Students who have completed all coursework requirements specified in his or her PGS, or enrolled in the final course on the PGS, qualify to enroll in the Graduating Seminar (EPSE 590). Students who intend to register in EPSE 590 must do so through the Department Graduate Office by submitting a “Graduating Seminar Registration and Advising Form” signed by their Advisor or Program Advisor.
The purpose of the seminar and the portfolio assignment is to provide students in Master of Education degree programs with the opportunity to examine the links between research and practice, and between courses they have taken throughout their graduate program and applications in educational settings. The contents of the portfolio are intended to reflect both the academic achievement of the student as well as application of knowledge in practice. Student’s portfolios do not consist solely of papers or projects written for classes, but rather materials that show relevant applications and integration of knowledge gained throughout the program. Ideally the portfolio is a reflection of the goals and objectives the student established for selection of the particular program and sequences of courses which formed their Program of Graduate Study for the degree.
When students meet with their advisors to develop the PGS, they should also identify the 2–3 goals which provide a framework for developing and gathering products for the portfolio. Although the specific content and form of the portfolio will vary from student to student, it must include several examples of work that reflects both course-based and extra-course activities related to the student’s program and professional goals.
Examples of materials that might be included in the portfolio include:
- Papers, surveys, research projects or other products (e.g., posters) that were completed during graduate courses taken as part of the program;
- Innovative lesson plans developed as a result of graduate coursework or research;
- Workshops designed and presented in a student’s place of employment, based on graduate coursework
- Web sites that were designed, based on graduate coursework;
- Parent training or staff in-service materials that were developed as a result of graduate coursework or research;
- Resource packages or curriculum materials that were developed as a result of graduate coursework or research;
- Other “artifacts” which demonstrate integration and application of knowledge and skills developed during the graduate program
The intention is that students accumulate authentic evidence of their development and learning in the MEd program through compilation and refinement of the portfolio. Many products other than those listed above are also appropriate for inclusion in the portfolio, depending on the student’s areas of interest and focus.
There are some elements that are common to all portfolios. For example, all students will include a current professional curriculum vita (CV), prepare and include a rationale for each of the goals and objectives reflected in the portfolio; and organize the portfolio with commentaries about how each product or “artifact” relates to specific goals.
Normally, students prepare a 30-minute presentation of their portfolio, which is given during the seminar. The topics and dates of seminar presentations are announced to the Faculty and Graduate Student members of the Department and faculty and students are encouraged to attend, to ask questions and engage in discussion with the presenter. The portfolio and the presentation are examined by the course instructor(s) and a grade assigned based on the portfolio, presentation and participation in the seminar.