The rationale essay is the student’s explanation of the purposes, design and significance of her/his individual degree plan (from Policy statements, below). This policy outlines the expected components and outcomes of the rationale essay.
The rationale essay is the student’s explanation of the purposes, design and significance of her/his individual degree plan. It is likely that most students will develop their rationale early in their degree studies. Therefore, the rationale should be perceived as a planning (or prospective) document. In the rationale, each student:
The rationale essay accompanies and explains the student’s individual degree plan and is a key result of the required study in educational planning. Therefore, the essay is an important piece of writing in which the student should be able to take pride. Although not included in official transcripts from the college, the rationale is a part of the student’s permanent academic record.
The rationale essay should reflect the work the student did to meet the learning objectives in the educational planning study. The rationale is not an autobiography, nor is it a listing of degree components or courses. The student’s discussion of the degree design may vary in length depending on the complexity of the degree program. The student may submit one rationale for an associate and a bachelor’s degree program designed at the same time as long as the essay discusses both degrees. For students submitting two bachelor’s degrees simultaneously, a separate rationale has to be submitted for each degree. The rationale should be generally consistent with the degree program. The student should submit a revised rationale when there are significant revisions to the degree plan, such as in the title or design of the concentration or the substance of advanced standing.
The center portfolio review committee may require the student to revise the rationale essay to meet the expectations (for both substance and presentation) outlined above, as a condition for program approval.
Related Policies: Advanced Standing Credit: Transcript Credit; Policy and Procedures for Degree Program and Portfolio Review and Approval; Policy on Educational Planning Studies; Individual Prior Learning Assessment Policy and Procedures; Breadth of Degree Programs and SUNY General Education Requirements; Individualized Program Design: Bachelor’s Degrees; Individualized Program Design: Associate Degrees