Portfolio Manual Rev 6 04


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Portfolio Manual Rev 6 04

  1. 1. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Professional Portfolio Department of Nutritional Sciences Capstone Requirement The completion of a portfolio is a requirement for an undergraduate degree in Dietetics or Food and Nutrition or a Certificate in Dietetics, beginning Fall 2003. It is the capstone requirement for your undergraduate degree. (In other words, it meets part of the University of Cincinnati General Education requirements). In addition, it meets one of the requirements for those majoring in dietetics or completing the Certificate in Dietetics. Q: Why? What is a Portfolio? A Portfolio is a compilation of evidence of your qualifications. A Portfolio is a The portfolio you compile will provide evidence that you meet the compilation of competencies required for a baccalaureate degree from the evidence that University of Cincinnati. you are It will also help you start your search for jobs. All key information and qualified to do samples of your work will be assembled in one place. No digging through something. boxes and files or trying to remember information from years past! As you work on your degree or certificate, your portfolio will be a “work in progress.” You should save class assignments and projects to incorporate into your portfolio. Besides class-related items, gather information about any jobs as well as any volunteer or extracurricular activities you are involved in. Worksheets are available to help you track information. Most students will be introduced to the portfolio in the Explore Dietetics and Nutrition course. At that time, to help you focus and get started, you will write a reflection about why you are interested in studying nutrition or dietetics. You will also write short term goals (those related to your academic years) and longer term goals (what you hope for after graduation). These goals can (and should!) be revised throughout your time at the University of Cincinnati. During winter quarter of your last year, you will register for a 2-hour course called Professional Seminar. In that course you will assemble a “professional portfolio.” You will sort through everything you have saved, select the best examples of your work, create a resume if you do not already have one, write a personal statement, and update your goals. One of the most important parts of your portfolio will be your “reflections.” In these you will discuss how you have attained the required competencies using the items in your portfolio as evidence. Guidelines and advice are provided, but it is your responsibility to compile and assemble what goes into your portfolio. 1
  2. 2. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Q: What competencies do I need to meet? The competencies you must achieve are: Competent: 1. Knowledge Integration Properly qualified, 2. Critical Thinking capable, proficient, 3. Effective Communication 4. Collaboration & Team Problem Solving meeting certain 5. Social Responsibility minimum requirements. They may seem a bit vague and very broad at first, but if you master them, you will be well on your way to being a success. At the end of this manual is a more detailed description of each competency along with some examples of what you might use to justify your competence. Q: How will I know I’m doing it right and saving the right things? What to Save Courses in the Nutritional Sciences Department will have certain assignments earmarked for the portfolio but ANY assignment or project (including those from non-nutrition/foods classes) can be included if they are good examples of your work. It is better to save them and then later decide not to use them than to decide after you’ve disposed of them that they would have been useful. Your course instructor in foods and nutrition courses will point out in class and on the syllabus which assignments have been flagged for your portfolio. IT WILL BE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE TO DO YOUR BEST WHEN COMPLETING THESE ASSIGNMENTS. If you are uncertain that you are doing an assignment correctly, be sure to consult with the course instructor before it is due so you have time to modify it. You will also want to keep track of work experiences, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. Worksheets are available to help you. 2
  3. 3. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Staying on Target You should meet regularly with your faculty advisor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Each quarter before priority registration, advisors will contact students to set up individual appointments. During those meetings your advisor will discuss your progress, answer questions, and give helpful hints on assembling items for your portfolio. Please make an appointment with your advisor as soon as you are contacted and feel free to make an appointment whenever you have questions. During the Professional Seminar course in your final year, you will assemble and submit your professional portfolio with guidance from the instructor and your advisor. Making the Grade Your completed professional portfolio will be evaluated by Department of Nutritional Sciences faculty. You will then present your portfolio to faculty and your fellow students. Earning a passing grade in this course is essential for earning your degree or certificate. The grade for your portfolio will be independent of the grades earned on individual assignments you include in the portfolio. NOTE: YOU are responsible for saving assignments and other content of the portfolio. Your final portfolio will be a reflection of the attention you give it during your entire academic program. Q: How do I assemble my portfolio? Your portfolio will have the following components: Portfolio Contents Table of Contents Personal statement/mission/philosophy Resume Goals (short & long term) Overall reflection Reflections on each of 5 competency areas Evidence of Competence Samples of course assignments Other relevant activities (work, extracurricular, volunteer) Recognition and awards Transcripts/plan of study Following are some guidelines on each of the sections: 3
