Introduction to Portfolios - What is a portfolio?

Introduction to Portfolios
This may be a new term to you. Your portfolio, however, will be crucial to your development as a professional educator and will be one of the major pieces of evidence you will use to demonstrate how well you meet the standards of your teacher preparation program. The main purpose of this handbook is to help you understand what portfolios are all about and what you will be expected to do as you develop and refine your own portfolio. The information in this handbook is very important. You should understand it thoroughly.

What is a portfolio?
In the most general terms, a portfolio is documentation of professional growth and achieved competence. Organized around a set of standards, your portfolio will contain documents which will provide tangible evidence of the wide range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that you possess as a growing professional educator.

Why is a portfolio needed?
As you move through and then complete your program at Cleveland State, your portfolio will help you in a number of ways. Your portfolio will:

  • help you keep track of how you are doing, your areas of strength, and the areas in which you need to make extra effort;
  • encourage you to reflect on the documents in your portfolio and determine how you can further develop them to demonstrate high levels of quality;
  • show the faculty that you are making progress toward achieving the stated standards or outcomes of your program;
  • guide you in preparing for the Praxis II and Praxis III high stakes tests you will be taking;
  • demonstrate, at the end of your program, whether you have satisfactorily met all program standards and thus qualify for our endorsement of your teaching license application;
  • help your job search by serving as a major method of presenting evidence of your competence to potential employers.