Opportunity Analysis Assignment & Grading Information
SNHU 303 ~ Spring 2015
DUE: Multiple Dates. See assignment details and syllabus.
IMPORTANT GRADING AND ASSESSMENT INFORMATION: (1) Submit assigned sections through Assignment tab on Blackboard for your grade (2) Submit final paper—all sections in one document– through the Assessment tab in Blackboard for General Education Assessment in Chalk & Wire
Assignment Information This assignment connects to the Critical and Creative Thinking learning goal of General Education.
In this Opportunity Analysis paper you will compare and contrast two options to consider in your life after SNHU. From your research you will evaluate which of the options you are likely to pursue. These two post-graduation options might be:
• two different jobs
• two different graduate programs
• getting a job vs. going to graduate school
• volunteering (Vista, Peace Corps) vs. going to graduate school
• or another combination
Because life can present changes and unforeseen opportunities when we least expect it, you need to consider options. Therefore, even if you have a definitive view of what you will be doing following graduation, considering other options will only aid you in your decision-making and help prepare you to be agile in an ever-changing economy, labor market, and life.
For this paper you will utilize the tools that you have been using. These resources include:
• Research tools such as:
• Career Shift
• Occupational Outlook (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
You will also utilize the work you have already accomplished in SNHU 303:
• SNHUfolio: You will be reviewing and augmenting the SNHUfolio you started in SNHU 101/202, or in SNHU 303. This review will help you recognize the skill sets that you can present to potential decision-makers whether it’s for a job, graduate school, or other experience. Utilize this opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments to help guide your analysis in this paper.
• Informational Interview: You will be conducting an informational interview with someone currently in, or who has previously held/been involved in, one of the opportunities you are researching. The results of the informational interview will be incorporated and duly referenced in your analysis. You are welcome to conduct more than one informational interview if you feel that would help with your decision-making process.
• Personal Finance Spreadsheet: Based on the path you are most likely to pursue after graduation, you will complete a financial analysis using your Personal Finance Expense Sheet. As part of your summary statement, you will reference your personal financial analysis and indicate why it is, or is not, an important factor in your decision.
Basic Components of the Opportunity Analysis Paper
Your Opportunity Analysis Paper should contain the following components divided into sections for submission.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to note your sources at the conclusion of each section.
Part I: Due January 30th
Discuss the post-graduation opportunities you are researching and why you chose them.
Topics to cover:
I. Description/expectations of this career/graduate program/experience
a. Expectations, responsibilities, tasks, activities
b. Hours of work/study ordinarily required
c. Is there anything unusual about the hours or nature of the schedule which might relate to this career/graduate program/experience? (Seasonal fluctuations, travel requirements, days, nights, split shifts, etc.)
d. What does a typical day look like?
e. What hazards can you anticipate in this job career/graduate program/experience?
Part II: Due February 6th
II. Education/entrance requirements
a. Preparation for this career/graduate program/experience, including courses you’ve taken or will take?
b. Any armed forces training opportunities that relate to this career/graduate program/experience?
c. Other training-certifications, tests, apprenticeship, company or on-the-job training?
d. Is there a need for continuing education?
a. What skills, abilities, knowledge, aptitudes are required to be successful?
b. What are the most common methods of entry into this career/graduate program/experience?
Part III: Due March 27th
IV. Outlook and Salary Expectations
a. What are the employment trends and projections relating to this career/graduate program/experience?
b. Where (geographically, culturally) are opportunities related to this career/graduate program/experience most often found? Why?
c. What are the salary expectations depending on your level of experience and education? What are the average national earnings? What earning can you expect geographically?
d. List some benefits, other than salary, that you would expect to gain from this career/graduate program/experience.
V. Financial Analysis
a. What expenses might you have to meet in following this career/graduate program/experience?
b. Will you be able to meet your anticipated expenses after graduation (Personal Finance Spreadsheet list from early in the semester)?
Part IV: Due April 3rd
I. As a result of the research you conducted, what is your anticipated path after graduation?
II. What were some of the key deciding factors?
III. Has your decision changed? Stayed the same? Why?
Format of the Opportunity Analysis Paper
Compare/Contrast Format Options
Within the Body of your paper you can choose to utilize either the point-by-point format for a compare/contrast analysis or, the subject-by-subject. In a point-by-point format, you would compare and contrast both of your options as you move from point to point. In our case, you would provide a Description (Topic I) of both of your options before moving on to discuss the Education Requirements (Topic II) for both of your options.
In a subject-by-subject format, you would cover each of the topics (I-V) for one of your options and then do the same for your other option.
Length and Layout
Your Opportunity Analysis Paper should be 5-10 pages in length. The layout should feature:
• 12 pt. font
• One-inch (1”) margins on four sides of the paper
• Double spacing
• If citations are being used, the APA Style is to be utilized
Note: Consult the following resource for citation information:
mySNHU > Academics > Shapiro Library > Research Links (menu tab) > Citing Your Sources
Your Opportunity Analysis Paper will be graded based on the clarity and depth of content you put into your analysis and your use of relevant sources for research. The rubric below will be used to grade your paper:
SNHU 303 Opportunity Analysis Paper Grading Rubric Points Possible Points Earned
5 points for the quality and completeness of each of the required components :
____ Education/ Entrance Requirements
____ Outlook & Salary Expectations
____ Financial Analysis
35 = you access information using a variety of search strategies and relevant information sources
20 = you access information using simple search strategies from limited sources
0 = no research strategies are used in this paper.
Grammar, spelling, & organization
10 points possible for accuracy and quality of each (0 = needs much improvement; 10 = excellent):
? Grammar: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
? Spelling: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
? Organization: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Note: Grave errors in this section may also impact the others – good grammar is important! 30
Your Opportunity Analysis Paper will be assessed using the following rubric for university assessment purposes (this does not impact your grade).
Rubric for SNHU 303 Critical Tasks: Opportunity Analysis Paper; Cover Letter and Resume
Professionalism (PSR 7)
Research Paper Completes required work. Completes required work and identifies opportunities to expand knowledge, skills, and abilities. Completes required work, explores a topic in depth, and expands knowledge, skills, and abilities. Developing a mature sense of self-presentation. Completes required work, explores topics in unusual depth, and generates and pursues opportunities to expand knowledge, skills, and abilities. Shows a capacity to develop as a learner outside the classroom while presenting him/herself in a mature/professional manner.
Access the needed information
Accesses information randomly, retrieves information that lacks relevance and quality. Accesses information using simple search strategies, retrieves information from limited and similar sources Accesses information using variety of search strategies and some relevant information sources. Demonstrates ability to refine search. Accesses information using effective, well-designed search strategies and most appropriate information sources.
Context of and Purpose for Writing/Speaking [COM 3]
Cover Letter & Resume Has an implied purpose and demonstrates some attention to audience needs and assignment. Demonstrates awareness of context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks (e.g. begins to show awareness of audience’s perceptions and assumptions) Has a clear definition of purpose that is used to control the organization and reasoning of the assignment. Analysis of purpose and audience expectations is evident throughout. Has a sophisticated and nuanced definition of purpose that is used to focus all elements. Work is responsive to the assigned task and demonstrates initiative in defining task and audience.