The Department of Technology uses portfolio assessment in its Applied Technical Leadership degree program, as well as in most concentrations within its Tech Management degree program. The purpose of these assessments is to evaluate and award credit for prior learning that does not directly transfer as course credit into the University.
All students completing one of the above degrees must fulfill 36 credits of Technical or Occupational Specialization. The block may be filled with a combination of transfer courses, military experience, and credits awarded through portfolio assessment, or entirely through portfolio assessment. The portfolios that students complete in order to fulfill this block are known as ITT 400 portfolios.
ITT 400 Portfolio Guidelines
A complete ITT 400 portfolio contains two parts:
1) A written document that demonstrates the student’s attainment of appropriate technical or occupational competencies equivalent to that of an Associate’s Degree in the student’s field, or higher. Students will be expected to include supporting documentation verifying their experience and knowledge.
2) A corresponding oral presentation delivered to Department of Technology faculty. With prior approval, these presentations can be made virtually.
The portfolio must demonstrate college-‐level competency in writing, free of spelling, punctuation, grammatical, and typographical errors. Students will first submit the written portion of the portfolio before delivering the presentation. Students must successfully complete their English Composition (ENG 100) course or an equivalent prior to submitting the written portfolio.
Portfolio Development Workshop
Students are required to meet with the Office of Prior Learning before writing their ITT 400 portfolios. Following this meeting, the student will be enrolled in the free, non-credit-bearing Portfolio Development Workshop. This is an online workshop that provides the support and structure students need to assemble the required portfolio components, providing them with feedback as they demonstrate their competencies. The workshop, although required, is not a USM course, is not tied to any particular semester, and can be completed at the student’s own pace.
The written portion of the ITT 400 portfolio must contain the following sections:
Title Page: This should include your name, date of submission, and name of faculty evaluator.
Table of Contents
Letter of Intent: This is a 1-2 page cover letter outlining why you’re attempting the portfolio, how many credits you are attempting to earn, and a brief description of the experiences you will be basing the portfolio on. The letter of intent is composed before beginning the portfolio process, so that the PLA Office and Department of Technology can evaluate your proposed portfolio to determine whether your experience is a solid basis on which to base a portfolio for the amount of ITT 400 credits you will need. You can access the letter of intent guidelines here.
Current Résumé: Provide an up-to-date resume including a synopsis of your educational background and work history. Include relevant professional memberships, awards, commendations, publications, licenses, and supplemental experience or achievements (i.e. Speak fluent French; or Certificate in Court Mediation).
Learning Outcomes and Competencies: To receive credit for the technical /occupational area in your degree, you need to demonstrate achievement of competencies equivalent to a recognized available list for your occupational area or those which would be obtained with an associate degree in that occupational area. If you are approved to begin the ITT 400 portfolio process, the PLA office and the Department of Technology will work with you to find or develop competencies that are appropriate for your particular field/areas of expertise.
Narrative: This is where you will demonstrate each of the outcomes/competencies in writing, and will form the bulk of your portfolio. These narratives use APA format. As a rough guideline, the expectations for narrative length based on differing credit amounts are as follows:
3 credits: 6-12 pages (double-spaced, size 12 font)
6-9 credits: 10-15 pages
12-15 credits: 15-20 pages
15 + credits: 25-50 pages
Supporting Documentation: The material used to support your statement of competencies. Examples of documentation include, but are not limited to:
Awards, certificates, letters, references, or job verifications
Diplomas for previous degrees
Licenses granted by state or national agencies
Scores on licensing exams
Evidence of promotion
Memberships in professional trade organizations
Examples of your work
Presentations to professional associations or other groups
Key reference materials you use
Verification of completed courses, workshops, seminars, and other educational events
The completed portfolio draft is first reviewed by the PLA Director. The PLA Director can ask for revisions based on grammar/mechanics, organization, and completeness. Upon gaining approval from the PLA Director, the draft is forwarded to a faculty evaluator from the Department of Technology. The faculty evaluator will either a) allow the student to move on to the presentation phase of the portfolio b) request further revisions to the written portfolio or c) determine that credit will not be granted.
The oral presentation should align with the written documentation and is an opportunity for students to expand and elaborate on the written product, specifically how they have fulfilled their required competencies. Dept of Technology faculty will allow the student two-thirds of the allotted time for presentation, and the last third will be for questions and answers. The time expectations for student presentations based on the amount of credit requested is as follows:
3-6 credits: 15 minutes
12 credits and above: 30 minutes
The oral presentation can--but does not have to--be delivered using a variety of slideware. Students can utilize Powerpoint, or any of the following:
Google Slides https://www.google.com/slides/about/
Haiku Deck https://www.haikudeck.com/
Zoho Show: https://www.zoho.com/docs/#6
Students should provide any slide deck 24 hours in advance of their presentation to Dept of Technology faculty.
If the portfolio is accepted for credit, students will be charged $50 per undergraduate credit in order for the credits to be posted to their transcripts. No credit can be posted until payment is received.