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Liberal Studies Exit Portfolio

As you near the end of your Eastern career, we’d like you to think back over your education, to see what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown as a student and as a future teacher. To that end, each Liberal Studies major will assemble an exit portfolio, to be handed in to the director of Liberal Studies by February 20 if you intend to graduate in May.

In your portfolio, you’ll think about your experiences in the core classes as well as the classes you completed within your concentration. This portfolio will serve two purposes: it will allow you to engage with critical self-reflection, a skill you will need as a teacher and a lifelong learner, and it will allow the faculty to assess the efficacy of the major.

Your exit portfolio will consist of 8-10 artifacts and a reflective essay. By artifacts, we mean any kind of finished work you produced (e.g., exams, lab reports, papers, creative writing). Before you select your artifacts, review the learning objectives for the Liberal Studies major. Choose artifacts that demonstrate your mastery of a variety of these objectives.

You should include:

  • A table of contents, which lists each artifact included and which learning objectives you believe this artifact displays (refer to the outcomes by number)
  • An artifact from an English core course (ENG 130, ENG 328, or ENG 338)
  • An artifact from a history or social science core course (HIS 116, HIS 120, HIS 121, HIS 310, ECO 200, GEO 100, or PSC 110)
  • An artifact from a natural science core course (CHE 200, PHS 105, LSM 150, EES 104, or EES 110)
  • An artifact from a mathematics core course (MAT 140 or MAT 217)
  • The major project you completed in your senior seminar, and any accompanying reflective essay (LSM 400, HIS 400, HIS 406, HIS 407, HIS 420, or PSC 460)
  • 3-5 artifacts from courses in your concentration (choose artifacts from different courses that reflect the diversity of your coursework)
  • A 1500-1800 word reflective essay (about 5-6 pages)

Your reflective essay should address the following questions. You can decide how much space to devote to each question and you do not need to answer them in this order, but you should think about all of them. 

  1. Which learning outcomes do you think you have mastered especially well? Choose a few outcomes that you feel confident about and offer evidence of your mastery. How do the artifacts in your portfolio highlight these skills? Be sure discuss at least two outcomes within your concentration and two outcomes outside your concentration.
  2. Which of the learning outcomes do you still struggle with? Why do you think you find these competencies difficult to master? Are there places in the Liberal Studies curriculum where you think those skills could be focused on more deeply?
  3. You’ve taken courses in a large number of disciplines. What connections do you see between the social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and English? Referring the artifacts in your portfolio, explain how studying these different subjects together changed and enriched your thinking.
  4. You’ve also completed many courses in your concentration. Reflect on your ability to act as a member of this discipline. Describe a project or assignment that engaged you in independent inquiry and explain how your work developed your abilities as a social scientist, natural scientist, mathematician, or scholar/producer of language and literature. Be sure to include this project as one of the artifacts in your portfolio.
  5. How has your experience as a liberal studies major prepared for you what’s next? Be sure to think about your future not only as an educator, but also as an educated person.