All students at the Bush School are strongly encouraged to pursue the Medal of Excellence beginning their first year at the Bush School. Earning the Medal of Excellence requires students to complete the Leadership Certificate and to prepare a reflective learning ePortfolio, which documents what the student has learned throughout his or her degree program. More than a showcase of writing samples, the reflective learning portfolio prompts students to connect their learning across interdisciplinary experiences, such as participation in leadership programs, courses, internships, and other experiences, in light of the careers they are pursuing. Students developing the ePortfolio are supported through workshops, online resources, and individual consultations with both the writing consultants and their academic advisors.
Developing an effective ePortfolio requires students to (1) write meaningful reflections, documenting where, how, and when learning has occurred and to what degree learning is transferrable to new contexts; (2) apply best practices for online writing, including the use of privacy levels best suited for their intended career path; and (3) revise written work to demonstrate strong editing skills. Beginning next fall, a zero-credit course (Writing for the Medal of Excellence) will be offered to students who want to begin working on their ePortfolios while learning writing skills they can apply beyond the course.
Students have two years to complete the requirements for the Medal, and they submit their work for final review at the end of their second year. Students earning the Medal of Excellence receive two awards at a ceremony held in the spring of the year they graduate:
- a medal that includes their name, program, and graduation year on the back and
- a certificate presented by the dean.
More information can be found at the Bush School Writing website, which also includes a checklist for Medal of Excellence eligibility.