How to Build Your Portfolio

How to Build Your Portfolio

Portfolios must include the following components:

Title Sheet

Include your name, address, date of submission, and contact information (phone and email address)

Download Sample Title Sheet

Table of Contents

Include a one-page reference to all the sections of your portfolio by page number.

Download Sample Table of Contents

Letter of Intent

Write a letter that explicitly states the reasons for submitting your portfolio and the outcomes you expect it to meet. The letter of intent should include the following:

  • Learning outcomes/proficiencies you intend to prove
  • Areas of expertise you intend to demonstrate
  • Number of credits you hope to earn
  • Your starting date at UMPI and the major you are pursuing

Download Sample Letter of Intent

Current resume

Submit a resume of one or two pages which includes a summary of your educational background and work history (as appropriate). Include relevant awards, publications, professional memberships, and additional experience or achievements (ability to speak a foreign language fluently, badges or certificates, etc.).

Syllabus for Course(s)

If your portfolio addresses specific catalog courses (as opposed to a general elective), include a syllabus for each course pertaining to your portfolio content. The syllabus will provide the basis for your academic goals and learning outcomes.  Your professional advisor can help you locate a relevant syllabus.

Outcomes Mapping (optional)

An outcomes map will provide a framework for your narrative description.  Most UMPI courses include outcomes in their syllabi.

Narrative Description

In this section, you will give a description of the context in which your knowledge was acquired. You will analyze and document your previous experiences, relating them to the knowledge and skills required by the target discipline or course outcomes. This section will include specific details and insight from your past experiences and make systematic, logical connections to the theories and concepts of the discipline/course in which you seek credit.  The length of this section may vary from five to fifteen pages, depending on the type and number of credits you are seeking. Discussion of the theoretical foundations of your knowledge on the subject as well as specific details and personal insights will develop a stronger case for the number of credit hours you are requesting. Include detailed discussions of the setting in which your learning occurred: the workplace, non-college credit educational experiences, volunteer activities, MOOCs, etc. Note the time you spent acquiring this knowledge as well as your level of involvement in specific associated activities. Where applicable, note the qualifications of those from whom you gained this knowledge.

Download Sample Narrative Description

Supporting Documentation

Provide specific documentation of your knowledge.  Examples of documentation include, but are not limited to:

  • Job descriptions
  • Awards, certificates, letters, references, or job verifications
  • Diplomas for previous degrees
  • Licenses granted by state or national agencies
  • Scores on licensing exams
  • Personnel evaluations
  • Evidence of promotion
  • Memberships in professional trade organizations (showing also their requirements for membership)
  • Newspaper or magazine clippings demonstrating evidence of your experiences, or relating directly to you or your company
  • Examples of written or artistic work (e.g., formal papers, examples of visual art, completed PowerPoint presentations, examinations)
  • Demonstration of dance, artistic or oral performance, or instruction on CD, DVD, candidate-created website, or photographs
  • Verification of completed course, workshops, seminars, and other educational events (e.g., OpenU, MOOCs)

Bibliography (optional)

At the conclusion of your academic portfolio, include a list and brief description of all the books, articles, pamphlets, and other sources, electronic or in print, to which you referred. Use standard MLA, Chicago Style, or APA format and conventions. This list will strengthen the theoretical foundation of your learning and make your presentation more compelling.

Letters of Recommendation (optional)

Provide one to three letters of recommendation from work supervisors or educators detailing your duties, skills and competencies. The letters should be on official stationery from a supervisor or educator.  The letters should contain the following information, as applicable:

  • The length of time spent in professional or educational experiences
  • Particular duties performed
  • The learning involved in performing these tasks d. Assessment of level of achievement/performance
  • Typical requirements of the work or educational experience