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This assignment was designed to help students bring together the multiple threads of the First Year Seminar; students contextualize their past, present, and future stories within their personal, academic, and career goals. This assignment asked students to revise the writing they’ve done in past ePortfolio reflections, incorporate outside information from a range of sources, and plan out a realistic path for achieving their goals at LaGuardia and beyond.

Students are prepared for this assignment throughout the semester:

  • In week 2, we talk about the value of the personal narrative via the About Me reflection for ePortfolio. Why does your past matter? How does writing about your past help faculty and advisors guide you toward success at LaGuardia? This assignment and conversation prepares students for the “Personal Goal” section of the Setting Goals paper.
  • In week 4, we go over career planning, including an assignment that asks students to research education requirements, typical daily tasks, work environments, and salary. How do you balance your dreams with practical concerns? What kinds of jobs (or internships) should you seek out before you’re eligible for the job you really want? This assignment and conversation prepares students for the “Career” section of the Setting Goals paper.
  • In week 5, we cover how to pick a major and in week 8, we discuss transfer planning. Assignments in these weeks ask students to gather concrete and practical information about their chosen major and senior colleges. Are there more math classes than you expected for this major? Will your transfer credits count? What percentage of financial need do your selected senior colleges cover? Does the way the college is portrayed by students on social media match up with brochures? These assignments and conversations prepare students for the “Academic” section of the Setting Goals paper.
  • Students are also prepared for the research component of this paper in week 7, when we go over where to locate various types of information and how to use it via summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation.

This assignment is completed over several weeks of the course:

  • In week 6, we went over the Setting Goals paper, including discussion about what makes a goal a S.M.A.R.T. goal. At the end of the Studio Hour for that week, students emailed me the three goals they were planning to address.
  • In week 7, students turned in rough drafts of the paper. For the rough draft, students were required to have the goal and story written; the research section for each goal did not have to be complete.
  • In week 9, students engaged in a peer-review of each other’s papers, offering advice about how to make their goals more concrete, and what could make their stories more engaging. Students received their classmate’s comments along with my comments.
  • The final draft of their paper was due in week 11.

The assignment was graded in sections:


Rough Draft




Final Draft


This resource is part of the First Year Seminar Curricular Resources.

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