  4. 4. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Personal Statement (Personal Statement/Mission Statement/Personal Philosophy) Your personal statement will be like a personal mission statement. It is a statement of your personal philosophy. Typically a personal statement or mission statement is a short description of what is important to you. It can express things such as what you do or want to do, how you do it, and why. Resume There are many styles of resumes. You will want to pick one that is most appropriate for your background, skills, and goals. It is best to keep your resume simple, concise and professional (avoid colored paper and fancy fonts). You will receive some guidance in resume writing during Professional Seminar. In addition, the University of Cincinnati Career Development Center can offer you assistance. They are located in University Pavilion and can be reached at (513) 556-3471, or www.uc.edu/career. There you will find samples of resumes and cover letters as well as one-on-one help with preparing your resume. They can also provide assistance in compiling electronic resumes. Goals: Short and Long Term You should identify short and long term goals as soon as you start the portfolio process. Short Term Goals Short term goals are those you wish to accomplish by the time you complete your academic coursework. An example of an appropriate short term goal would be to register for specific electives which can help strengthen an area of weakness (technology, writing, etc.) or for an elective you wish to take because it is an area of interest to you or will strengthen your qualifications (marketing, critical thinking, psychology, etc.). Other short term goals could include bringing your GPA up to a particular target, joining a student organization, running for office, doing relevant volunteer work, or getting a job related to your chosen career. Study the competencies you need to reach and consider them when setting your goals. Long Term Goals Long term goals are those you will attain after you complete your coursework -- they may be a little more vague. They might include getting a job in a specific area of the field, or in a specific setting, or geographical area. You may want to work with a particular type of client, or for a particular company. Completing an internship or getting an advanced degree could also be long term goals. Revising Your Goals Your goals (especially your short term goals) should be revised regularly. You may want to use the Portfolio Goal Setting Worksheet to record and track your goals. Be sure to date them. 4
  5. 5. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Keep copies of all goals even if you have changed or attained them since it will be helpful to see the progression from where you started to where you end up. This may be something you want to discuss in your reflections when you complete the portfolio. Reflections When assembling your final professional portfolio, think back over all the knowledge you have gained, the experiences you have had, and the skills you have developed. You will then write about how you have met the specific competencies. You will need to support your comments with discussion of specific work you have done (examples need to be included in the portfolio). Discussion of your strengths and areas you still need to develop should be included. You might also reflect on how your attainment of the competencies progressed, which experiences were particularly valuable, or what you could have done differently. You will need to write a total of 6 reflections. Each of the 5 competencies should have a separate reflection. In addition, an overall reflection is also required. It will be easier to do if you think about your progress as you go. As you work on assignments, consider jotting notes about particular insights you gained. Also note skills you developed or used (example: technology, research, or communication skills). Keep your notes with each assignment or with your portfolio worksheets. Since good communication is one of the competencies you must demonstrate, it is expected that your reflections will be well written. They should be well thought out and not ramble, or be redundant. You should use correct sentence structure and spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be accurate. The style should be professional, not casual or informal. It will be left up to you to select which samples of your work will best demonstrate that you have attained a particular competency. Most samples could potentially demonstrate several different competencies. For example, a lab report could demonstrate written communication skills, critical thinking, and knowledge integration. While you may choose to use the lab report as key evidence of knowledge integration, you might also refer to it when discussing critical thinking, if appropriate. There is no set number of examples of work to substantiate your competence. Your evidence will be stronger if you use a variety of sources, and methods. Complex, comprehensive assignments will tend to offer better evidence than simple ones. Evidence of Competence Samples of Your Work At a minimum, you should save all of the assignments that are flagged as “portfolio assignments” during courses completed in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Also consider saving other assignments from those same courses as well as any other courses you complete. Other course evidence you can save might be exams that require you to write narratives demonstrating critical thinking and knowledge integration. An excellent project to include would be a poster or presentation accepted for the College of Allied Health Sciences PRaISE Conference offered each spring. This is a forum for students to share research they have completed. 5
