Dr. Markus Smith, Chair, Political Science
                                                Office:  1H13(F) – SSC
                                                (405) 682-1611, Ext. 7730
                                                E-mail:  mssmith@occc.edu
                                                August 22, 2011

Dear Political Science Program Major,

You have been identified as having selected Political Science as your academic major.  This letter will serve as a reminder that all program majors are required to submit a portfolio representing their academic work in the program. Though the portfolio will be a REQUIRED component in the required capstone course: Scope and Methods of Political Science* (2613), which will be graded, it will NOT affect your program completion in any way.  The portfolio will also be used by program faculty for the purpose of assessing the rigor and currency of courses in the program and graduates' knowledge.  It is therefore important that you be aware of this expectation now in order to complete the portfolio in the semester you intend to graduate.

In order to help the program faculty to assess student’s success in completion of the program courses and program requirements, you are asked to submit the following:

A portfolio to consist of at least one assignment/artifact from EACH of the five sections below, and which reflect coursework from at least two different program faculty. In addition, NO group or joint assignments/artifacts may be submitted.

1.  Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the principles,
                structure, processes, and functions of the U.S. federal government;

2.  Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of how government affects individuals in a society and how internal and external factors affect the government;

4. Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of government on a global or international level; and

5. Political science graduates will demonstrate an ability to critically analyze government issues in both oral and written formats at an acceptable college level.

To make the process of constructing your portfolio more feasible, it is encouraged that you keep digital backup copies on file (e.g. jump drives, hard disks, etc.) of all written academic work submitted in your political science courses, as well as any other assignments which will fulfill the requirements for the portfolio. 

No incomplete works are to be submitted for review. Not all submitted works are required to be in-class graded assignments.  All work must be the student's own. Plagiarism could result in disciplinary action by the program.

Portfolio requirements, assessment, and maintenance

Each portfolio is to be submitted in a suitable folder with the student's name and college identification number located INSIDE THE BACK COVER ONLY.  Professor Smith will then deliver the portfolios to the Department Chair/Program Director who will hide the student's name and identification number from view prior to the portfolio assessment.  Each portfolio should clearly identify each entry as to the item from the above listing and the item description.  Professional appearance of these materials is also important.  Handwritten work is not acceptable.

These materials will be evaluated by all full-time program faculty no later than early May or December of each calendar year.  The materials will be used to assess program and course competency achievement and to identify areas for improvement in program studies.

The portfolios will be submitted to Dr. Markus Smith via the capstone course: Scope and Methods of Political Science (2613) since it is a required component for the course. For spring semester graduates, the deadline for submission of the portfolio is MAY 1; for fall semester graduates, the deadline for submission of the portfolio is DECEMBER 1.  

The Department Chair/Political Science Program Director will assemble and store submitted portfolios and, after review by program faculty, will make the portfolios available for students to reclaim for a period of at least three months.  Any questions about submitted materials should be directed to the student's political science program advisor of record.

The materials you assemble for your portfolio, for the purposes of program assessment, will be assessed according to the following terminal program objectives:

            1.  Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the principles,
                structure, processes, and functions of the U.S. federal government;

            2.  Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of how
                government affects individuals in a society and how internal and external
                factors affect the government;

            3.  Political science graduates will demonstrate a broad understanding of the
                overall discipline of political science and its major subfields;

4. Political science graduates will demonstrate an understanding of 
    government on a global or international level; and

5. Political science graduates will demonstrate an ability to critically analyze government issues in both oral and written formats at an acceptable college level.

Each Program faculty member will determine independently whether the student’s work as submitted in the portfolio adequately represents satisfactory progress in achieving program competencies.  These determinations will then be forwarded to the Department Chair/Program Director for compilation and reporting.  A rubric is used for evaluation of portfolio materials by all Program faculty.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  We appreciate your willingness to assist
program faculty and future program graduates in the successful maintenance of the
academic integrity of your program.

Sincerely,

Your POLSC program faculty

 *It is important to note that the capstone course, as of the  Fall 2008 semester, has replaced the Introduction to Political Science course. Please check the revised course catalog (2008-2009) to identify the changes made within the Political Science (Pre-Law) program (i.e. catalog descriptions, suggested course placement, prerequisites, etc.).