Sue Demers, Career Portfolio Chairperson
The career portfolio is a compilation of four years of student work requiring teamwork between the student and the vocational and academic instructors. The student is responsible for the contents, and all instructors are responsible for guiding, encouraging, reviewing, and supporting the development of the portfolio. The four-year cumulative portfolio is refined during the senior year and presented for scoring as part of the school graduation requirements. To facilitate the creation of student portfolios, student work that demonstrates advanced or superior technical skills will be recognized by instructors and recommended for inclusion in the portfolio. Students are often unsure as to what qualifies for inclusion. Outstanding projects or skill sets should be photographed or documented and reported in the form of a 350 to 500-word narrative. Community service projects in which students demonstrate high-level technical skills make good entries. The projects chosen for inclusion in the portfolio should demonstrate the student’s attainment of several high-level vocational competencies and life skills. Evidence provided to accompany these projects should be detailed, clearly labeled, include technical terminology, and be accompanied by one or more digital images or drawings that enhance the narrative. Remember that the object of the portfolio is to showcase the individual as a motivated and skilled graduate of his or her technical area who is ready to continue on in the world of higher education or to enter the workforce.
Letters of recommendation from placement sites, vocational instructors, and members of the community should be collected for the portfolio. A wards and press releases citing high quality work the student completes as part of a group or as an individual should also be included. Ultimately, the portfolio is an advertisement for the student performing at his or her best. The portfolio, or parts of it, will serve students in the future as they seek access to higher education, and quality job placements.
The career portfolio will be divided into three sections: I. Employability, II. Credentials, and III. Work Samples. Although there are certain required entries for each section, provisions have been made for individual creativity. This flexibility allows individual technical areas to seamlessly incorporate the portfolio process into their own programs.
Assessment of the portfolio will take place in the spring of the senior year. Students will be afforded an opportunity for a second scoring if their first attempt does not meet the standard of “Meets Requirements”; a minimal score of 2. Students will not be eligible to graduate without this piece.
The Work Sample section of the portfolio tests the student’s ability to communicate his or her skills to a team of experts. The portfolio forces the student to begin the lifelong process of self-evaluation that will assist the student to recognize the skills they have, as well as those they have yet to master, and lead them to become lifelong learners.