The development of a portfolio is a rigorous process that requires students to document learning – theoretical and practical – equivalent to a particular Penn State course.
Students must have completed a minimum of three Penn State credits.
- Student identifies the specific Penn State course for which equivalency is requested.
- Student obtains approval to develop a portfolio using the “Initial Application for a Review of Prior Experiential Learning.” Approval indicates that the student’s intended documentation appears to justify the development of a portfolio; it does not guarantee that credit will be awarded.
- Student submits complete portfolio within 10 weeks of approval of “Initial Application for Review” but not later than the fifth week of the semester prior to the semester of intended graduation. PORTFOLIOS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED DURING THE SEMESTER OF INTENDED GRADUATION.
- Portfolio and “Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application” is emailed to the Academic Affairs Department contact, Kim Birch, [email protected], for payment of the nonrefundable portfolio fee ($390 per portfolio).
- Payment is documented in the “fee paid” block, and signs the form where indicated.
- Student submits the form and portfolio to the Department/Division Head for forwarding to the faculty reviewer (the faculty member who signed the initial application for review).
- After review, and in consultation with the Department/Division Head, faculty member forwards the portfolio and Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application back to the Department/Division Head. Signatures of the faculty reviewer, Campus Program Head, and Department/Division Head indicate approval of the portfolio.
- Student will be notified of approval or lack thereof within 8 weeks of faculty receipt of the portfolio. Adhering to this timeline will allow students to meet their intended timeline for graduation, particularly if a portfolio is not approved for credit.
- When approved, the portfolio is submitted to Office of the Registrar - Abington 1600 Woodland Road, Sutherland 118/121, Abington, PA 19001 (c/o Timothy Smalarz) [email protected]
Students are allowed a maximum of two opportunities to prove learning:
- through the original portfolio submission and
- one additional submission if additional information or revisions are requested by faculty upon the first review.
- Does the portfolio document learning, not just experience?
- Is the learning at the appropriate level?
- Is there a balance between theoretical learning and practical application?
- Is the learning equivalent to a Penn State course?
- Is there sufficient evidence that this learning does not duplicate credit already awarded?
Parts of the Portfolio
Portfolios may differ, but the items listed below are usually part of any portfolio:
- Abington College Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application
- Table of Contents
- Resume and/or Autobiography/Educational Goals Statement - this section provides an important overview by introducing the student to the faculty member through a chronology of life experiences relevant to the portfolio submission. The goals statement is generally 300-400 words in length.
- Detailed description of experience(s) *
- Description of the learning - the description of the experience and learning may be blended into one essay. This section is generally 8-20 pages in length. Students are expected to review relevant course textbooks and to refer to the course syllabus in demonstrating learning equivalent to the content of the course. Through observation and reflection, students are expected to demonstrate, when appropriate, conceptual and theoretical knowledge derived from their experiences.
- Documentation (direct and indirect)
- Annotated bibliography
*The portfolio can include knowledge or skills gained from a wide variety of sources. Some of the more common sources for portfolio assessment are:
- full- or part-time jobs
- independent reading or study
- training programs or in service courses
- volunteer work
- cultural and artistic pursuits hobbies and recreational activities
- community service
- military service
- travel study
- organizational memberships