“Portfolio Conferences” are an assessment process designed to review a student’s program of study and spiritual growth and ministerial formation approximately mid-way through the degree program. The student and advisor determine when the conference should happen. The student is responsible for coordinating its planning (time, participants and location). The participants can attend the conference via phone, Skype or Adobe Connect. It is the responsibility of the student to organize and coordinate the technical needs well before the conference, including booking the room with ample advance.
The purpose of the conference is to affirm the student and their work; provide feedback, addressing specific issues and questions and exploring growing edges; provide a time for the student to assess what is needed before graduation; articulate issues on which counsel and consultation are needed; experience both community support and accountability.
Participants in the conference include:
- Student’s advisor
- Another faculty member -core or adjunct
- A student contemporary
- A community representative – someone from outside the school who knows the student and their wor It is best if the representative is a member of the community the student is focused on working with or works in the vocation the student hopes to enter. Portfolio conferences are one hour long. The conference should be scheduled by the student at least a month in advance and a portfolio of representative student work should be distributed at least 2 weeks in advance (in print, on a CD or by e-mail: please ask participants for their preferences).
What to include in the Portfolio package for each participant:
- A selection of one’s most significant academic papers, essays, sermons and personal writings (as pertaining to the student work and growth during the program).
- An updated student transcript, one’s Threshold Assessment essay and an update on how the student is meeting the Thresholds requirement (this can be presented in the format chosen by the student)
- Course, internship and CPE evaluations. Additional assessments are also optional. Most of these materials are kept in the student file housed in the Registrar’s office and can be copied by the student.
- A selection of the student’s art work (optional).
- A portfolio should be “sustainably” read by all participants: something in the 50-70 page range.
- A table of contents listing each item, its location in the package, and a description of its original context (i.e., title, term, and instructor for the course in which a paper was written; date and setting for a sermon, etc.).
- Please include this description of the Portfolio Conference in the package.
The format of the 1 hour meeting can vary and can be discussed with one’s advisor. The meeting is facilitated by the student advisor and will include:
- welcoming by the student’s advisor;
- a chalice lighting, or a reading, a prayer or a brief ritual, led by the student;
- introduction of participants and of the ways they worked with the student;
- responses to the student’s portfolio, feedback on the student work and dialogue meant to strengthen the student’s learning and growth;
- Questions and/or advice from participants
- Questions the students would like help in assessing
- A closing (by student or advisor)
- Sometimes students include food or drink as a means of being gracious, but this is not at all require
- Students can choose to prepare the space and their presentation as simply or as elaborately as they like.
Students are expected to review participant and format choices with their advisor.
Students are expected to bring to the conference all “Portfolio Conference forms.” (Available on the SKSM Website) They are also expected to complete page 1 or the “Portfolio Conference Record”, sign the form, obtain their advisor’s signature and return the form to the Registrar as documentation of completion. Students should complete part 1 of page 2 or the “Portfolio Advising Notes” and give the form to the advisor prior to the conference. This page will be kept in the advisor’s records.
Students will not be allowed to Petition to Graduate if they have not completed the Mid-Degree Portfolio Conference.