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Clipper College Portfolio Process

The personas in Table 1 illustrate the portfolio implementation at an archetypal four-year undergraduate institution, Clipper College.

Table 1: Clipper College Personas

User Name

Role at Clipper College

Brian Jeffreys

Undergraduate student completing a bachelor's degree in business administration at Clipper College.

Grace Connolly

A professor of business administration at Clipper College, serving as Brian's major advisor and his instructor for the capstone course in business administration.

Sharon Westerly

A professor teaching in the General Education program at Clipper College, using portfolios to teach writing skills.

Bruce McAllister

Professor and Chair of the Department of Business Administration at Clipper College, who encourages faculty in the department to assemble evidence of student learning for institutional and programmatic accreditation.

During his first year at Clipper College, Brian Jeffreys was required to participate in the General Education program, which assists undergraduate students in acquiring a broad range of knowledge and skills that every college graduate should have. The General Education program required him to use the Clipper College instance of Sakai to 1) collect artifacts of his learning and/or review assignments he had completed in a matrix according to 15 institutional learning outcomes; 2) reflect upon how each artifact met one or more of the learning outcomes; 3) evaluate his own work using a rubric for each learning outcome, and 4) submit his artifacts, reflection, and self-evaluation for summative evaluation. Professor Sharon Westerly, his instructor in the General Education program provided training in how to use the portfolio tools in Sakai and let Brian know that he would be expected to continue the development of his portfolio throughout his four years in college.

The Clipper College Learning Outcomes were adopted from learning outcomes proposed for U.S. undergraduate education by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and further developed in 15 VALUE Rubrics (Valid Assessment for Learning in Undergraduate Education). The learning outcomes for the 15 VALUE Rubrics as adopted by Clipper College are listed in Table 2.

Table 2: Clipper College Institutional Outcomes

Learning Outcome Category

Learning Outcome

Intellectual and Practical Skills

Inquiry and analysis


Critical thinking


Creative thinking


Written communication


Oral communication




Quantitative literacy


Information literacy




Problem solving

Personal and Social Responsibility

Civic knowledge and engagement---local and global


Intercultural knowledge and competence


Ethical reasoning


Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Integrative and Applied Learning

Integrative and applied learning

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Midway through his degree in business administration, Brian Jefferys decided to pursue an opportunity for an unpaid internship offered by a local business. His advisor, Professor Grace Connolly, urged him to create a resume using the portfolio tools in Sakai to share as part of his application for the internship. His advisor also worked with him each semester to create a portfolio representing his understanding of and accomplishments in business administration. He documented and reflected upon his course work in the major, his two internships, and his semester abroad in Australia, and included artifacts from these experiences in the portfolio.

In the senior year capstone course for his major, the instructor, who was also his advisor, helped him further refine his portfolio and begin to prepare it for the job market. He organized his work in the portfolio in relation to the 15 institutional learning outcomes from his experience in General Education and according to eight additional learning standards required by the AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools in Business (listed in Table 3). He also consulted with the career services office on campus and asked his two internship supervisors for feedback on his portfolio. At the end of four years, Brian presented his portfolio to a panel of faculty as a final graduation requirement. By the time he graduated, Bryan had thought deeply about his professional abilities and career goals and was well prepared to present his skills and accomplishments to future employers.

Table 3: Additional AACSB Learning Standards

Dynamics of the global economy

Financial theories, analysis, reporting, and markets.

Creation of value through the integrated production and distribution of goods, services, and information.

Group and individual dynamics in organizations.

Statistical data analysis and management science as they support decision-making processes throughout an organization.

Information technologies as they influence the structure and processes of organizations and economies, and as they influence the roles and techniques of management.

Domestic and global economic environments of organizations.

Other management-specific knowledge and abilities as identified by the school.

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As chair of the Department of Business Administration at Clipper College, Professor Bruce McAllister has organized the faculty in his department to assemble evidence of student learning using the portfolio tools in Sakai. This information has been required by the university's regional accrediting organization and by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which provides disciplinary accreditation for the department's activities. In specific, the regional accrediting organization wants the college to address learning outcomes via the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)'s 15 VALUE rubrics. The AACSB wants to see evidence of how the college applies institutional learning outcomes as well as AACSB disciplinary standards to college curricula. They want to see examples of course assignments that represent student mastery of standards and outcomes. For each course assignment, they also want to review random student responses that faculty have rated as successful or unsuccessful in addressing the standard or outcome.

Professor McAllister had led the faculty in setting up a portfolio process to support teaching and learning in the department, while at the same time providing a means of documenting the relationship between standards, outcomes, curricula, and student performance. Faculty are encouraged to use the portfolio process to present assignments linked to standards and outcomes, receive assignment submissions, and provide feedback and evaluation on the degree to which students have mastered the standards and outcomes. A customized report produces spreadsheets for the department that demonstrate how standards and outcomes relate to course assignments and how faculty members evaluate assignments in relation to standards and outcomes. The portfolio process also allows the department to collects a random sample of assignments representing different standards, outcomes, courses, and levels of student mastery.

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