Honors ePortfolios

I had the privilege of presenting for the University of Houston’s Innov8 lecture series a few weeks ago. My talk was on the Honors College’s new ePortfolio program. This program, open to all students at the University, offers guidance on how to develop an ePortfolio, from both an intellectual and technological perspective.

From my time as a nationally competitive scholarship advisor, I have come to realize how valuable it is for students to reflect upon their education. Through this self-assessment process, students consider which courses and faculty have proven integral to their academic experience, and in turn, make better choices going forward. Building an ePortfolio enables students to examine their educational career—pondering what they have achieved and where they are headed—similar to the process of developing an application for a nationally competitive scholarship.

SafaFor instance, Safa Ansari-Bayegan, a senior political science and philosophy double major, applied for the Truman Scholarship in 2012. As a finalist, she reaped the benefits of developing a comprehensive application highlighting her academic and professional accomplishments, as well as had the opportunity to share her experiences with the Truman interview committee. When asked about the value of reflecting upon her education, Safa shares, “When I first started my application for the Truman, I was unsure of exactly how my coursework and record of service complimented my career goals, and had a difficult time articulating my plans upon graduation. By going through the application process and refining my essays, I became well versed at explaining what drives me to make a difference and why pursuing a master’s degree in international relations is pivotal to my future plans. I am now headed to the Hague at the end of May to spend the summer interning at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and will move to London in September to attend the London School of Economics for graduate school. By having the good fortune of being able to take time to consider my intellectual and academic path, I had an easier time sharing my passion and goals with selection committees.”

Needless to say, we are excited about the potential for this ePortfolio program, and look forward to soon offering students dynamic templates to work from and increased file storage capacity through Innovate UH. We believe an eye-catching, comprehensive ePortfolio will enable students to distinguish themselves when applying for positions within the job market and when submitting applications for graduate and professional school. And others agree with us. For instance, take this supporting article on the value of an ePortfolio from the perspective of the student, the teacher, and the employer or this recent article proclaiming, “The Resume is Dead.”

The below presentation includes some of this information and more. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts on the program.

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