College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


A professional portfolio consists of materials representative of one’s work. It is a collection of one’s accomplishments and a demonstration of one’s abilities. The MPA Portfolio is a required developmental component of the program, designed to assist students and their advisors in planning course selection, and to encourage students to reflect on and integrate their experiences while in the program. Portfolios can also communicate the quality of one’s work to future employers. Primarily, constructing a professional portfolio should be seen as the basis for continuing career development.

Students begin keeping their portfolios in MPA 5100, recording self-assessments of strengths and weaknesses, and developing an individual plan for professional development. MPA students will collect their work throughout each course in the program, choosing the best to showcase in the final portfolio prepared in advance of taking the capstone class, MPA 600.

Portfolios should have at least the following sections, with others added according to the student’s goals:

  1. Academic Abilities
  2. Leadership and Team Skills
  3. Ethics and Professional Standards
  4. Public Service / Management
  5. Professional Growth and Continuing Education

Academic Abilities:
The development and improvement of skills in writing, speaking, research, computer use, and quantitative and qualitative analysis. Keeping track of program requirements and taking responsibility for individual progress.

Leadership and Team Skills:
Giving directions, setting and communicating expectations and values, learning how to understand group dynamics and work with a group, and developing teams are all important abilities in developing greater public management capacities.

Ethics and Professional Standards:
Understanding and applying professional standards and codes of ethics for public administration and the academic world. This includes a sensitivity and ability to promote democratic values, constitutional principles, human dignity and diversity.

Public Service and Management:
To value making a contribution to society, to develop and exemplify the core ethic of public sector management, and to better understand the larger community.

Professional Growth and Continuing Education:
Involvement in continuing education through professional organizations. To pay attention to becoming well-rounded as an individual, particularly in support of management effectiveness and to take advantage of opportunities to renew oneself.

Learning Outcomes:

academic skills



public service

professional development

research, analysis, scope of discipline and related scholarship

Give directions, identify group dynamics, share expectations and promote goals.

promote and foster democratic values, rule of law, human dignity and diversity

contribute to society and steward public resources

involvement in community and/or professional organizations, lifelong learning, nurturing of one’s potential