Examples of Certificates of Appreciation and Its Content by pwq12627


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									Approved by Undergraduate Program Committee – February 15, 2008

                                   College of Education
                        Guidelines for Graduation with Distinction
The university undergraduate catalog states,“[E]ach dean has the option to select on the basis of
exceptional achievement 1% of the college’s graduates or one student per semester for graduating with

These guidelines were developed to bring both rigor and flexibility to the process of determining students
who will merit the designation of “graduation with distinction.” Students may excel in several areas or
just a few, yet be meritorious. To Graduate with Distinction in the College of Education, the student
should clearly stand apart from peers.

The designation of Graduation with Distinction may be awarded to students who are meritorious and
demonstrate excellence in the areas of: Academic Excellence, Professional Development, Service, and
Inquiry/Scholarship/ Research. The following are descriptions of each of these areas, and the examples
are representative of ways students may demonstrate each of the categories:

        Academic Excellence

        Academic excellence involves demonstrating an understanding of content knowledge and how
        one integrates content knowledge into pedagogical content knowledge. The student should be
        able to demonstrate his/her understanding of the: (a) process of learning and the theoretical bases
        of human development; (b) historical and social context of the schools, families, and/or
        communities; (c) cultural impacts on learning; (d) impact of learning for the non-native English
        speakers; and (e) inclusion and equity concepts in schools and communities. A student who
        receives the Graduation with Distinction Award will have expertise in the common
        professional knowledge base as well as the specific bases of his/her field. Therefore, students
        must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 hours excluding the last semester of internship
        and any courses taken in that semester. Also, at the time of graduation, the student must have
        completed a minimum of 45 credit hours at USF since being admitted to the College of
        Education. The student also will need to demonstrate his/her proficiency in the use of technology
        for instruction, assessment, and as an administrative tool, as well as his/her ability to assist
        learners/clients in becoming competent users of technology. Lastly, the student will adhere to
        professional codes of conduct and demonstrate ethical behavior in addressing diverse
        characteristics, including learning exceptionalities, in his/her recipient populations.

        Professional Development

        Professional development may be evidenced in a variety ways that include participation in
        academic and scholarly organizations, learned societies, and/or honor societies such as Kappa
        Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and SCATT. Beyond membership, students must demonstrate active
        participation and leadership and/or contribution to professional development activities. Students
        may participate in and contribute to presentations at professional conferences. The student must
        also demonstrate that his/her membership had impact on his/herself and others.


        Service with distinction may include, but is not limited to, work with organizations such as
        schools, hospitals, and agencies in the United Fund. Evidence of distinction in service should
        involve efforts within an organized structure, and those efforts must be documented with letters
        of appreciation, certificates, and/or letters on letterhead stationary from an officer or administrator
Approved by Undergraduate Program Committee – February 15, 2008

        or similar authority of the organization. Additionally, the student should provide a summary
        describing his/her service and its impact on others.

        Note: Participation in organized service learning activities that are requirements of courses, as
        well as volunteer work for which the student receives academic credit or monetary compensation
        should not be included.

        Inquiry/ Scholarship/ Research

        On the undergraduate level, scholarly activity may be exhibited in a variety of ways, depending
        on the opportunities provided to or sought by the student. To demonstrate distinctive work in this
        area, the student must clearly demonstrate evidence beyond the requirements to successfully
        complete courses. Outstanding students consistently elect to take advantage of opportunities to
        increase his/her expertise in research. While it seems logical that a number of opportunities to
        meet these requirements will be met within the university, they are not limited to these and can
        take place outside the university context.

        Examples of evidence may include, but are not limited to:

              Demonstration of understanding of research by independently completing research projects.
              Participation in and support of the conduct of research by faculty.
              Participation in research colloquia.
              Conducting action research as part of field experiences.
              Making presentations at professional meetings.

Nomination Process

The nomination period will be during the semester before the student is scheduled to graduate. Students
may be nominated by individual faculty, faculty groups, or student groups. If a student wishes to apply
he/she must have either an individual faculty member or faculty group nominate him/her. If a student
group wishes to nominate an applicant they would likewise need to have an individual faculty member
nominate the student. Upon being nominated, the student will be sent the guidelines and an application
form. The student must then assemble the necessary materials with supporting evidence by the
established date.

Selection Process

A committee of three faculty and no more than two undergraduate students representing different majors
and/or departments/school will review the application packets and provide a list of recommended students
to the dean of the College of Education. Every attempt will be made to select committee members who
represent departments/school other than those of the applicants. Since the number of awards may vary
depending on the number of graduates each semester, the number of recommendations forwarded to the
dean may also vary. The number of students recommended to the dean will be no more than the number
of awards to be given that semester. Final decisions on the applications will be made by the dean of the
College of Education.

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