HE 797 – Higher Education Portfolio (3 credits)

Pre-requisite: 27 credits of degree coursework completed; taken during the last semester of coursework

The portfolio is a compilation of academic work and other forms of educational evidence assembled for the purpose of (1) evaluating coursework quality, learning progress, and academic achievement; and (2) determining whether students have met learning standards or other academic requirements for courses and the program. Students gain permission to enroll in the HE 797 Portfolio course their last semester and the instructor of the course guides and evaluates the portfolio.  HE 797 is an online course with dates and criteria of assignments.  Portfolios must be submitted online.

 Portfolio Content:

    1. Table of contents
    2. Current resume, and three jobs of future interest with accompanying cover letters
    3. Philosophy of Practice Statement. This is a three page statement outlining values, principles, and assumptions that guide the student’s educational practice.  This should connect to course work in the program.
    4. One page statement of medium and long-range goals including possible next steps.
    5. Annotated Compilation of Professional Development and Work Experiences organized according to program learning outcomes. Students are expected to provide exhibits under each learning outcome. In a two-three page reflection under each learning outcome, students describe learning progress. Students reflect on the specific skills and knowledge they have acquired during their time in the master’s program.  How specifically did they obtain them?  Students connect this learning to exhibits such as course assignments, experiences in practicum, and job experiences.
      • Apply professional ethics, principles, and best practices to programs and interventions that address student concerns and advance student learning.
      • Analyze the forces that affect higher education administration, including institutional and student characteristics, national trends, management processes, and legal obligations.
      • Compare and contrast the ways in which existing and emerging technologies are transforming higher education.
      • Describe psycho-social processes of development and explain how they influence students across the lifespan.
      • Design inclusive and culturally relevant programs, policies, practices, and research.
      • Reflect upon and evaluate one’s role in advancing equity in higher education.
      • Possible items to demonstrate learning in the above areas can include: resources (books, articles, websites) that students have found to be significant in their graduate study, graduate courses and specific assignments or in-class activities; a list of conference workshop or other non-classroom activities attended that promoted professional development; and samples of assistantship, internship, or job responsibilities that demonstrate competencies. Students should consider including favorable unsolicited comments about their work by professors, supervisors, or students/clients. The student should not include the writer’s names of these unless they have received their permission. Students should not just include what they did – but also explain what they learned and how students learned from their work.  Students will detail their role in an entry. For example, if they presented a program at a conference, what was their role?  Did they initiate, plan, implement, assess, and publicize it? 
    6. Reflection on learning (This should be approximately 5-7 pages in length, and be specific, concrete, and thorough)
      • What insights has the student gained about themselves and their preparation by assembling this portfolio?
      • What three items most compelled the student to rethink or transform their thinking, perspectives, or skills.
      • Of what aspect of this portfolio is the student most proud?
      • How has the student documented that students have learned from them?
      • What kind of professional is the student and will they hope to be in the future?

Criteria for assessing the Portfolio includes the following:

  1. Organization
    • Materials should be organized in a logical fashion as designated in the above.
    • Entries must illustrate unique aspects of the student’s academic experience.
    • Students detail their role in an entry. For example, students shouldn’t simply include a PowerPoint presentation. Did the student solely create it? Did they plan, implement, assess, or publicize it?
  2. Appearance
    • Materials must be attractively presented and easily accessible on an online website such as Weebly or Word Press.
    • All materials must be neat, legible, and error free (i.e., 6th edition APA style).
    • Materials must be professionally presented and adhere to honor code and academic integrity policies.
  3. Learning Outcomes – The portfolio should demonstrate that the student has acquired the learning outcomes articulated in the program learning goals listed above.


To register for HE 797, the student must have successfully completed 27 credits toward the MA and be in the last semester of their coursework. The student must also have an up-to-date, completed program of study on file. The student will need to email hepadmin@gmu.edu at least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester to gain permission to enroll in HE 797.