Coming to The Washington Center for an internship or seminar produces more than a wealth of experiences. It generates a collection of academic accomplishments and competencies that go into one portfolio of work, too.
Most colleges and universities use this portfolio to assign grades and credits, while some students also share it with potential employers to demonstrate capabilities. For either purpose, the portfolio commonly used is both limited and outdated. It has not kept track with our digital lives. To resolve this dilemma, TWC has adopted Portfolium.
Portfolium is a student-centric e-portfolio platform that also happens to be employer-friendly. It showcases student learning outcomes - grades, class projects, internship skills, and more - in a dynamic environment that is accessible, searchable and aligned with how students incorporate the world into their lives. Using this platform, students strategically decide what aspects of their academic careers to share, and with whom, as they blaze their career paths.
TWC chose Portfolium over other options because it is more than an e-portfolio to be used in grade evaluation. Among the notable features of Portfolium is badging. This enables TWC to create badges that show not only that students are achieving key competencies and skills, but through performance measurement, how. TWC may create a badge indicating career readiness, for example, signifying a student has progressed through a determined pathway of accomplishments and reached a predetermined level of achievement.
Additionally, Portfolium was chosen due its seamless integration with academic evaluation tools such as Schoology, which plays a considerable role during TWC programming, as well as popular web-based tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube and others. The integration of the eight career competencies, created by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) to ensure students are prepared for the workforce they will soon encounter, also weighed heavily in TWC’s selection.
“The Washington Center’s students experience many opportunities, milestones and artifacts that demonstrate the breadth and depth of their learning while they are with us in D.C.,” said Sherrod Williams, Managing Director, Experiential Learning and Career Readiness. “We needed to provide students with the means to display all of the learning, skills acquirement, networking and goal achievement they accomplish in one shareable, portable place. Not only does Portfolium do all of this for students, but it eases pathways for our instructors, and institutional and site partners to connect with and nurture students as they plan and launch their careers.”
Students will enjoy lifetime access to their Portfolium account and network. Portfolium is in its initial deployment with the Spring 2019 Academic Internship Program cohort. TWC plans to implement the platform across all programs by fall of this year.
As the platform is further integrated into TWC programming, internship partners and outside employers will be invited to join. This will create more benefit for TWC students and alumni to continue using and updating their account, and to take advantage of the talent search function when looking for new opportunities or to hire fellow TWC participants.
TWC has invested heavily in the career readiness movement. The organization continues to explore ways to be the bridge connecting higher education and future careers.