Plan B – Professional Portfolio

Aligning Plan B - Professonal Portfolio Evidence with Program Standards

There are a total of ten program standards. They are designed to support the development of leaders in the field of early childhood education. All students must provide evidence of meeting the minimum requirements for Standards 1 through 5. Plan B students must choose at least two other standards that they will address in their Plan B Portfolios.

Alternately, a student may design his/her own standard that explores an area of ECE in more depth in consultation with her advisor.
Each standard has SLOS and is divided into a number of benchmarks. At least two exemplars for each standard (addressing at least two of the benchmarks) should be included in the portfolio. There are five required exemplars: one from each of five core courses.

The final portfolio is submitted the semester after students have completed all required coursework.

Portfolio entries and the final portfolio are rated with rubrics that evaluate the content, demonstration of competencies, and ability to communicate ideas in scholarly writing:

  1. Unacceptable — portfolio evidence does not adequately demonstrate essential competency in addressing the standard/ILOs/benchmark
  2. Acceptable* — portfolio evidence demonstrates that candidate demonstrates essential knowledge, skills or dispositions relative to each standard/SLO/benchmarks
  3. Exceeds Expectations — portfolio evidence demonstrates the candidate’s exceptional knowledge, skills or dispositions relative to the standard/SLO/benchmarks chosen

*A rating of 1 is required for work submitted as evidence for each standard.

Contents of the Professional Portfolio

The Plan B – Professional Portfolio is submitted digitally to the MEd ECE Program in the Curriculum Studies Department using the MEd ECE Laulima Dropbox. The digital capstone includes: 1) a Plan B Portfolio Record Sheet, 2) a Professional Portfolio Narrative; and, 3) an Exemplar Collection which includes in order the collection of exemplars the student is submitting as evidence. All drafts of documents and the final copy are submitted digitally.

Overview of the Professional Portfolio Components

The portfolio consists of a digital copy of the final documents uploaded on to the MEd ECE Laulima site. It includes 1) a Plan B Portfolio Record Sheet, 2) a Professional Portfolio Narrative; and, 3) an Exemplar Collection. The MEd ECE Professional Portfolio is divided into narrative sections and addresses the 5 core and 2 or more elective ECE Standards which are recommended areas of competency within the field.

A. Plan B – Plan B Portfolio Record Sheet

A completed scoring sheet that clearly:

  1. Identifies benchmark(s) addressed by each exemplar
  2. The organizing code (e.g. 1.A, 1.B) and name of each exemplar. This should match the labeling in your narratives and in the exemplars uploaded into your dropbox.

B. Plan B – Professional Portfolio Narrative

The Professional Portfolio Narrative will contain the following items in the order listed:

  1. A Title Page that is formatted according to Curriculum Studies Department requirements. (See sample). A signed hard copy must be submitted for program completion.
  2. A Table of Contents listing by page number all the items in the Portfolio.
  3. An Introduction that contains:
    • A biographical statement including a discussion of who you are as a professional as you begin the program and what led you to pursue this masters degree. Share your passions, gifts, and goals coming into the program. Include a self-assessment of yourself as a knowledgeable, effective and caring professional.
    • The broad philosophical beliefs that ground your practice as a professional
    • An overview of the portfolio and an explanation of why you chose the two additional standards that you addressed.
  4. 7 Reflective Statements, one for each of the five required and two elective standards chosen. Reflective statements should:
    • Provide a general overview your knowledge, dispositions and competencies as an early childhood educator relative to the standard
    • Identify each exemplar and the benchmark(s) the exemplar addresses.
    • Describe the artifacts submitted for each exemplar. Within 1-2 paragraphs briefly describe what you have submitted as evidence.
    • Explain why the exemplar was chosen and how this demonstrates essential knowledge, skill and dispositions relative to the benchmark(s) identified. Entries should include what was learned through engaging in the activity that led to your exemplar, thoughts on the effectiveness of your practice, and how the experience will impact your future professional practice or endeavors.
    • Provide a closing summary assessing your current knowledge and ethical issues related to the standard, as well ass directions for future learning and professional growth in this area.
    • The narrative should include abundant citations from professional literature that make evident how your practices are informed by many credible sources in the field.
  5. A Conclusion that contains a summary reflection of your journey and growth. Your summary should highlight:
    • themes that emerged in the process
    • areas of significant challenge and growth as a leader and contributions you have made
    • next steps in your professional journey
  6. An Appendix containing:
    • A Bibliography of sources cited in the document in APA format.
    • An Exemplar List noting each accompanying exemplar by code and name (codes are numbers or letters so the reader can identify and find the item (e.g., 1.1, 2.2…). There should be consistency between this list and the labeling system used in your Professional Portfolio Narrative, your Portfolio Assessment Record Sheet, and Exemplar Collection pieces submitted in your MEd ECE Laulima Dropbox.
    • Professional résumé or curriculum vita.
    • Program of Studies listing all courses taken as part of the program.

