Why Use a Portfolio?
- Helps you find a job
- Shows the development of your skills as a result of training
- Personalizes your application for employment
- Helps you keep the job
- Demonstrates accountability: How have clients been impacted by your skills?
- Prepares you for budget cuts and personnel reviews
- Helps you make the most of graduate-level training
- Student portfolios allow you to reflect on how you've changed since you started the program
- A portfolio can also document how you've met the training requirements at each step
- Helps you plan your career
- Allows you to review your accomplishments and present them to others effectively
- A portfolio can be presented when seeking job promotion or when applying to a doctoral program
- Strengthens the counseling profession
- Shows professionalism and documents the benefits which counseling has to offer society
- Empowers counselors to become responsible for their work
What is a portfolio?
- A cross-section of your philosophy, methods, abilities, and attitudes.
- "Examples of experience and mastery with explanation and reflection on their meaning or significance."
- "The goal is to increase your self-reflection about your professional development, as it occurs" (SUNY, 1998).
Why an electronic portfolio?
- Highly portable.
- Convenient for interviewers to examine.
- Can easily be edited over time.
- Demonstrates technological competencies.
What does it look like?
There are many models and ideas about what a portfolio should enclude. Some examples are:
Boes, S. R., VanZile-Tamsen, C., & Jackson, C. M. (2001). Portfolio development for 21st century school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 4, 229-231.
Indiana University at South Bend model
Rhyne-Winkler, M. C., &Wooten, H. R. (1996). The school counselor portfolio: Professional development and accountability. School Counselor, 44(2), 146-151.
State University of New York model
To begin a tour and see different types of portfolios that have been made, click the navigation links on the left hand side, beginning with "Sample 1" and progressing downwards. Feel free to explore the portfolios that are presented, and take notice of what you like as well as what you think needs improvement. Many of the portfolios here were taken from the University of Georgia's School Counseling program web site. Electronic portfolios have certainly been used successfully by graduates of mental health and marriage & family programs; they are simply more difficult to locate on the Web.