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GCSP 302 – Spring 2019 – Syllabus



Dr. Maria Sanchez

ITE 217H

Office hours by appointment


Teaching Assistant

Ms. Kiplyn Jones

Office hours by appointment


Time and Location



See schedule here


Course Description

Students will take this one-credit seminar in their second semester in the program.  The seminar will provide a structured environment for students to design their pathways through the required program experiences, beginning to construct the e-portfolios that will serve as documentation of their experiences, and that will be used for assessment and verification of the program requirements. The Program Seminar is the second of three one-credit seminars that are required for Grand Challenge Scholars.  Permission required.


Overview of Course Structure

Students will work individually and in groups to develop and document their Grand Challenge program experiences.  Students in the Grand Challenge Scholars Programs are required to identify one of the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges and complete experiences related to their Grand Challenge in five program areas: research, interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, global perspectives, and service.  Students must submit a short proposal for each of the program areas in order to have their planned experience approved, and must then document completion of the experience in an e-portfolio.  Students in this course will have begun creating their e-portfolio in GCSP 301, and will be at different points in their progress.  Therefore, this seminar is designed to be flexible, but also to ensure that students have proposed all five program experiences by the end of the semester, and to have begun documenting them in the e-portfolio.


Most classes will be run as working sessions, with students working in groups to develop and refine their program area proposals and e-portfolios documenting their participation in the GCSP and their completion of the program requirements. Each of the five experiences has a set of associated core learning objectives, and the students also select several personalized learning objectives.  We are currently developing rubrics for each of the required learning objectives, and an open-ended rubric for assessing achievement of the personalized learning objectives.


Students’ grades will be based on the following weights:

Class participation 30%

Reflections 10%

Program area proposals 20%

E-portfolio 30%

Presentation 10%


The expectations for each of these assignment areas are straightforward, as is appropriate for a one-credit seminar:


Class Participation.  Students are expected to attend class daily (unless they have a documented medical or athletic excuse, or are attending an approved professional conference or other academic event), to work on their assignments, to contribute to class discussions, and to support and provide feedback to other students on their work.


Reflections.  Students will complete four reflection assignments (short writing prompts) that will be assessed with respect to specific learning objectives.  Each assignment is due one week after being assigned, and must be submitted in hardcopy by the beginning of class.  Late work will receive a penalty of 25% per day unless an extension has been arranged in writing prior to the due date.


Program Area Proposals.  Over the course of the semester, students must submit their five proposals for program area experiences.  Students will receive full credit for an approved proposal, and partial credit for a disallowed proposal (but may resubmit to increase their proposal grade for the seminar).  Proposals must be submitted by the due dates on the semester schedule unless an extension has been arranged in writing prior to the due date. Late proposals without an extension will receive a penalty of 25% per day.


Proposals require a short description (one paragraph) of the proposed experience, an estimate of the amount of time (expected completion date and total hours spent), a short explanation about how the experience relates to their Grand Challenge, and a very brief (one to two sentence) explanation of how the experience is anticipated to achieve each of the learning objectives. The purpose of the proposal is to ensure that the program experiences are of an appropriate nature and level of effort to meet the program requirements, and to provide an opportunity for early feedback and guidance about how to make the most of the experiences.


E-Portfolio. Students should already have created an initial “shell” for their e-portfolio in GCSP 301, and added a personal profile and a description of their selected Grand Challenge and why they chose it. In GCSP 302, they are expected to complete at least two of the five program-area sections of the e-portfolio.  Many students will complete these two experiences by the end of the semester, and can fully document the experience and how it meets the learning objectives.  Others will not yet have finished one or both of the experiences, but can still receive full credit for creating an e-portfolio section that is essentially an extended version of the program area proposal.


Academic Integrity.  GCSP 302 conforms with the UMBC Undergraduate Honor Statement and with UMBC’s policy on academic integrity.


By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC’s scholarly community in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal.


All work submitted for this course and for the Grand Challenge e-portfolio is expected to be the student’s own, original work.  Material and ideas from other sources must be properly cited and documented.  Collaboration is expected and welcomed, but if work is jointly authored, it should be indicated as such.  (For example, students may work together to develop common material for their e-portfolios, if they are focusing on the same Grand Challenge or using the same experience for their GCSP requirements.  Each of the students’ e-portfolios should indicate this joint authorship by naming the students who jointly developed the material.)  Undocumented collaboration will be treated as a violation of the academic integrity policy.  Violations will result in a minimum penalty of a grade of zero on the assignment in question and the student will also be required to recomplete the assignment in order to pass the class.  At the discretion of the instructor, and in consultation with the Academic Conduct Committee, more serious violations may result in a lowered letter grade, a failing grade in the class, expulsion from the Grand Challenge Challenge program, and/or institutional sanctions.


You do not need to document collaboration in the form of peer editing, suggestions that you receive on your writing, or pointers into the literature that are provided by peers or colleagues.


You do need to document jointly authored text that you and another student are both including in your submissions for the class or e-portfolios, as well as ideas and material from any online source, print source, or individual.   Exact quotes should appear in quotation marks, and a parenthetical or footnote citation should be provided.


If you have any questions about what is permitted under the academic integrity guidelines, please do not hesitate to consult with the course instructor or TA.