** Ethical Considerations: When including your journal entries or other personal reflections, do not use actual names of teachers, principals, students, schools, etc. If your work is not original, cite the appropriate references. Be sure to include your ethical reflection for each narrative and in your summary.

Download a summary of this information

C. Plan B – Exemplar Collection

Your Professional Portfolio Narrative is accompanied by the collection of exemplars that you are offering as evidence of your growth and competencies. These should be clearly labeled so that your advisor and 2nd reader can locate with ease the evidence that supports your narrative statements. You will include:

  1. A Portfolio Assessment Record Sheet that catalogues exemplars providing evidence for each standard. For each standard you will need to collect 2 or more exemplars that demonstrate a breadth and depth of knowledge across multiple benchmarks/ILOs of each standard.
    • Note each exemplar by name and an identifying code.
    • Identify which benchmarks are addressed by each exemplar.
    • Briefly explain your exemplar’s relevance in the exemplars box for each benchmark.
  2. A digital copy of each of your exemplars for the five core and two optional standards uploaded in folders. These should be clearly labeled and organized by standard in your MEd ECE Laulima Dropbox.

Choosing Exemplars for your Professional Portfolio

You will choose exemplars for the five core standards and for two additional standards of your choice. Work closely with your advisor in choosing what to include as an exemplar to make sure your proposed item is appropriate and how it might be best submitted if there are multiple parts. Students are encouraged to be creative in considering what types of materials to use. Exemplars may be selected from professional activities and course projects. Reflection is an important part of this process.

Students may use one exemplar to address several different benchmarks, but should keep in mind the need to effectively communicate with your reader that you have acquired a depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and dispositions in each of the standards you have chosen. Substantial exemplars that require great investments of time and effort may show the integration of knowledge and practice across standards. Smaller exemplars perhaps should best be used to demonstrate competency in one standard or benchmark. Quality is more important than quantity!

Since your Professional Portfolio also represents a journey and how you have developed your voice as a leader and advocate, exemplars to develop content knowledge can provide the foundation for leadership activities. It is expected that later exemplars will build on what was accomplished in previous coursework and exemplars. A general list of possible exemplars is provided below. This list provides potential ideas, but is not exclusive. You will decide on exemplars particular to your interests, gifts and situation in concert with your advisor.

  • A professional presentation at a workshop, conference or a college class (including description, materials and evaluations)
  • A curriculum guide, unit and lesson plans (including description, materials, children’s work samples, photographs, and other documentation)
  • A published article or review for a professional journal or other publication
  • An academic paper that shows the ability to synthesize and analyze current theory and research
  • A community publication such as a newsletter, brochure demonstrating effective communication with parents or community groups
  • A case study of a child or children including recommendations and reflections
  • One or two sections of a child’s portfolio
  • Professional resource materials created for adult students or colleagues
  • A project or activity designed for peers, parents or community members (including description, materials, photos, and evaluations)
  • A grant proposal created on your own or with others to promote an early childhood program or other early childhood educational endeavor
  • A research proposal
  • Reflection on an ethical dilemma
  • An original research study on children or an early childhood education issue
  • Documentation of a leadership role in a program or a professional organization
  • A course or program designed to fulfill a community or training need
  • A video, documentation panel, or other public awareness effort designed to educate parents, educators, legislators, community members, or students

