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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kristin Louise Gustafson
BIS 499
Bothell Campus

Portfolio Capstone

Focuses on developing a learning and professional portfolio, advancing skills of critical thinking and interdisciplinary synthesis, and honing writing and presentation capacities for appropriate audiences. Stresses collaboration with other graduating students. Prerequisite: BIS 300.

Class description

As you complete your undergraduate coursework, you should be thinking about how you got here and where you want to go next. Your portfolio capstone course addresses these questions by providing you with time and structure to reflect on your education and its relation to your future goals. You will step back from the learning you have done in individual courses, focusing on the connections among those courses and the links between your overall academic accomplishments and their diverse contexts and audiences. We will meet to discuss common readings, to share reflections, undertake common tasks, and communicate with one another orally and in writing. The course will conclude with an exhibit-poster session for all BIS 499 students.

Student learning goals

BIS 499 is an opportunity for you to share your best work with others, to learn from what others have accomplished in the IAS program, and to create a capstone portfolio. That portfolio will include a polished piece of writing that frames your accomplishments and reflects on your learning in IAS as it relates to your future ambitions. The course stresses collaboration with other graduating students and is designed to culminate the program's learning and professional portfolio process. By the end of the course, students should have addressed all four of the core IAS learning objectives of critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, writing and presentation, and collaboration and shared leadership. Students will have:

Created a final learning portfolio that draws from work completed in the program

Used the portfolio-building process to integrate and reflect on undergraduate education

Developed skills in drawing on evidence to support reflections and claims for various audiences (friends, family, employers, graduate schools, etc.)

Become articulate about linkages between a learning portfolio and professional portfolio

Developed capacities to present work orally and in writing to various audiences

Worked collaboratively with other students to enrich understandings of interdisciplinarity

General method of instruction

This class uses a blend of face-to-face and out-of-class experiences designed to engage students in active, self-directed learning. Students are expected to take responsibility and manage their time well. This is a 400-level, three-credit course with a prerequisite of BIS 300. Students who need writing help are encouraged to use university services and grammar literature.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

This will be a collaborative, student-centered course with almost no instructor lecturing; therefore, the value of each meeting will be determined by the ideas, questions, energy and insights you share with the group. Regular, constructive contribution to discussions and in-class activities will be vital to earning a high score on your participation grade. This means that attendance is also crucial to your success in the class. You are expected to arrive on time, remain for the duration of class, stay awake, and refrain from disrupting others.

Students must receive a minimum course grade of 2.5 in the portfolio capstone to graduate


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kristin Louise Gustafson
Date: 10/28/2013