  6. 6. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 In addition to course examples, you may have reports or projects you completed related to a job or volunteer work, or organizations you belong to. You may want to keep a log of the assignments or other samples of your work that you are saving for your portfolio. Hints – Your assignments will be an important part of your portfolio. It is your responsibility to retain them. You may want to save both hard copies as well as copies on disk. Keeping electronic versions of your work will be useful if you want to do an electronic version of your portfolio in addition to the hard copy. The larger the pool of items you have to choose from, the easier it will be when assembling your professional portfolio. If in doubt, DON’T throw it out! Recognition and awards Academic awards such as scholarships or making the Dean’s List, as well as awards and recognition given by employers and volunteer organizations, should also be included in your portfolio. Keep any certificates or other documentation you may have received with the award or recognition. Transcripts/plan of study Evidence of academic standing should be part of your portfolio. This should include a copy of your transcripts (your UC transcript can be an unofficial copy obtained from your academic advisor). If you have a number of transcripts from various institutions or that cover a long period of time, you might include a concise chart or list of courses you completed. List them in chronological order along with grades and credit hours to give a clear picture of your academic progression. Include all courses and previous degrees, even those not directly related to the field of dietetics and nutrition. Relevant outside activities – work, extracurricular, volunteer It is important to also document your work, extracurricular, and volunteer activities. Even those that do not appear related to the field of dietetics and nutrition may have helped you develop skills that can transfer such as working collaboratively, time management, problem solving, customer service, employee training, supervising, etc. You should maintain appropriate information about these activities such as beginning and ending dates, time commitment, supervisors (including correct spelling and appropriate credentials), contact information, etc. This information is easy to forget. It is asked for on applications for dietetic internships and is often asked for on job applications. Consider using the portfolio worksheets provided to track this information so it will be easily available if and when you need it in the future. When including this information in your final portfolio, you will have to pull the information off of the worksheets and put it into a more concise, polished, format. You should distinguish between paid work experience, volunteer experience, and time spent in a work setting as part of a class assignment. 6
  7. 7. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Pulling it All Together The professional portfolio you assemble shortly before you graduate should be the best you have to offer. The more carefully you have gathered and organized your work as you progressed through your classes, and the more carefully you documented employment, volunteer, and extracurricular activity, the easier it will be to pull together your portfolio and write your reflections. The final product should be assembled in a 3-ring binder. While creativity is an important trait, the emphasis on the portfolio should be content. It should be professional in appearance and format. Refrain from using fancy papers and excessive graphics. While there is some room for flexibility, the material should generally be arranged in the order discussed in this manual. Samples of work should be organized in some logical fashion and clearly titled or coded. Someone reviewing the portfolio should be able to easily identify and find whatever is being referenced in the reflective sections. Quality, not quantity, should be the rule. Adequate evidence should be included to demonstrate that competencies have been met; however, it is not appropriate to include everything you have accumulated. Your critical thinking skills need to be utilized when selecting what to include. Plastic page protectors should be reserved for those items that can not or should not be hole punched. Tabbed dividers should be used for major sections of the portfolio. The Future of Your Portfolio Do not think of discontinuing your portfolio building process after you have completed your professional portfolio assignment. It is never “FINAL!” After graduation you should update your portfolio with a final official transcript listing the degree you have earned. Also, update your resume accordingly. Portfolios are now being used more than ever in job hunting and professional development. You should always have a place to cluster all important documentation of your qualifications and skills. Just as you are being asked to filter out certain things to include in the portfolio required for your baccalaureate degree or certificate in dietetics, you will want to continue to gather supportive evidence of your qualifications so in the future you can build different portfolios for different purposes. You might need to pull together one combination of samples when applying for a job in healthcare but pull together a different set of samples if applying for a job in industry or a community setting. You may want to continue to maintain worksheets to document your jobs, volunteer and “extracurricular” activities – particularly membership and activities in professional organizations. You may want to document accomplishments and skills learned. That information will be useful whenever you need to update your resume or have a job interview. 7
