Thursday, November 8, 2007

COMM 393: Reminder on Senior Portfolios

A copy of an email message I sent out this morning to students registered for Communications 393. I'm posting it to my blogs for communications students as well. I have great respect for the Benedictine/SCI grapevine, and I'll appreciate your assistance in getting the word out. -- pe.

A reminder: The end of the semester is only a month away, so it's time to pull together the material for your senior portfolios.

I will need to meet with each of you in order to: (1) inspect your professional portfolio; and (2) receive a Senior Portfolio Folder containing your self-reflective paper and copies of four pieces of work (artifacts) you have done for class, for internships and/or off-campus publications. You will keep your professional portfolio for use in job hunting, but Benedictine University will retain a Senior Portfolio Folder from each student for program assessment purposes.

I am developing a more detailed set of instructions, which I hope to email to you over the weekend, but I wanted to send out this reminder so you can get started how.

THERE ARE THREE parts to the Senior Portfolio procedure:

I. SELF-REFLECTIVE ESSAY. To be turned in, as part of the Senior Portfolio Folder, during a conference with me before the end of the semester.

The self-reflective essay will be 10 to 12 pages in length, in which you reflect on your experience as a communications major at Benedictine in terms of: (a) your progress toward developing or furthering your career goals; (b) your understanding of the profession, its ethics and its role in society. In this essay you should address the following program objectives of Benedictine's mass communications department:

1. Prepare graduates for careers in advertising, electronic and print media, journalism, public relations, publishing, writing or other careers requiring sophisticated communications skills;

2. Prepare graduates for continued study in graduate or professional school;

3. Develop the student's critical and imaginative thinking, reading and writing skills;

4. Develop skills to empower the student to communicate ideas effectively, through speaking, writing and the use of technology;

5. Develop skills for critical interpretation of the media;

6. Foster aesthetic understanding in both production and interpretation of media texts;

7. Develop knowledge of the methods to make responsible social and personal decisions;

8. Develop primary and secondary research methodologies;

9. Develop an understanding of the history, structure and operation of the mass media;

10. Provide an understanding of the impact of mass media industries and messages on the individual, society and culture;

11. Develop professional-level skills in written and oral communication for a variety of media and audiences;

12. Develop professional-level production skills for both print and electronic media;

13. Encourage the development of creative expression; and

14. Help the student develop a professional media portfolio.

II. PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO. To be inspected by me during our end-of-semester conference and returned to you. This will be a collection of your best work, preferably gathered in a presentation folder, that you can take with you on job interviews.

III. SENIOR PORTFOLIO FOLDER. To be turned in to me during our end-of-semester conference and retained by Benedictine. Since we will keep these folders, I will accept them in an inexpensive pocketed folder; you can find them in an office supply store or the school supplies aisle of most drug stores. In this folder, you will include: (a) the the self-reflective essay; and (b) at least one copy at least one piece of work (artifact) from each of the following categories:

1. A 300-level research paper written for a 300-level theory class (including COMM 317, 385, 386, 387, or 390, and 391 if it is a theory class). It must contain proper annotation, structure, evidence, and methodology. The student must have attained a grade of at least a “B” on the paper in its original form for it to be accepted for this requirement.

2. A print-based publication, defined as an original written or produced work fixed in a printed and published medium (including newspapers, magazines and newsletters). If you do not have print publication credits, class work for COMM 207, 208, 209, 253 (equivalent to SCI's COM 221), 254, 263 (equivalent to SCI's COM 222), 264, 337, 381 or 382 can be accepted.

3. A web-based publication, i.e. creation that has been exhibited on the World Wide Web and is created for a departmental publication, internship, or work-related experience. The Sleepy Weasel counts as a web-based publication. Any other web-based artifact, including blogs or personal Web pages, must be approved by the instructor prior to the submission of the full portfolio.

4. Brochures, fliers, memos or other work product, including advertisements, pamphlets, brochures, letterheads, scripts or other copy prepared for broadcast, memos, creative briefs, campaign plans or other tangible material written in connection with a college course or an internship.

I will send you a formal assignment sheet in a few days, and there is more detail available about the senior portfolios on the COMM 393 syllabus linked to my faculty page at

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

-- Pete "Doc" Ellertsen, instructor

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