New electronic record captures students’ co-curricular involvement

The Portfolio, a new electronic record of an undergraduate student’s involvement in student groups, leadership positions, community service, internships, awards, research, employment and many other activities, will launch with a four-week pilot project for about 80 students on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The full launch date will be decided after the pilot.

The Portfolio is designed to allow students to create customizable documents that can be used to support traditional academic transcripts when applying for jobs, graduate school, internships, awards, scholarships and grants. It also can be shared with advisers and individuals writing recommendation letters.

“Students at Washington University are engaged in a variety of activities that enhance student learning, and the objective of the Portfolio project is to record and maintain information about undergraduate students’ involvement in co-curricular activities,” says Sharon Stahl, vice chancellor for students. “It’s a great complement to the academic transcript.”

While the Portfolio will be a useful tool for students and will add to their ability to more fully illustrate their Washington University experience to others, its use will be optional for each student.

“The Portfolio is first and foremost a tool for students,” says Anna Warbelow, who is serving a one-year appointment as Portfolio coordinator, working with students and staff to help implement the project. “It will enable the university to improve the way it assists students in a number of ways, including advising, identifying students for award nominations, writing student recommendations, providing career services and reviewing the extent of co-curricular participation.”

The Portfolio, which is driven by a vendor product called CollegiateLink, is designed to be easy to use, interactive and appealing for students, faculty and staff.

A group of 80 “Portfolio Fellows” have been selected to participate in the pilot program, provide feedback and help spread the word to other students about the system and its capabilities.

“Our pilot group will put Portfolio through its paces and tells us what is working well and what needs improvement before we launch the site to the full undergraduate community,” says Barb Braun, director of Student Technology Services. “Our hope is that our Portfolio fellows who have experienced the site’s power and ease of use will become great ambassadors to their fellow students.”