  8. 8. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Another important addition you will need to add to your portfolio in the future is evidence of continuing education. In a field such as nutrition where research is ongoing, it is critical that you stay abreast of current knowledge and continue to hone needed skills. If you become a registered dietitian, it is mandatory that you maintain a portfolio of evidence that you have pursued continuing education through a variety of activities such as seminars and workshops. This portfolio must be submitted every 5 years to maintain your credentials. The Commission on Dietetic Registration has specific guidelines that need to be followed. Note for Transfer Students Students who transfer into the Department of Nutritional Sciences and have taken some of the required foods and nutrition courses elsewhere will not necessarily have the designated assignments available for their portfolios. They should work closely with their faculty advisor to find alternative assignments to include. 8
  9. 9. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Department of Nutritional Sciences Baccalaureate Competencies Knowledge Integration To demonstrate this competency you must first have mastered Potential Evidence of Competence: basic knowledge concepts related to your major. Remember ►Most projects and assignments that while the obvious areas of knowledge being evaluated ►Work, extracurricular, and volunteer involve food and nutrition, the field is very broad and includes activities many other disciplines (social sciences, natural sciences, business, etc.). This competency also requires attainment of knowledge delineated in the University of Cincinnati General Education Requirements. Secondly you must demonstrate that you can fuse concepts and Specific Areas of Knowledge required information together from all the different disciplines and for Dietetics and Food Science Majors: transfer ideas from one area of your education to another. This ►Nutrition ability will help you to grow as a professional, as a productive ►Food member of society, as well as personally. ►Management ►Health Care Systems If your goal is to become a registered dietitian, you are expected ►Communications to acquire the knowledge base spelled out in the Foundation ►Physical and Biological Sciences Knowledge and Skills set forth by the Commission on ►Social Sciences Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). Your ►Research curriculum has been designed to help you attain that base. If you are a nutrition science major, you will be expected to have a solid foundation of knowledge related to nutrition and foods, science, as well as knowledge related to the area of emphasis you have chosen. Critical Thinking If you are a critical thinker, it means you can take facts, Potential Evidence of Competence: observations, and ideas from multiple sources and look at them ►Lab assignments from different angles. It means you can see how things are ►Term papers that require finding related and affect each other, and you can analyze and evaluate information from a variety of sources and information. drawing conclusions ►Developing a new approach to solving A critical thinker would be able to take information and a problem (may occur in assignment, job, synthesize an appropriate conclusion on his or her own. When practicum, etc.) you think critically you can see connections without being told they are there. You will be able to find mistakes that sometimes are not obvious. You can use the knowledge you have acquired to prove or disprove something. 9
  10. 10. Department of Nutritional Sciences . College of Allied Health Sciences . University of Cincinnati 2004-2005 Effective Communication Being a good communicator means you are able to convey Potential Evidence of Competence: information, concepts, feelings and intent to another person ►A well-written assignment utilizing or group of people. A good communicator can convey this appropriate writing style, correct grammar, information by being skilled in aural (listening), visual, and spelling and punctuation. (term papers, language arts. A good communicator is familiar with reports, articles, etc.) appropriate resources and technologies and can use them in a ►Reports or other written documents way that enhances communication. Good communication produced for a class, job, volunteer, or involves both professional and personal expression. extracurricular activity ►Educational materials written for consumer audiences or professional audiences ►Any well executed oral presentation given to a consumer audience, employees, peers, professionals, etc. (evidence should typically include an evaluation of the presentation by an observer, or an audiovisual of the presentation) Collaboration and Team Problem Solving In most areas of our lives we must work with others directly Potential Evidence of Competence: or indirectly to accomplish goals. Everyone has strengths ►Group projects and assignments and weaknesses. Working together allows us to compliment ►Extracurricular activities each other and use our collective strengths to reach higher ►Job related examples goals and better solutions. ►Volunteer activities Attaining competency in the area of collaboration and team problem solving involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It means being able to evaluate a situation and knowing who can best play what role in resolving issues. It means being willing to take the lead when appropriate and to be a follower when appropriate. It means setting personal agendas aside in the interest of moving the team forward. Social Responsibility We do not live in isolation. Most things that we do either Potential Evidence of Competence: involve or impact other people for better or worse. Attaining ►Service learning projects incorporated into competency in the area of social responsibility means you are a course able to apply your knowledge and skills to advance society in ►Volunteer experiences some way. It means taking responsibility for your actions and ►Extracurricular activities related to helping being accountable for what you do. others 10