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Criteria

In order to be as helpful as possible to applicants, we are posting here two rubrics used by the selection committee to help them choose a winner.  It is important to note that these are merely guidelines: scores do not lead directly to a winner, there is still plenty of debate about who should win, and other factors do get considered.  However, it is fair to say that the rubrics do help the committee quickly narrow the pool to a top 2-4 about whom they can begin their debate.

Rubric 1, borrowed from the PSU Graduate School of Education:

  Letters of recommendation  Experience with and/or knowledge of the field they are pursuing. 
 Weak (1) Recommendations are negative.  Essays do not demonstrate experience with and/or knowledge of the field they are pursuing. 
 Average (2) Recommendations are generally positive but are very superficial, with no specific comments relevant to the applicant's field of study.  Essays demonstrate limited experience with and/or knowledge of the field they are pursuing. 
 Above average (3) Recommendations are positive and contain comments about the applicant's personal qualities which are relevant to their potential field of study (ex. dependability, maturity, empathy, strong interpersonal communication skills, work with diverse populations), and/or education or counseling experience.  Essays demonstrate moderate experience with and/or knowledge of the field they are pursuing. 
 Exceptional (4) Recommendations are very positive and contain specific comments about the applicant's qualities which are relevant to their potential, field of study (ex. dependability, maturity, empathy, strong interpersonal communication skills, work with diverse populations), and/or education or counseling experience. Additionally, the recommender(s) mention(s) overcoming obstacles, obtaining professional achievements, and/or other specific and relevant accomplishments.  Essays demonstrate substantial experience with and/or knowledge of the field they are pursuing, and articulate more advanced thinking such as challenges they may encounter, goals they hope to achieve in the field, and/or specific approaches they hope to utilize. 

Rubric 2, A scoresheet

 Criteria Weak (1) Average (2) Good (3) Excellent (4) Exceptional (5) Additional Comments
 1. Academic Performance to Date       
 2. Projected Future Academic Performance      
 3. Demonstrated experience with and/or knowledge of field of study      
 4. Essay content and writing quality      
 5. Commitment to and experience with inspiring others to learn more about renewable energy       
 6. Service      
 7. Other