Senior Portfolio Instructions

In partial fulfillment of your requirements for the Senior Experience, you will put together a portfolio of your work, which will be read and evaluated by AES faculty to determine how effectively our program is meeting curricular goals. Portfolios provide essential data to identify curricular areas in need of improvement. They will not be reviewed until all grades have been submitted.

1. Assemble the following three papers (projects and digital media may be included) for submission to your portfolio:

  1. one paper from your first AES course taken at the 100 level or AES 150 Introduction to AES;
  2. the paper written for your AES 499W senior experience course;
  3. one paper of your choosing that provides the strongest evidence of your Ethnic Studies work that is not already included among the other two.

2. Once assembled, read the 3 papers thoroughly and in their entirety.

As you go over them, do so with an eye toward the four curricular goals of the American Ethnic Studies program. These are:

  • History: Understand the historical construction of race and ethnicity in shaping the contemporary U.S. landscape
  • Power: Think critically about the political, economic and social dimensions of race and ethnicity, and the ways in which power gets embedded in these relationships
  • Culture: Examine the role of symbolic and aesthetic expressions of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic communities in the U.S., particularly as they serve to maintain, resist, and/or transform privilege and oppression
  • Resistance: Reflect upon and engage in the social justice traditions of the field, as participants movements to resist racial and ethnic marginalization in the U.S.

3. Write a 1200-word letter

in which you critically assess the extent to which you have: (1) grown intellectually and personally; (2) have fulfilled each of the four curricular goals of our program and the effectiveness of the strategies used by the AES program achieve these curricular goals. Part of your job in this letter is to make an argument about your learning—and to prove it—drawing upon specific evidence from the work assembled in this portfolio.

This letter should include an introduction, five sections as specified below, and a conclusion. Please discuss your fulfillment of each curricular goal under a separate section heading. As you organize each section, think about and address the following:

  • In what ways do you see evidence of your growth (intellectually and personally) in the program, from the early work through to your final project? What other ways have you grown as you progressed through the major, that are not necessarily reflected in these works?
  • Which of these curricular goals do you believe you have most thoroughly fulfilled? The least?
  • Identify at least two concrete ways the AES program has been successful in helping you achieve our curricular learning goals.
  • What are the areas that the program needs to strengthen with respect to our curricular goals? What suggestions do you have for how we could improve what we are doing in these areas?
  • Finally, what feedback do you offer with regard to improving our overall AES program?

Appendix: As an appendix to your letter, you should include a list of the AES courses you have taken, what semester, and when in this timeline you became a major.


Submit your portfolio

(5% of your grade in Senior Experience course) electronically by 2:30 pm on Tuesday, December 13th, in the AES Seniors Portfolio WISE Drop Box. The papers and letter should have your last name in their filename, and which paper it is: (Letter, Intro, Senior, Elective. [For example, “KoenigRichardsSenior”]