One component of the psychology major degree requirements (for students entering Lehigh during or after Fall 2018) is the submission of a portfolio of written work. This portfolio is designed to be a purposeful collection of written work that provides a record of your learning, progress, and achievements throughout your academic career. You will be asked to submit 4 pieces of writing from your coursework that demonstrate your progress toward achieving the psychology program’s five major learning objectives (see below). You will also submit a resume/CV and a professional development/career planning exercise.
Goals of the Portfolio
The major portfolio is designed to fulfill two goals:
1) One goal is to enable psychology faculty to evaluate the success of Lehigh’s undergraduate curriculum in psychology. Periodic revisions to the curriculum will be made based on review of the major portfolios.
2) A second goal is to provide a resource for students. This collection of written work will help you to recognize and reflect on your own intellectual development. In addition, by providing an organized repository of your writing and accomplishments, the portfolio can be useful when you are requesting letters of recommendation or applying to internships, jobs, or graduate school. Thus, you should ensure that your best work is placed in your portfolio.
Part 1: Written Work Demonstrating Progress toward the Psychology Department Learning Objectives
As you progress through the psychology major, you will be required to include 4 pieces of writing in your portfolio. These portfolio items will come from your course work. You do not need to create additional writing to fulfill the portfolio requirement.
Your portfolio should include the following items:
Item 1: A paper from PSYC 201 to provide a writing sample from early in your major experience
Item 2: An APA-style research report from PSYC 203
Items 3 & 4: At least 2 other pieces of written work from PSYC 203, 300-level seminars, or thesis/independent research courses. These pieces may include research proposals, literature reviews, article summaries or critiques, position papers, essay exams, final projects, or anything else you and your professor deem appropriate.
(Optional) You may include additional work about which you are particularly proud (not to exceed 3 items).
Across these pieces, you are expected to show evidence of achieving the program’s five key learning objectives:
1) Mastery of key concepts, principles, theories, findings, and overarching themes in psychology and its content domains
2) Understanding the relevance and implications of psychological principles in everyday life
3) Understanding the use of scientific reasoning and empirical evidence in psychology; the ability to interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research; information literacy
4) Understanding individual, sociocultural, and international diversity
5) The ability to write clearly and effectively about psychological concepts and research
For each piece submitted, you will complete a writing portfolio coversheet (described below) to indicate which learning objectives you think it reflects. You will also write 2-3 sentences about why you think the submission is a good demonstration of your achievements toward those objectives.
Part 2: Professional Development
In your portfolio, you are also asked to submit the following items related to your professional development:
• A CV or resume
• Professional Development/Career Planning exercise
• (Optional) If you would like to include an optional reflection on your 161 opportunities, internships, or other key experiences within the major, you can do so here. These reflections can be useful as you write personal statements for graduate school or cover letters for jobs.
Procedure and Timeline
You will be introduced to the portfolio requirement and begin to prepare your portfolio in PSYC 201. Reminders about the portfolio requirement will also occur in PSYC 202 and PSYC 203. However, it is your responsibility to upload relevant writing on your own. You should check in with your advisor during your regular pre-registration advising meetings to review your progress in completing the portfolio items.
Portfolios will be maintained using an administrative Course Site called “PSYC Portfolio” followed by your graduation year (e.g., PSYCPortfolio2022 for students graduating in 2022). You can upload each portfolio item through the Course Site interface. For each item in Part 1, you will also upload a writing portfolio coversheet. On this coversheet, you will indicate (1) which item in the portfolio you are submitting, (2) which course the assignment came from, (3) which learning objectives you feel the work demonstrates, and (4) your 2-3 sentence description of why this submission is a good demonstration of your achievements toward the psychology department learning objectives.
The Part 2: Professional Development items should be completed independently in consultation with your advisor and the Center for Career and Professional Development (https://careercenter.lehigh.edu/).
A portfolio including all required documents should be completed by the end of the first semester of your senior year. Your advisor will confirm that your portfolio is complete during your advising appointment in preparation for registration for your final semester. Although you may continue to modify or add to your portfolio during your final semester, a completed portfolio is required for graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this portfolio mandatory? Yes. The portfolio is part of the graduation requirements for all psych majors entering Lehigh during or after Fall 2018.
Will I be graded or receive formal feedback on my portfolio? No. Although you should receive a grade and/or feedback on each piece of writing when you initially submit it for your coursework, you will not receive feedback through the portfolio process. The psychology faculty will review a subset of portfolios each year to evaluate how students in our program are doing in meeting our departmental learning objectives. However, all evaluations at this stage will be for psychology majors as a whole; no individual assessment will occur.
How do I decide what to submit? The goal of the portfolio is to showcase your best work as a psychology major. Thus, you should choose assignments that you think best exemplify what you have learned and how you have grown as a psychology major. Also keep in mind the departmental learning objectives when choosing submissions. If you have a question about whether a class assignment is an appropriate portfolio item, contact the professor for that course or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Can I include assignments beyond those specified? Yes! You can upload up to 3 additional pieces of written work in your portfolio.
Who do I contact if I have questions or need help? Talk to your psychology major advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Brandone (firstname.lastname@example.org).