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The MPPA Porfolio Project

An Overview: The MPPA student portfolio has a two-fold purpose:

 (1) to create a framework that illustrates how courses in the Foundations, Management, and Policy portions of the UT MPPA curriculum advance designated learning outcomes, program goals, and competencies identified by NASPAA (the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration);   (2) to create a collection of the student’s work reviewed and evaluated by faculty that provides prospective employers with examples and illustrations of the student’s knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to specific learning outcomes such as leading and managing in public governance; participating in and contributing to the policy process; analyzing, synthesizing, thinking critically, solving problems or making decisions; articulating and applying a public service perspective; and communicating and interacting productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.


The student portfolios provide another means for the faculty to evaluate student success in mastering desired learning outcomes. Regular faculty assessment of the quality of the student portfolios is expected to inform decisions about how best to improve/facilitate student mastery of desired learning outcomes. What the students get is a platform to showcase their writing, presentation, and analytical/design skills & abilities for prospective employers.

Process and Procedure

Faculty who teach courses in the Foundations, Management, and Policy sections of the MPPA curriculum shall identify the discrete project or product in their respective course(s) that they think best illustrates how that course advances particular learning outcomes and program goals. The course syllabus or separate instructions should identify the project that students should use for their MPPA Student Portfolio.  All portfolio projects shall be reviewed and evaluated by the faculty of the course and deemed acceptable for inclusion in the MPPA Portfolio. Only projects or products designated as “acceptable” by the faculty member can be used for portfolio.

Content & Organization of the Portfolio

Each student is responsible for producing a Portfolio that has a project or product (identified by the course instructor) for each of the six courses in the Foundations portion of the curriculum, a product from either POLS 513 or POLS 514, and one other product from either the Policy or Management Track selected by the student. Students shall provide the Director of the MPPA program with a single PDF file of the completed Portfolio that follows the format specified in Structure of the MPPA Portfolio. Submission of a completed MPPA Portfolio that contains at least eight acceptable projects is expected before the student takes the Comprehensive Exam for the MPPA degree.   MPPA Students may use the latest editions of either the APA (American Psychological Association) or the Chicago Manual of Style. Whichever style is employed, it must be used consistently within the student's products.

Structure for the MPPA Portfolio

Cover Page –titled UT MPPA Portfolio Project   It should also have:

  • ' your name'
  • 'date of completion for the portfolio'
  • 'Management,' 'Policy', or 'Management & Policy Tracks'   
  • ' Semester/yr'  you plan to graduate

Contents Page e.g.:

Foundation Courses:

  • Political Science 550: Public Administration3
    Tennessee Increased Citizen Participation Plan
  • Political Science 512: Quantitative Political Analysis7
    Knox County School System – Comparative District Analysis
  • Political Science 548: Public Policy Process0
    Millennial Engagement in the Republican Party
  • Political Science 560: Public Financial Administration23
    Popular Annual Financial Report, City of Oak Ridge
  • Political Science 566: Public Service Ethics and Values33
    Ethics in Law Enforcement
  • Economics 570: Economics of the Public Sector43
    The Economic Pros & Cons of School Vouchers

Policy Courses:

  • Political Science 543: Law, Regulation, and Public Policy57
    Title IX Protections for Transgender Students
  • Political Science 685: Conflict Processes68
    The Sustainability of Leverage Through Foreign Aid as Dependent upon
    Congressional Funding

(Note: this student chose to include two examples of class policy projects). Only ONE management or One policy project is required unless you chose "Both" tracks. In that case, submit one of each.

Page 3: Replicate the Instructor's instructions for the course portfolio project and then insert your project on the following page. Follow this format for all subsequent course projects in your portfolio. e.g.:

Political Science 550: Public Administration- Dr. Patricia K. Freeland
Instructor Guidelines: Address the memo to the appropriate official, given the topic. Your paper should be well organized with an introduction, a section where you explain the issue, followed by (if appropriate) a set of recommendations and reasons for these recommendations. You may use headings and bullet points if you wish. The topic should draw on organizational theory and the memo should focus on citizen participation.

            The Memo follows….

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