The final requirement to graduate with honors is to complete and submit your graduation portfolio. There are three options for fulfilling this requirement.
Why a LinkedIn Profile?A LinkedIn Profile can be a great way to showcase your skills and experience in a format that is easy for future employers and other current students to access.
Creating your profileYou will need to create an account with LinkedIn and fill out your profile. The more details and interesting things you include the better!
What to include
- Basic info such as the degrees you are pursuing and where you are from
- A short bio
- Experiences including clubs you are a part of, leadership positions, internships and jobs
- Educational information such as major and minors
- Volunteer experience
- Skills you have that are unique or that you are particularly proud of
- Contact information if you would like
What is an ePortfolio?Because of the numerous advantages having an online resume and portoflio of your achievements will provide during college and after, EHP students are encouraged to create the initial version of their ePortfolio website over the course of their time in the program.
An ePortfolio is:
- An online showcase for your education, goals, and accomplishments (to anyone you provide the link to and your EHP peers)
- An opportunity to reflect upon and integrate what has been valuable about your college experience
- A professional presentation of yourself to potential employers, grad schools, internships and research experiences.
- An additional benefit is that, because EHP portfolios are shared with the community, you will have access to see your peers' accomplishments. You may find inspiration from seeing what earlier generations of EHPers have been involved with and may find people to contact for more information about things you are interested in.
Elements to Consider Including
- Philosophy of Education. As a “philosophy” of education, this section should communicate what you think about education and why you want to be educated in this manner. The reader should learn what kind of learner you are, how you prioritized different aspects of your education, etc. This can also include why you chose x or y as your major, why you earned a certificate, why you were involved in EHP, etc. You can also discuss what you hope to gain from your education; why you chose your various activities (service, research, internships, being an LA, playing in the band, study abroad, etc.); the role collaboration has played in your education; how you selected your electives; etc.
- Special course work. Showcase your abilities by presenting work of which you are especially proud. We recommend 3 or so samples of especially difficult, creative, or noteworthy work done for a course. For exmaple, a design project, a Fourier project, a particularly difficult proof from “APPM Analysis class”, a paper you wrote in German for a class, etc.
- Digital projects and programs that you have designed are also a great thing to feature if it applies to you.
- Creative work. This can take a variety of forms. It can be creativity in a design project, creative writing (poetry, fiction, etc.), visual art (drawing, painting, video work, etc.); video/audio of musical work; musical scores; video of performances; etc.
- Writing samples and/or thesis. The ability to communicate well is essential to almost any type of success. This section should present 2-3 writing samples that demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts, the quality of your reasoning and the clarity of expressing your thoughts. Your Symposium speech from Critical Encounters 1 could be your first posted sample. This writing could be from a class, but it could also be something related to research, an article you are working on or something you are presenting to a non-academic group.
- Senior Design Project. You may choose to include a comprehensive presentation of your senior design project: its scope, purpose, driving question, technical problem being addressed, process, outcome, etc. Again, this could be an embedded PowerPoint presentation, a narrative, etc. You should include multiple pictures or a video. A main goal of this section would be for potential employees or grad schools to be able to see what you did in your senior design project/thesis.
- Internships. Internship experiences, including not only a presentation of what you did, but reflections on what you learned, the value of the project, how this fits your ambitions, etc.
- Special Initiatives. Highlight something unique that you want to make known. This could be your work on something like starting a tutoring program, a student group, projects you’ve worked on in the Makerspace, etc. You may choose to include your reflections on this as well a comprehensive presentation of what you did.
- International Experiences. Present your international experiences (EWB, Study Abroad, Development Projects, international volunteer projects, etc.).
- Service. Present the ways in which you have been involved in service, EWB, tutoring, Habitat for Humanity, EEF, things you’ve done for the EHP community, reading EHP applications. Include pictures or video or a PowerPoint presentation or you can embed web links to official webpages to communicate your work. You may choose to include your reflections on why you think this project matters, what you learned from it, why you did it, etc.
