College of Education Sitemap
Skip to Main Content

Department of Teacher Education

Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum

Exit Performance Options & Resources

Preparing for Graduation

To meet the MATC Program Goals and Standards, candidates must demonstrate in their synthesis paper and portfolio artifacts clear, convincing evidence of their understanding of essential content and skills, professional growth and accomplishments while enrolled in the program. The portfolio and synthesis paper are considered the "final requirements" of the program and are typically (though not always) done in the student's final semester. Below is a general guideline to follow regarding readiness for graduation.

Graduation Checklist

TE 870 or TE 872 should be taken in the student's final semester. Occasionally, an elective/concentration course or two may be taken in a subsequent semester, but all program requirements must be completed by the end of the final semester a student is enrolled in a program. In any case, students must have completed at least 24 credits or 80 percent of the MATC done in order to complete the portfolio/synthesis paper project.

  1. Filing for graduation. Ideally, the Application for Graduation should be processed no later than the first week of the final semester a student is meeting requirements for the program. Typically, this will be enrollment in TE 870 or TE 872, the two selective "capstone" options and/or elective coursework. The online application then generates the student's Graduate Credit Statement and Final Certification for Degree (aka the "final cert"), which is the document the program, college and university use to process clearance for degree. The "final cert" lists graduate coursework, addresses residency and other requirements, including the posting of a passing M.A. "final exam" date for the portfolio and synthesis paper review.
  2. Completing the Application For Summative Review. This internal document is used to indicate and verify a student's readiness for review of the portfolio and synthesis paper.

Regarding the Portfolio

Students are provided help and resources in identifying each of these elements as well as instructional support throughout the process.

The portfolio is to be done online and includes the following:

• “Dear Reader” Introduction
• Table of Contents
• A copy of the revised MATC Program Goals and Standards
• An updated, professional résumé that includes a section called “Professional Activities” listing professional activities/accomplishments in the field or beyond MSU course work since admission to the MATC program
• A copy of the candidate’s Program Plan or MSU graduate record listing all courses taken in the MATC program with grades
• A link to the student's synthesis paper (PDF preferred)
• A judicious selection of original artifacts generated in the program and in the field
• Each artifact is clearly labeled and dated
• Artifact commentaries for each artifact

A portfolio includes ...

  • Items you think show your professional development during the time spent in the MATC program. These items are referred to as the "artifacts" used to demonstrate your best examples of meeting MATC Program Standards and Goals.
  • Evidence of self-reflection, self-regulated learning, self-knowledge and self-evaluation
  • Items that tell the story of your journey through the program and your professional development
  • Evidence of progress toward the program's multiple goals and the ability to synthesize your learning
  • Evidence of progress toward articulating and pursuing your professional goals
  • Peer observations, feedback, evaluation
  • Faculty guidance, review and feedback
  • Items that indicate transfer of learning and the pursuit of meaningful changes in policy/practice
  • Things that show growth and change in thinking, skills, interests, activities, attitudes
  • Items demonstrating "my best work done to date" or "look how far I've come!"

Regarding the Synthesis Paper

The accompanying 8-10 page synthesis paper is a narrative that tells, in first person, the student's "story" of their work in the MATC. Students are provided with writing/idea supports, opportunities for discussion and feedback about their work, and clear guidelines regarding formatting.

The Portfolio and Synthesis Paper: Online Program

Students in the online MATC must complete the portfolio and synthesis paper requirements in a web-based format. Support and guidance throughout the portfolio process are provided for online students, including opportunities to obtain peer-evaluation feedback.

For more information about the MATC portfolio and synthesis paper, please contact the MATC program advisor, Dr. Paul John Kurf: (517) 884-1889 or kurf@msu.edu. Additional Support is available through the MATC Portfolio & Synthesis Paper Support website introduced in TE 807 and TE 808 and reintroduced in TE 870 and TE 872.