Table of Contents
Table of contents of the portfolio with supporting documents noted.
An up-to-date resume detailing education and employment history.
A 2-3 page essay based on the resume providing a context for the experiences and documentation the student provides.
Transcripts and Progression Sheet
Up-to-date TU transcript documenting transfer credit from other institutions and up-to-date progression sheet for the student’s major program signed by the student’s advisor.
Significant Learning Outline
The Significant Learning Outline is a way to reflect on your life experiences as they directly relate to this portfolio. A Significant Learning Outline addressing learning competencies of the course for which credit is being requested must be included in each specific course portfolio you submit.
(The Significant Learning Outline worksheet will help you develop your outline.)
- Develop a chronological outline of your applicable life experiences. The categories listed on the worksheet include employment, workshops, volunteer work, recreation, military service, licenses, and travel.
- For each category, list what you have done, indicate how much time was involved, and describe the activities.
- Next, explain what you learned using action verbs (i.e., differentiate, compare, contrast, list, calculate, solve, construct, organize, etc.). Compare these lists of competencies with those of the course for which you request credit in your portfolio.
- The last section of the outline is documentation, or evidence, to verify both the experience and the learning. For example, a certificate of completion for a training seminar in public speaking may document your attendance at the activity but it may not necessarily indicate how well you performed or if you learned anything at all. To document learning, you may need a sample of your work, a copy of the notes you took in class, a letter from your supervisor explaining how your public speaking skills on the job improved after the training, or a combination of these.
(adapted from Upper Iowa University)
From the information and supporting documentation on your Significant Learning Outline, you will develop an essay to relate the learning from your experiences to the concepts summarized in the course’s learning outcomes. This essay, or "narrative," is a detailed explanation of your activities and the resulting competencies achieved.
- Use the course outcomes to guide your discussion of your accomplishment. Use the learning outcomes to structure your narrative.
- In a chronological order, explain where, why, and what experiences were involved and how the learning relates to your degree plan. Explain how this learning is applicable outside the specific job or context in which it was learned.
- Demonstrate that you have the appropriate balance of theory and application.
- The narrative will incorporate terminology appropriate to the course and examples of applications of the concepts as demonstrated through your accomplishments. Consider the narrative as an “open book” take-home test. Make sure it is clear, concise and free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, or spelling. It needs to demonstrate college-level writing and critical thinking. The narrative may be three to ten pages in length, depending on the course.
Each of your experiences and competencies will require verification. This "evidence" can take several forms.
- Completion of training programs, workshops, seminars, etc., may be verified through certificates, personnel records, or letters from the instructors. In addition, outline each workshop, training program, or seminar on the description form.
- Employment history and job responsibilities may be documented on copies of performance appraisals, company job descriptions, examples of projects or reports (verified as your work), or a supervisor's letter of verification. Evidence of volunteer work may include awards, newspaper articles, or letters of commendation.
- Include samples of presentations you have generated and verified as your work to document competency.
- Letters are a common form of verification and can be very effective if the writer understands the purpose of the letter. When you request an individual write a letter of verification, provide the person with the course description/learning outcomes you are presenting in your portfolio. Explain you are requesting equivalent college credit for your experiential learning.
- As you collect documentation, make clear to the evaluator how the documentation relates to your learning. You may need to add an explanation to the documentation or, if the correlation is not clear, you may need to ask yourself if it is relevant and whether it should be included at all. Extraneous or inappropriate documentation may indicate to the evaluator that you lack understanding of how your experiences relate to your learning.
Two Employer References