- Leadership. The concept of leadership can include many different things (many of which will overlap with “Service”): society/group leadership, leading a design project, being a tutor/LA, a recitation leader, organizing special events, etc.
- Research. Present any research work you have done–for a class, in someone’s lab, during an REU or an internship. Include pictures, video, PowerPoint presentations, visuals, etc. where relevant. This section will be especially interesting to grad schools, employers, potential research advisors (at REUs, etc.).
Step 1: Choose a Website HostYou are free to choose any website host you choose (or you can code it from the ground up!). We recommend using Google Sites to build your portfolio due to ease of use, it’s free, and there are no ads. You’ll be able to post everything you need for the portfolio. Other popular sites amongst EHPers are:
Step 2: Submit Your URLOnce you’ve created your site, submit it here. If your URL changes throughout your college career, please resubmit the new URL via the same form. Also, if you have chosen to password protect your site so that only you and other EHP students can view it, please include the password on the form as well so it can be posted in the private directory. That way other EHP students will have access to it.
Step 3: Continue Designing and Completing Your PortfolioKeep your portfolio updated throughout your college career by updating it periodically… as needed or at the end of each semester.
Step 4: Submit Your Complete ePortfolioBefore you graduate, resubmit your complete ePortfolio so we know it’s complete and you can graduate with honors.
About the Honors Thesis
Types of Honors ThesesThere are two types of Honors Theses: Departmental and General. The Departmental Thesis would be in an area of engineering/science/math (research, praxis, etc.) under the supervision of an engineering/math/science professor. This would also include interdisciplinary (inter-departmental) research. The General Honors Thesis would be research in an area related to engineering, but not directly engaged in what would normally be regarded as an engineering problem. Examples of this would include: engineering education, engineering outreach, management/leadership issues, engineering policy (local, national, international), engineering development work, etc. In certain cases, students would be allowed to do an Honors Thesis in a completely non-engineering context. In both cases, students are required to work with faculty.
Relationship of Thesis to MS/BS WorkThe Honors Thesis can be (and is encouraged to be) closely linked to the Master Thesis, but must be a separate work. What would work in most cases would be for the Honors Thesis to be the preliminary work for the Master Thesis. The Honors Thesis, therefore, would be rolled into the Masters Thesis. In general, this would take one of two forms: (1) the Honors Thesis would be the more general scholarly background for the Masters Thesis project, laying out the relevant literature, defining the problem and the method. The Masters Thesis would then focus on the actual research, results and analyses. (2) the Honors Thesis would focus on a smaller portion or the initial steps of the research, itself.
The Honors Thesis and Paid Research PositionsThere are no restrictions on the relationship between the Honors Thesis and paid research positions. This will be a very common path (if not the most common path) for Honors Thesis research. Students should be very careful, though, in determining in advance that this will be allowed by the principal investigator—this is especially necessary for situations where grants/research money comes from the defense department, corporation or any funding agency that has rights over the research results.
Relationship of Thesis to Group Capstone ProjectsThe Honors Thesis can incorporate the work being done for senior capstone/design project. The Honors Thesis would then consist of an individual work (in addition to the group work) which focused on a particular aspect of the project, a critical review of the process/project, and a more thorough engagement on a critical/reflective level. Multiple students from the same group, therefore, could write an Honors Thesis from the same project. This thesis would require an individual advisor and defense.
DefenseAll Honors Thesis must be defended before a committee of at least three members. These members must include the main faculty advisor for the thesis and two individuals from the following categories: other university faculty (any rank), university researchers, post-docs and doctoral students whose research is in similar areas.
Submit Honors ThesisFill out the Thesis Submission Form by the first Monday following the Spring Break (or Fall Break) of your final semester. This will ensure that you will be qualified to graduate with “with honors” printed on your diploma.
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