Assignments

Assignment A

Free Write

Instructions: Write continuously for ten minutes without regard for grammar or spelling on the question, “What do I want to do for my INDS degree and why am I the person to do it?”

Assignment B

INDS Idols

Instructions: Identify two (2) professionals, academics, or practitioners who do the kind of work and/or exemplify the qualities you wish to have in your future career. Include the names of your Idols and for each one provide two to three sentences on why you have chosen the person.

Assignment C

Degree Plan Diagrams

Instructions: Use Prezi (or Powerpoint if you absolutely must) to create a degree plan diagram. Your diagram should include the following sections: 1) Degree Plan idea; 2) disciplines involved; 3) why I want this (use your free write to help here); 4) INDS Idols; 5) preliminary class list; 6) how is your Degree Plan interdisciplinary; and 7) capstone project ideas. You won’t be able to fully fill out all the sections right now, but you should at least have thoughtful language for each of the first five sections. Do the best you can and this diagram will grow as the semester progresses. Here are links to two Prezis to aid your work:
Environment and History
Food Systems

Assignment D

Degree Plan Read and Critique

Instructions:  Read a degree plan from another INDS student and critique it using the Degree Plan Rubric.

Assignment E

Degree Plan Description

Instructions: Write a first draft of your Degree Plan Description. Your description should follow the instructions of the Degree Plan form.

In approximately 300 words, provide a description of the topic or field you wish to study. In your description include the disciplines your degree plan will integrate and the valuable insights, knowledge, and/or methods each discipline contributes to your chosen area of study. Where possible or appropriate, use definitions of your field as established by professional, associations focused on the area. Also, include a sample of the kinds of problems or topics your field addresses and name one relevant and credible researcher or practitioner involved in that work. Choose between 1 and 3 Affective Functional Competencies that you intend to acquire as a result of this degree and write these at the end of this description.

Use the rubric to check your work.

 Assignment F

Degree Plan Learning Objectives

Instructions: Write a first draft of your Learning Objectives including the courses that will satisfy the objectives. Where possible please use language that is either identical or similar to the language you are using in your Degree Plan Description. We have included the writing prompt for the “Learning Objectives” section below.

Write learning objectives to describe the areas of knowledge and skills needed for your degree. Number each objective and list the courses you intend to take to achieve each objective, with titles and acronyms clearly spelled out for each course. At least one research methods course should be included in your degree plan. At the end of each learning objective, indicate which of UMBC’s functional competencies it seeks to address.

Use the rubric to check your work.

Assignment G

Personal Statement

Instructions:  Write a one page personal statement that tells the story of how you came to be an Interdisciplinary Studies student.  What important events, experiences, or ideas have you had that have served as the basis for your chosen interdisciplinary field?  If you have completed the Free Write assignment, you may find it helpful now.  You can find some helpful hints on what to think about when writing a personal statement at the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Assignment H

Cover Letter

Instructions: Write a first draft of the cover letter for your degree plan. We have included instructions for the Cover Letter pulled from the Degree Plan memo handed out at the beginning of class.

Your cover letter should be addressed to the members of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee (ISC). In your one page letter, explain to the ISC what you wish to study and why INDS is the appropriate place for you. Give a brief discussion of your background and how you developed an interest in the subject of your degree plan. Also, briefly discuss how your INDS degree might enable your future endeavors. You will have an opportunity on the degree plan form to discuss your future plans in greater depth. You may also include an acknowledgement of any help or inspiration you received writing your proposal from your faculty mentors, INDS advisor(s), or other relevant persons. The cover letter is your chance to advocate for yourself and your individualized degree. Let the ISC know why you and your plan are right for INDS.

Use the rubric to check your work.

Assignment I

Degree Plan Mentors

Instructions:  Using your degree plan description approach two potential mentors . When planning your approach, do preliminary background research on your potential mentors and establish deadlines for when you will contact them.  The following two documents will help you plan your strategy:

Faculty Mentor Approach

Guide to Collaborating with Faculty Mentors

Assignment J

Academic and Professional Development

Instructions:  Identify your long term, post graduation goals and construct a plausible plan B and explain how your degree plan prepares you for them.  Write your plans as an answer to the “Academic and Professional Development” section prompt.  You should write about 150 words.

First, describe your immediate post-graduation plans (e.g. volunteer service, graduate/professional school, job search). Explain how your degree plan prepares you to pursue these plans, especially concerning any particular requirements for entrance into graduate/professional school. Second, describe your long-range career, intellectual, or artistic goals and discuss how your degree plan prepares you to pursue those goals.

Assignment K

“Internships and Independent Studies”

Instructions: Identify past, present, or future internships and/or independent studies related to your degree plan and describe their relevance.  Write your answer as a response to the “Internships and Independent Studies” section prompt.  You should write between 100 and 150 words.

Discuss one or more internships, applied learning experiences or independent studies (past, present or future) that help you further your academic and professional goals.

Assignment L

Capstone Project Ideas

Instructions:  Develop two capstone project ideas in collaboration with your INDS advisor or a group of your fellow INDS majors.  Focus on the broader ‘question about the world’ you want to address and think of ways you might feasibly do so over the two semester INDS 480, INDS 490 sequence.  Write up each idea in a paragraph about 100 words in length.

Assignment M

Read a Past Capstone Project

Instruction:  Read and assess a capstone project from an INDS graduate.  In your assessment consider the following questions:  Does the author make the interdisciplinary nature of the project clear and describe the specific interdisciplinary techniques used to complete the project?  Do the ideas you are considering for your capstone project still seem plausible given the example you have read?

Assignment N

(Cognitive) Functional Competencies and Affective Functional Competencies

Instruction: Consider the (Cognitive) Functional Competencies identified by the university as skills all UMBC students should develop and the Affective Functional Competencies identified by the Applied Learning Experience/Affective Functional Competencies Project.  Of these CFCs and AFCs chose the ones that exemplify the skills you wish to develop through your career as an INDS student.  Using your e-portfolio, together we will observe how you have developed these skills from your time in INDS 335 through your graduation.

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