Liberal Studies students will maintain a portfolio of materials that reflects their academic achievements in the major. Appropriate materials for the portfolio may include research projects, creative endeavors such as art or literary pieces, laboratory experiments, and/or other approved work that shows individual accomplishment. Exams and quizzes are excluded from the portfolio.
In his/her senior year, the Liberal Studies student should select work from nine of the thirteen courses taken for the major to present to a faculty committee. The student has full discretion to select the work to be included in the capstone portfolio, but work from each of the two disciplines and the two cognate areas must be represented.
Although the student will exhibit expertise in the two disciplines and two cognates of the major, it is especially important in the portfolio to show how these individual areas of study work together to provide meaningful insights through an interdisciplinary approach.
Important Portfolio Components:
Autobiography and Map
Seminar Reflection Paper
Coursework (List of Courses and Exemplary Work from at least 9 of 13 courses, including at least one from each discipline)
Senior Project Paper
Service Learning Reflection Paper
Program Reflection Paper (Essay of at least 1000 words that summarizes the learning experience, including personal growth from the senior project, service learning, and individual courses)
In his/her senior year, the Liberal Studies student will create an interdisciplinary research project that exemplifies his/her abilities to integrate several disciplines in an effort to portray or otherwise examine a complex issue, problem, or phenomenon. The purpose of the Senior Project is to allow the student to exhibit mastery of each discipline while effectively pursuing interdisciplinary research.
Examples of Senior Portfolios.
"Interdisciplinary understanding is 'the capacity to integrate knowledge and modes of thinking in two or more disciplines to produce a cognitive advancement' that would not be possible using single disciplinary means. This advancement includes 'explaining a phenomenon, solving a problem, creating a product, or raising a new question' (Boix Mansilla, 2005, p.16)."
(Repko, Allen F. 2008. Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.)