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Master's Degree Student Portfolio

The Graduate School of Kansas State University requires comprehensive examinations. In order to fulfill this requirement, the M.S. in Adult Learning and Leadership adopted a Program Completion Portfolio as the final examination. The portfolio is a collection of artifacts from assignments completed while in the program courses and reflections on the learning and why the artifact demonstrates mastery of the student learning outcome (SLO). An artifact and reflection will be completed for each student learning outcome for the M.S. in Adult Learning and Leadership program.

A learning portfolio emphasizes students' knowledge and, more significantly, their understanding of how and why this knowledge fits into a larger framework. An important component to this portfolio is the reflection on each artifact. "Reflection…is an essential component of good quality learning and the representation of that learning. Relating new material to what one knows already may mean reflecting on what one knows and modifying it (deep approach)." (Moon, 2005, p. 2).

Moon, J.A. (2005, November 28). Guide for busy academics: No. 4. Learning through reflection. The Higher Education Academy. Retrieved August 12, 2009.

Entries in the Program Completion Portfolio include:

Entry Reflective Essay

One to two page essay discussing why you chose the adult learning and leadership degree program, what you expect to gain from the experience, and how will it help you in your personal or career plans. This essay should be written prior to or during the first course in the degree program. Please email the completed essay to Dr. Royce Ann Collins. Once Dr. Collins receives the Entry Reflective Essay, the student will be placed in the K-State Online site where students’ portfolios are uploaded. This K-State Online site includes detailed information about the Portfolio.


Artifacts are assignments completed in the adult learning and leadership course work. If students complete courses in other departments (e.g. academic advising, conflict resolution), artifacts should not be selected from those assignments. Students will submit two artifacts for each student learning outcome (SLO).

SLO Section

Choose artifacts (no more than two artifacts per SLO) from any of the adult learning and leadership required or elective courses completed, which you believe demonstrates satisfaction of the following student learning outcomes (any artifact may satisfy up to two SLOs):

  • SLO 1: Using APA style, demonstrate proper integration of relevant literature into an Adult Learning and Leadership problem, concept or argument (an essay written for a course assignment).
  • SLO 2: Demonstrate knowledge of research methodologies.
  • SLO 3: Demonstrate an understanding of social issues affecting adult learning and leadership.
  • SLO 4: Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of technology on adult education and adult learning.
  • SLO 5: Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • SLO 6: Demonstrate the ability to synthesize complex information.
  • SLO 7: Recognize moral and ethical responsibilities within the adult learning and leadership profession and practice professional ethics.

Reflection Essay (per Student Learning Outcome)

Once the artifacts are selected, complete a reflection essay for each SLO. The Reflection paper (maximum two pages, double-spaced) should explain why you choose the particular artifact to fulfill the SLO, how the courses’ content impacted your knowledge of adult learning and leadership field and practice, and (if applicable) how would you modify your artifact based on new knowledge (at the time of writing the reflection paper).

Final Reflection Essay

Review all the portfolio documents accumulated. Approximately two weeks prior to the portfolio due date (listed on the K-State Online Portfolio site), write a reflective essay (three to five pages) answering these issues/ideas:

  • How are you different than when you first began this program?
  • What applications or language do you have for the future?
  • What values will help in your future endeavors?
  • How will this change affect the way you work in the field of adult education or in your current profession?

The Entry Reflective Essay, Artifacts, Reflective Essays (SLOs), and the Final Reflective Essay will all be uploaded in a designated dropbox in the K-State Online Portfolio site.

Assessment Forms

At the appropriate time, students will be sent links to the following assessments:

  • Complete Master of Adult Learning and Leadership Student Learning Self-Assessment.
    A link will be sent to the student one month prior to the Portfolio Due Date.
  • Complete Master of Adult Learning and Leadership End-of-Program Survey.
    A link will be sent to the student one month prior to Commencement.


Once students are admitted to the degree program and begin their first course, they should write the Entry Reflective Essay and email it to Dr. Royce Ann Collins. Upon receipt of this first essay, they will be added to the K-State Online Portfolio site. Throughout the courses, students can gradually build the portfolio. Documents will be uploaded into each SLO assignment area in K-State Online during the month prior to the due date. Within K-State Online, there are discussion board posts and FAQs for the Portfolio development. The Portfolio must be complete during the last semester of enrollment in the program. Assistance is just an e-mail or call away from Dr. Royce Ann Collins at racollin@k-state.edu.

Presentation and Quality

The Portfolio is to be completed as a Word file (PowerPoint included) or PDF. For Word documents, one-inch margins, double spacing, and at least 12-point font are to be used as well as APA style guidelines. Graduate quality writing is expected for the portfolio documents.


The entire portfolio will be reviewed by the adult learning and leadership faculty. The portfolio will be evaluated for the thoughtfulness and conceptualization; substantive and relevant content; demonstration of knowledge; and technical presentation (e.g., writing style, organization and flow, APA style, grammar). The evaluation rubric will be used by the department only for program improvement. The student will be notified of "Pass" or "Fail."

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have any condition, such as physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as outlined or which will require academic accommodations, please notify your advisor before creating your portfolio.

Academic Honesty

Kansas State University has an Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance in academic matters one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. To find more information and examples of actions that would be considered academic dishonesty, check out the K-State Honor System website.