* A table of contents.
* Copies of all your evaluations from faculty and self evaluations.
* Copies of transcripts from other schools (if applicable).
* Course completion summary with equivalencies.
* A writing sample(your best recent paper).
* Your planning guide documents.
* A record sheet with current course information.
These basic items should be easily accessible in your portfolio so that you can extract them to take to evaluation conferences, advising sessions, interviews with contract sponsors and, later, employment interviews or graduate school application interviews.
* Examples of your best work in your area of emphasis (e.g. photographs, paintings, research documents, etc.).
* Current catalog (and next year's as soon as it is available).
* A copy of the Academic Advising Handbook.
* Any other documents related to education (e.g. honors).
* Work experience (e.g. internships, practicum, work-study).
* Copies of letters of reference.
* Competencies (e.g. papers, projects, workshops, courses, speaking engagements, list of skills and achievements).
* Professional development (e.g. philosophy of work, career goals and objectives, professional affiliations, resources and contacts, job search records).
* Assessments (e.g. interest inventories or surveys).
Useful "Process" Additions
- Descriptions of ideal work (working conditions, people environments, geographical location, salary desired).
- Descriptions of future visions.
- Significant journal entries.
- Significant correspondence.
- Record of important conversations.
- Scrapbook stuff (tickets, programs, photographs).
Timeline and Strategy for Portfolio Development
First Year: Focus on developing academic competencies and integrating the college experience. Initiate portfolio. If nothing else establish a place to house all the materials that may make up your portfolio (kitchen drawer approach).
Second Year: Focus on individual assessment. Document any work that you are doing to become intentional about academic direction, personal growth, relationships, skills, career development and competencies.
Third Year: Focus on values and exploring options. Keep track of professional affiliations, research, informational interviewing, travel experiences, any record of your efforts to seek out new experiences or "adventures."
Fourth Year: Focus on transition. Knowing that this may be your busiest and most stressful year, attention should be given to: reviewing the journey (portfolio), acknowledging endings, summarizing your learning experience, and preparing for new beginnings.
A portfolio has been defined as a selection or collection of representative works. While a part of your portfolio will be just that, most of your work will center around your own personal, academic and professional development. Therefore, your portfolio will extend beyond the most common use of portfolios and become a tool for documenting your progress, celebrating your accomplishments and acknowledging your transitions.
If you are making proper use of your portfolio it should prove to be the process by which you can know what you know. As you might imagine, this can be very important if a part of your process includes making sense out of your learning experiences or intentionally planning your academic work at Evergreen.