Career Planning Portfolio

 

Overview | Goals | Four Steps | Advantages | Examples | Documentation

Overview

The William Paterson Career Planning Portfolio is based upon developmental goals that
characterize a successful college-educated person. Students who participate in the program
will make progress toward these goals in each of their years at William Paterson University.

 

Developmental Goals

To be able to communicate effectively with other people
The ability to be a good listener and to present ideas in discussion, in writing, and through public speaking.

To be able to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the mutual interdependence of all human beings
The ability to be an effective member of a community; to demonstrate an appreciation and respect for other cultures; and to develop an appreciation of the university community as an example of the community at large.

To be able to think critically
The ability to research and to analyze complex information in order to clarify issues; to solve problems; and to make sound judgements.

To be able to assess risks, make decisions, set and achieve goals
The ability to manage change by taking risks and adapting to complex realities; to be able to plan; to be able to make decisions and to follow through on short- and long-term goals

To be able to function as a competent citizen with a high sense of self-understanding and self-worth
The ability to develop an awareness and understanding of one's own skills, interests, abilities, values, and commitment to ethical behavior; and to use this knowledge to integrate classroom, extra-curricular activities, and workplace experiences.

To be able to work effectively with others
The ability to work with others as a member of a team, using cooperation and leadership skills.

The attainment of these goals forms the basis for continued personal and professional growth. Their fulfillment requires active participation in a wide range of classroom and out-of-classroom experiences. Indeed, one of the goals of the Career Planning Portfolio is to facilitate student participation in a wider range of experiences than might be otherwise undertaken.

 

Four Step Program

1) Experiencing
Experiences can be those undertaken in the past or can be those planned for and undertaken expressly with a particular developmental goal in mind. In some cases, a single activity or experience will address multiple goals.

2) Reflecting/Analyzing
In this step, students are asked to reflect upon and analyze their experiences according to a set of questions accompanying each developmental goal.

3) Recording
In this step, reflections relating to goals are recorded.

4) Documenting
Documentation takes the form of a tangible item that demonstrates attainment of each of the developmental goals. Examples of this could take the form of notes from a successful speech, a supervisor's letter of recommendation from an internship experience, or a description of a program or project that the student was involved in with a club or governing organization.

 

Advantages of the Career Planning Portfolio

  • Students can begin to have a contextual framework for planning and connecting academic, extracurricular, and work activities as part of their overall educational experience at the University.
  • Students can have the opportunity for greater awareness and participation in the wide range of experiential learning activities available at the University.
  • Students can develop a greater sense of involvement in their own education and career planning, which can often produce higher academic achievement.
  • Students can develop a higher level of employability through an enhanced resume and the ability to identify and document achievement in areas regarded as important predictors of career success.
  • Students may develop a higher level of attractiveness to graduate schools (dependent upon academic achievement) for the same reasons as above.

 

 Goals / Essential Questions / Examples

The following developmental goals are those which reflect the characteristics of an educated person. We expect all our students to make progress toward these goals in each of their years at William Paterson University. In addition, we expect our students will be able to discuss the reasons for their choices and their accomplishments. Answering several of the essential questions that accompany each goal will help students demonstrate the extent that they have accomplished that particular goal. The questions should be used to as a guide for the student in the development of their portfolio.

 

GOAL: To be able to communicate effectively with other people
Have you ever communicated an idea to a large group of people?
How successful were you in reaching your audience?
In what ways could you have improved your presentation?
What is your strongest method of communication? Why?
Have you used the computer as a communication tool? If so, how?

Activity Evidence
held a part-time job as a receptionist letter of recommendation from supervisor
served as publicity chair for my sorority/fraternity copy of flier or press release you wrote to promote your organization's activities
gave an oral presentation in my class and received an "A" copy of presentation graded by instructor

 

GOAL: To be able to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the mutual interdependence of all human beings
Do you consider yourself to be a member of any communities? What are they?
What factors make this a community?
In what campus activities and/or volunteer organizations do you participate?
What common interest(s) does the group(s) have?
What people with whom you come in contact on a regular basis have backgrounds different from your own?
What is your relationship to them?
How have these activities and relationships affected your life?

Activity Evidence
participated in a fund-raiser for an American Cancer Society event thank-you letter from organizers
joined a national organization copy of membership card National Organization for Women (NOW)
participated in the Alumni Phonathon thank-you letter from Alumni Assoc.

 

GOAL: To be able to think critically
What opportunities have you had to construct an argument: developing a thesis, collecting evidence in support of it, and rebutting counter-arguments?
Have you had to solve any problems by weighing different options and coming to a decision?
Have any of your opinions about a variety of subjects been changed or significantly reinforced since you enrolled at William Paterson University?
What are they and why have they been altered in this way?
How have these various analytical activities impacted upon your approach to new situations as they have arisen in your life?

Activity Evidence
gave a persuasive speech in communication class and received an "A" copy of speech graded by instructor
joined the debate club verification of membership from club president
wrote articles for the school paper copy of an article with your byline

 

GOAL: To be able to assess risks, make decisions, set and achieve goals
Have you ever been in charge of a program or event that required planning, organization and follow-through?
What problems did you encounter and did you overcome them?
What did you learn from this experience?
Have you ever engaged in an activity that you were fearful or anxious about but one that you felt had the potential to benefit you in the long run?
How did you overcome your anxiety?
Have you ever changed or modified your plans based upon new information or a changed set of circumstances?

Activity Evidence
served as project leader for a group project in history class copy of final project summary with your name listed as project leader
completed a certificate program in First Aid & Safety copy of certificate
devised a personal planner which indicates progression towards your goals copy of a page from planner

 

GOAL: To be able to function as a competent citizen with a high sense of self-understanding and self-worth
Have you developed an academic plan for yourself that includes a choice of major based upon your career objectives, your knowledge of yourself and the opportunities available to you at William Paterson University?
Are you satisfied that it reflects your interests, abilities and ethics?
In your personal life and your work/school life, what activities do you enjoy doing?
What do you dislike doing?
Is there a pattern to your likes and dislikes?
How have your activities and the people you have relationships with affected you?
What impact has your involvement had on organizations, individuals and yourself?
What impact have these interactions had on your learning at William Paterson?

Activity Evidence
took some interest tests at the Career Development Center and discussed these with a career counselor copy of interest test results
created a curriculum plan with my advisor based on my major and interest areas copy of curriculum plan; degree audit
declared a minor that will complement my chosen major copy of acceptance into minor

 

GOAL: To be able to work effectively with others
What opportunities have you had to work with others in and out of the classroom?
What does it mean to be an effective team member?
How have you demonstrated the ability to interact responsibly and conscientiously with other students as well as faculty, staff, or co-workers?
When working on a team, what skill(s) do you bring to the group?
What skill(s) do you rely on others to provide?
How does the combination of your skills and those of others contribute to the success of the team experience?
In what ways have your teamwork experiences provided you with opportunities to develop leadership skills?

 

Activity Evidence
joined the Young Democrats in my town and campaigned for a local official copy of membership card; letter of recommendation from campaign manager
served as vice president of the business club copy of vice president's job description
worked as a resident assistant or peer advisor on campus letter of recommendation from supervisor

 

Documentation

To be able to communicate effectively with other people
To be able to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the mutual interdependence of all human beings
To be able to think critically
To be able to assess risks, make decisions, set and achieve goals
To be able to function as a competent citizen with a high sense of self-understanding and self-worth
To be able to work effectively with others

Career Development Center
Student Center 301, 300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ 07470
Phone 973.720.3291 Fax 973.720.2074

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