In the interest of providing political science majors a way to document their progress through the discipline, each student will build a portfolio of work that will allow for goal-setting, progress, and reflection. The faculty expects each major to compile this portfolio, composed of the following elements, prior to graduation.
As you move into your sophomore year (or as soon after this as possible for those students joining the political science program late), please make an appointment with your advisor to begin a conversation about portfolio-building opportunities and expectations.
The portfolio will include the following documents:
Personalized learning plan – This is developed during the early spring of the sophomore year via a discussion between the student and the faculty as a group (or as soon as possible after declaration of the political science major for those joining us later). In about 3 pages, describe the knowledge and skills the student wants to acquire.
First significant written assignment in a political science class – The student selects this assignment.
Written reflections of one’s off-campus experience – This 2- to 3-page reflective essay should include a summary of the experiences the student had and what she / he took away from those experiences. This summary might include a discussion of a leadership activity. Describe how this experience may fit with near-term post-graduate goals.
Paper produced in one of the political research seminars – This full-length research paper will be produced during one of the research seminars during the autumn of one’s senior year.
Narrative of growth and development – In this retrospective document, 3 to 4 pages long, the student will reflect on key aspects of intellectual and personal growth in the major. Students should discuss projects that marked highlights of academic achievement, leadership opportunities, and how these experiences have prepared him or her to meet near- to mid-term professional goals. It is important to note that earlier plans often change as life occurs, so the plans made as a sophomore may not be the particular ones that come to fruition as a senior. This is perfectly understandable. In any case, describe the course one has followed and what lessons were learned. This document will be submitted during the final semester at IWU.
Optional – A paper or other product from a political science class that the student considers among her / his best (separate from any of the other papers included in this list)
Optional – A paper or project produced in a non-political science class that the student thinks is especially good