolio is a final written project report. This document will include the information listed below. Details can be found in the section entitled: Internship/Capstone Experience
_______ Page one - Intern Final Report Checklist
_______ Page two - Title Page
_______ Page three - Current Resume
_______ Page four - Any Evaluations Received from Site
_______ Page five - Supervisor's Evaluation of Intern Form
_______ Section One - Description of Facility/Organization
_______ Section Two – Copies of Documents:
Completed Verification of Internship Site form
Intern Project Document Sheet
_______ Section Three – Project Description
_______ Section Four – Duties
_______ Section Five – Equipment
_______ Section Six – Summary & Evaluation
_______ Section Seven – General Comments
A record of the student's final oral presentation and defense of the internship experience is to be included in the portfolio, demonstrating knowledge in area of concentration acceptable to internship provider, and graduate committee which includes the faculty advisor.
Students eligible for, and electing, a capstone experience instead of an internship will complete CAPSTONE PROJECT DOCUMENT SHEET
The capstone experience is a team-oriented, often inter-or multidisciplinary project, which expects students with considerable work experience in the discipline to undertake an employer-based real world project for experience.
This experience is meant to bring together both the science and the professional skills components of the students' educational experiences and demonstrate their ability to work together successfully as a team to provide a solution, or possible solutions, to a problem the proposed by their employers.
Capstone projects will be provided by employers of students in the PSM program, and those students may elect to participate as team members on the project. Additional students may participate in the project if they have sufficient experience to be successful. Consideration for participation will be determined by recommendations of the major advisors to the employing entity. Employers will agree to accept students for participation and to provide guidance for the projects, to the extent to which they are able.
The project may be one the employer has left unsolved for a variety of reasons such as being unable to devote sufficient resources to it, having insufficient time for solution, or the project may be too large to undertake as a single entity, in which case the team may elect to tackle a portion of the project for which they may find a solution in the time allotted.
The employer-provided problem will be presented to the PSM students eligible for the capstone experience who then will create their own teams, write a proposal and present it to employer(s) for consideration. It will be up to individual employers to accept the team's proposal to work on the problem, and to provide guidance where possible.
The team is expected to propose a solution to the employer's problem, not actually
carryout the work to solve the problem. A written report is expected from the team
of students which will include the following:
a. Statement of the problem to be solved
b. Component difficulties
c. Solutions to component difficulties, as proposed by the team members
d. Overall solution to the problem
e. Contribution(s) to the solution of the problem made by each team member
An oral report of the problem and the team's solution will be presented to the employer upon request.
The employer will provide a brief written evaluation of the problem, the team's assessment of the problem, their solution to the problem and their professionalism in dealing with the problem as a team. This evaluation will be provided to each team member for inclusion in his or her portfolios and to each student's major advisor.
A final oral report of the capstone experience will be presented to the student's advisory committee prior to presentation of the portfolio for acceptance for graduation.
Faculty Review of the Portfolio
Once students have completed their Portfolios, as part of the PSM program, they will need to have it reviewed by their major advisor and then their graduate committee. This review is conducted to ensure that the portfolio meets the set forth expectations and requirements.
Grading the Portfolio
- Whether the information requested was provided
- Whether the information was presented completely
- Whether the information presented was of expected quality from a PSM professional
- Whether the information was presented in a professional manner
- Whether the entire portfolio is comprehensive, comprehensible and reflects professional growth during the time of the student's tenure.
- Use a grading scale of 4-1. 4 = Meets all Expectations, 3 = Meets Most Expectations, 2 = Meets Some Expectations, 1 = Meets No Expectations, the portfolio is to be evaluated by the student's major advisor and assigned an evaluation grade of "Satisfactory" (Grade of 3 or 4), "Incomplete" (Grade of 2) or "Unsatisfactory"(Grade of 1).
- A portfolio grade of "Satisfactory" will signify the student has completed all program requirements satisfactorily. Satisfactory portfolios will be transmitted from students' graduate advisors to the graduate committee along with recommendations that the students be certified for graduation. Portfolio evaluation grades of "Unsatisfactory" or "Incomplete" will not allow the portfolio to progress to the graduate committee.
Effective Presentation Tips for Portfolio Creation,