12/14/15 How to Write the IDP Rationale Essay The IDP Rationale Essay will explain your background, your personal or professional goals, and your proposed degree to the reviewers who will be approving your proposal. Use the guidelines below to structure your essay (you may include sub-headings). Consider these prompts as you would a group of short-answer essay questions on an exam. At the top of your first page, include your name, 900#, and “IDP Rational Essay: [your title].” The finished essay should be three to five pages (12-pt, double-spaced). 1. Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) Introduce yourself by reflecting on your background, life experiences, educational history, and/or professional goals, particularly as they all relate to the courses you have taken in college. To transition to the next section, briefly introduce your IDP title. 2. IDP Title (1 paragraph) Concisely define and describe the proposed field of study encapsulated in your title. How might you explain this title to future employers or graduate programs? 3. IDP Content (3-4 paragraphs) Discuss why you have chosen to include specific courses (include course numbers and names) and/or clusters of courses. How do the courses relate to and support your IDP title and goals? What do you need to know to succeed in your field of study and how do these courses help? 4. Senior Experience (1 paragraph, for majors only) Identify your Senior Experience and explain how it provides a culmination to your major. How does this course help integrate your learning or allow you to apply knowledge to a particular problem or context? If your Senior Experience is not a course from the catalog list of approved courses, address how the chosen course meets the criteria of a Senior Experience, which allows students to: a) synthesize learning through critical analysis and logical thinking; b) apply theoretical constructs to practical application; c) critique philosophical tenets and current practices; d) integrate and refine oral and/or written communication skills; and e) verify their experience 5. Learning Outcomes (1-2 paragraphs) On the next page, you will find a list of learning outcomes or competencies that national organizations have identified as crucial to every undergraduate degree. Identify 3-5 of these learning outcomes and explain how you have accomplished these competencies throughout your college career. 6. Conclusion (1 paragraph) What types of contributions to society will you be prepared to make once you graduate with your degree? How will the IDP help you achieve your specific postdegree ambitions (job, graduate school, starting a business or agency, etc.)? How has the degree transformed your thinking and learning? 12/14/15 Key Learning Outcomes from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (VALUE rubrics) Civic engagement: "working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference." (Excerpted from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000, Preface, page vi.) In addition, civic engagement encompasses actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community. Creative thinking: both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. Critical thinking: a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Ethical reasoning: reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. Students’ ethical selfidentity evolves as they practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues. Foundations and skills for lifelong learning: “all purposeful learning activity, undertaken on an ongoing basis with the aim of improving knowledge, skills, and competence”. An endeavor of higher education is to prepare students to be this type of learner by developing specific dispositions and skills described in this rubric while in school. Global Learning: a critical analysis of and an engagement with complex, interdependent global systems and legacies (such as natural, physical, social, cultural, economic, and political) and their implications for people’s lives and the earth’s sustainability. Through global learning, students should 1) become informed, open-minded, and responsible people who are attentive to diversity across the spectrum of differences, 2) seek to understand how their actions affect both local and global communities, and 3) address the world’s most pressing and enduring issues collaboratively and equitably. Information literacy: the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand. Inquiry and analysis: Inquiry is a systematic process of exploring issues, objects, or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. Integrative and applied learning: an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and cocurriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus. Intercultural Knowledge: a systematic way to measure our capacity to identify our own cultural patterns, compare and contrast them with others, and adapt empathically and flexibly to unfamiliar ways of being. This knowledge should encompass verbal and nonverbal communication strategies and openness to diversity. Oral communication: a prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners' attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors. Problem Solving: the ability to define a problem and then design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. Teamwork: cultivates individual and group behavior to accomplish a team goal (including individual efforts towards team tasks, effective interactions with others on team, and contributions to team discussions) and the ability to foster a constructive team climate. Written communication: the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.