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Sophomore Honors Portfolio
To gain full admission to the Honors Program, you must prepare a portfolio of your work-to-date by the end of your sophomore year (or by the end of the semester following your admission to the Program, whichever is later). By use of this portfolio, the Honors Committee seeks to insure that all who continue in the Program have interests, needs, and abilities that match the educational goals of Honors, a program that emphasizes interdisciplinary studies and independent work. We are especially concerned that our students have the interest, motivation, and background needed to complete the senior thesis.
To that end, we look to the portfolio for evidence of clear reasoning, effective writing, skillful research (including appropriate use of sources), and creative thinking. We evaluate the portfolios based on the Honors Program Goals; see the Sophomore Honors Portfolio Assessment Sheet for the details of our evaluation criteria.
Every semester we offer HON 250: Sophomore Honors Portfolio Workshop for students who are putting together their portfolios. If you are unable to take this one-credit class, we strongly encourage you to meet with an Honors faculty member independently as you assemble your portfolio.
1. Must have at least nine Honors credits.
2. Must have a 3.2 GPA.
If you have not met these requirements by the end of your sophomore year but would like to continue in Honors, please see an Honors advisor to discuss your options.
Review the work you have completed so far during your college career and select two-four pieces of work that best show your interests and abilities. You may consider work done to meet the requirements of a class, but should also consider work done independent of coursework. You do not need to limit yourself to written work - performance tapes, art, computer programs, or other material might also be included. You might even choose to include a description and brief analysis of a project for which there is no available tangible record - involvement in a dramatic production or engineering project, for example. However, at least one substantive piece of work demonstrating writing, thinking, and research skills should find its way into the portfolio.
Write a two-three page commentary on your portfolio and on yourself as a student. This essay gives you a chance to ponder your education at this point, chart some future course for yourself, and supplement the portrait that emerges from the portfolio. You ought to include:
- An evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses as a student, especially in terms of the Honors Program Goals.
- A discussion of your interests and what you'd like to do during the remainder of your time in the Honors Program.
- Any other information that might flesh out our sense of who you are and what you hope to accomplish during the remainder of your college career and beyond.
Write a one-page introduction to each piece that you are including in the portfolio. Include:
- A description of the provenance of the work included in the portfolio so we know the context in which it was created. Was the paper written for a course, for instance, and if so, which course and what assignment?
- An explanation of why you included each piece of work. What do you want the piece to demonstrate about you?
Be sure your works are accessible to an educated lay audience. If they require some type of "translation," this would be the place to provide it.
Complete the SHP Data Sheet, providing basic facts about you as a student, and submit it with your portfolio. The Data Sheet can be filled out online and printed. AS THE PORTFOLIO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE SCANNED, PLEASE DO NOT STAPLE YOUR WORKS OR PUT THEM IN A BINDER. INSTEAD, PUT THEM IN A FOLDER WITH YOUR NAME ON THE FRONT.
Submit the portfolio to the Honors Office. The two deadlines for submission are Reading and Review Day of each semester.
Your portfolio will be evaluated by two members of the Honors Committee, including at least one faculty reader. Their recommendations, together with a recommendation from the Honors Director, will be forwarded to the full Honors Committee, which will make the final determination on your status the following semester. We will then notify you of the results.
Following the Committee's decision, an Honors staff member will meet with you to discuss your portfolio, the readers' responses, your status in the Program, and your plan of study.