Examining Plan B – Professional Portfolios written by former students will give you a clearer idea of how portfolios are formatted, how to compose the portfolio narrative, and exemplars that have been chosen by students in the past. Please see examples of Plan B – Professional Portfolios in the MEd ECE Program Laulima.

*We highly recommend that you identify study buddies or critical friends from whom you can accept feedback to assist you in your writing process.

Preparing to Share Your Professional Portfolio

You are nearing the end of your MEd ECE Program Journey!

The culminating activity is an oral defense in which the completed portfolio is presented to the advisor, other faculty members and peers.

Part of the culmination of this effort is a Plan B Oral Defense. This is an opportunity to share your Professional Portfolio. Your advisor will arrange a date for the orals, which will include your advisor and your second reader and may include other students and supporters. Orals provide you with an opportunity to discuss the process, content, and application of your Professional Portfolio. You will also be provided with feedback to help you complete final edits before submitting your Professional Portfolio. You should take notes to be certain that these suggestions are incorporated into your final draft.

The information in this section will help you to prepare for portfolio sharing day. The oral is an opportunity to share your mastery with your peer(s) and program faculty. You may want to jot notes or write your answer to each of these questions and bring them to your oral presentation. Your portion of the sharing will take about between 15-20 minutes. Each student will present their best work, with a few minutes for questions and answers afterwards.

You should NOT attempt to share all your exemplars or reflective statements verbatim at this time. Rather, plan to share a few of the most comprehensive exemplars or highlights of your portfolio and to provide a more comprehensive picture of your expertise and major accomplishments as well as how you intend to move forward as you complete your degree. You should also be prepared to answer these basic questions about your professional journey and accomplishments.

Reflection Questions to Guide Your Sharing

The following list of reflection questions is provided to help guide your preparation. Please prepare written statement of your answers and be prepared to turn this in and share but not read this directly when you present. You will turn your written statement at the end of the Portfolio Sharing Day.

  1. Where were you professionally at the onset of this program?
  2. What goals did you hope to accomplish during the MEd ECE Program process?
  3. Describe your growth as a scholar:
    • What were your biggest challenges?
    • What have been your most significant accomplishments? (This is a chance to share two or three of your proudest exemplars)
  4. Were there any particular standards or areas where your professional growth came as a surprise?
  5. Why was this program valuable in your overall professional development and how will completing this degree impact both your work and your sense of self as a leader in the field of early childhood education?
  6. How does the work you have done in this program fit into a larger framework of lifelong learning that goes beyond simply completing graded assignments?
  7. What next steps will you take upon completion of the program?
  8. Please share any additional thoughts you have about your experience in the MEd ECE Program.

Submitting Your Professional Portfolio for the Record

After completing the Oral Defense, complete final revisions to your Professional Portfolio, incorporating comments from your advisor, 2nd reader, and colleagues at the orals. Reconfirm the final date for submission of your Professional Portfolio. Portfolios will not be accepted after this time.

Upon completion of your orals and final editing of the Professional Portfolio, upload the final draft and all exemplars in (.doc or pdf or ppt) to your MEd ECE Program Laulima Dropbox. Remove all drafts. Submit a hard copy of your signed coversheet to the MEd ECE Program Office in the Curriculum Studies Department, in Everly 224. As a courtesy, please also show our second readers that you have appreciated their support by sending a gesture of your gratitude.

You’re Done!

Make sure you get an email from your advisor verifying that you have submitted all the necessary documents to meet program requirements and are clear to graduate.