Your portfolio is an important way for you to synthesize and unify your diverse experiences as a Grand Challenges Scholar. It is also an opportunity for you to reflect on the learning that you achieved throughout the GCSP and on the Grand Challenges of Engineering (GCEs) more broadly, and perhaps even offer a thoughtful critique. Finally, it is a way for you to showcase your work for the future, including the possibility of sharing it with potential employers.
Your portfolio must provide evidence of…
- Completion of the five pillars of the program.
- Growth – How the program changed you as a student, future professional, citizen, and individual.
- Development of the skills and knowledge needed to address these complex sociotechnical problems.
Your portfolio should contain the following components:
Narrative and reflection around each pillar: This should incorporate evidence of completing each of the five required components of the GCSP. This evidence could include slides from a presentation for an innovation competition, pictures of you pursuing an experience or of a prototype you created, a video you created, and/or course assignments.
Synthesis of your experiences as a Scholar: This aspect creates cohesion for your entire experience as a Scholar. How did all five of the pillars tie together to, for example, prepare you for your future work after Mines, impact your perspective on engineering work, or help you define a sociotechnical problem of interest?
Critical aspect (of the Grand Challenges, of the National Academy of Engineering, of the program, of engineering education…): Like all engineering problems, the Grand Challenges were identified by people, and thus are accompanied by biases and blind spots. The same could be said for the GCSP and the education you receive at Mines. Your portfolio should contain a critical aspect to it. For example, who benefits from the Grand Challenges that have been identified? Who does not benefit or is left out by the GCEs? Who may be harmed by them?
The structure of your portfolio
The precise structure of your portfolio is your decision, but it should be well-organized and intentionally planned. You are encouraged to think about the goals you personally have for your portfolio and the narrative you will use to communicate your achievements and accomplishments.
There are many options for how to organize your portfolio. You could weave your synthesis throughout your portfolio, or break it into a separate section at the beginning or end. Similarly, you could organize it by the five required pillars of the GCSP, chronologically, or even thematically!
You have three options for the format of your portfolio (see here for examples of past graduates’ portfolios):
- ePortfolio: We can create a WordPress page for you on the main GCSP@Mines website to host your portfolio. Many resources for creating WordPress sites can be found online.
- Old School (most common): Your portfolio can take the form of a document which will be submitted to the GCSP Director for review. With your permission, we will link to this document on the GCSP webpage.
- Your choice! You can select another format for your portfolio (a video, Prezi presentation, interpretive dance…) which you are expected to discuss with the GCSP Director prior to completion.