Policy, Planning, and Management

Academic Portfolio

The successful completion of all MPPM degree requirements includes either a Professional Internship, a Capstone Project or the compilation and submission of an Academic Portfolio. The MPPM Academic Portfolio is used to provide a cumulative assessment of a student’s learning outcomes throughout their time as an MPPM student. It is an opportunity for a student to provide a comprehensive and reflective document of their learning experiences and demonstrate how these experiences have influenced and enriched their understanding of the fields of policy, planning, and management.  

Students should be aware that this alternative to capstone or internship exists and should start compiling relevant materials to include in an academic portfolio at the beginning of the degree program. Students contemplating the academic portfolio option should discuss this alternative with their faculty advisor as early as possible. The completed Academic Portfolio is due during the last semester of study and before applying for graduation but represents work from the entire MPPM program. Therefore, getting started early facilitates successful completion of the portfolio.

The Academic Portfolio is graded on a pass/fail basis and does not provide academic credit. Students electing to submit an academic portfolio in lieu of completing an internship or capstone project must complete an additional course to meet the 36-credit requirement for the MPPM degree.

The Academic Portfolio is assessed using the following criteria:

  • Completeness of each of the items listed in the next section.
  • Documentation and assessment of individual learning against each of the learning outcomes of the MPPM program (available in the USM Catalog).

  • A detailed, self-reflective essay on academic achievement and learning experiences.

Please note that your advisor may ask that you rewrite or redo parts of the Academic Portfolio that are deemed inadequate in meeting portfolio requirements.

The MPPM Academic Portfolio will include the following:

  1. Cover with name, title, and date
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Current professional resume
  4. Statement of Academic and Professional Goals
  5. A minimum of seven artifacts produced in fulfillment of the MPPM degree (e.g., research papers, policy briefs, response papers, GIS related project reports, community engaged project reports, etc.) Students may seek advice from their advisor when deciding academic products to be used as part of their portfolio.
  6. Reflective essay and summary statement. A comprehensive essay documenting and assessing your overall learning experiences in relation to the Learning Outcomes in the MPPM program. The essay contains a reflective component regarding your professional growth through the MPPM program. In this memo, you may cite influential experiences, events, or interactions that supported your learning.
  7. Additional Relevant Materials (Optional). Students may also submit other documents and examples of their academic and professional development. As an example, MPPM students attending Public Lecture/Colloquiums offered by the Muskie School of Public Service might provide a two to three-page reflective essay on that experience as part of an academic portfolio.

Electronic Portfolio Platforms

Students may compile their portfolio electronically for submission using standard software such as Word and Adobe Acrobat. Students also have the option of using the discounted University price to buy a renewable license to http://squarespace.com/students and use that web portal to compile a Portfolio. This publicly accessible portal can also serve as a promotional tool when looking for jobs and internship opportunities.