The learning outcomes and competencies are the heart of your presentation. Your portfolio should reflect the syllabi of the graduate courses you select for inclusion. This section will most directly influence whether your academic portfolio is acceptable. The competencies and learning outcomes also constitute the most challenging part of your academic portfolio to write. Your competencies will reflect the natural, logical, and expected outcomes of your academic and non-academic experiences.
This section of the portfolio requires critical reflection, an ability to synthesize meaning and 2
impact of previous experiences and coursework while at the same time connecting that meaning and impact to the requirements and criteria of your graduate courses. You will need an awareness and understanding that it is you who is responsible for presenting your learning outcomes and competencies to the university in a narrative with documentation so strong and compelling that there is no doubt about your readiness to graduate.
The length of this section may vary from five to fifteen pages, depending on the type and number of experiences and courses you include. Factors which may affect length include: subject area, quantity and type of documentation, and the theoretical complexity of your knowledge on the subject. Specific detail and personal insight in this section is likely to develop a stronger case.
To Process Knowledge
You must know how to:
o Analyze the components.
o Distinguish crucial information from the trivial.
o Associate new information with stored facts.
o Integrate information from many sources to solve problems.
o Gain new awareness.
o Reflect on the applicability of your learned outcomes and competencies not only to self, but also to the world.
To Express Learning Competencies
Cognitive skills which will aid in expressing your learning competencies are:
o The ability to see patterns and connections in diverse information.
o The ability to organize and communicate these relationships.
o The ability to conceptualize many sides of a controversial issue, to understand the underlying issues and differing perspectives, and to effectively resolve informational conflict.
o The ability to learn from your experiences you should be able to generate behavioral alternatives, to analyze a particular behavior in the context of another’s behavior; to determine the complexity and multi-dimensionality of intellect; to change or open your mind.
To Write a Successful Narrative
Your narrative should describe your learning competencies as those which:
o Describe your knowledge of the subject comparable to a graduate level.
o Specify when, where, and how you acquired the knowledge.
o Reflect your own strengths and weaknesses in context of these experiences.
o Relate your experiences to specific graduate-level course expectations and theories which have specific learning outcomes.
o Have specific documentation.
o Elaborate upon the relationships between your documentation and the learning competencies you introduce and identify.
o Connect to present experience and future goals.