2019 Career Ladder Portfolio Format and Tips — DASNR Intranet
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DASNR Intranet

2019 Career Ladder Portfolio Format and Tips

Checklist for Portfolio Format


Failure to closely follow the specifications in this checklist will result in disqualification of the application.

Submit a portfolio in a 3-ring notebook (appropriate size for number of pages in portfolio) and an electronic copy of the portfolio on either a CD or flash drive. The notebook portfolio and the electronic copy must both contain the following:

1)      Title page (see Appendix V)*

2)      Table of Contents

3)      Résumé  (2 page maximum)

4)      Narrative Format

A brief biographical paragraph should be included

All standards in each category and subcategory of achievement are to be addressed and appropriately identified in order listed

20 page maximum (front of page only) summary of specific areas of criteria (Standards of Achievement)

Georgia Theme font, font size 12 minimum

1½ line spacing – 1 inch margins on top, bottom, and sides

Numbered pages

Graphs, tables, and charts are acceptable to supplement written narrative

Do not use plastic sleeves

5)      Documentation labeled and tabbed to identify standards**

Maximum of one page/sheet of documentation per standard (can be front and back) of pages

Plastic sleeves may be used for holding documentation

One sleeve per standard, labeled and tabbed

6)      Portfolio should be neat, organized, clean, and concise

7)      Deliver or mail a hard copy of the completed portfolio, and either a CD or flash drive containing one PDF file (with the same pages/documents in the same format as the documents in the portfolio), to the Staff and Program Development Director’s Office by due date


*The title page can be used on the cover of the portfolio notebook and as the first page of the portfolio.  It must be included as the first page in the electronic copy.

**Scanned versions of the supporting documentation may be used on the CD or flash drive.

Tips for Writing an Effective Career Ladder Portfolio

The challenge in writing a Career Ladder portfolio is to develop a concise, readable, and comprehensive document that explains your program to supervisors, peers, and others. Not all reviewers will know your clientele, resources, situation, or accomplishments like you do. A brief biographical paragraph should be included to describe your situation. The portfolio must help them understand the challenges you face, the work you have done, and the impact you have made. The portfolio should represent all years of service for the level of application and all standards must be addressed in the narrative section. If you have split appointments (i.e. Ag/4-H Youth Development or FCS/4-H Youth Development, etc.) be sure to include information about all of the program areas for which you are responsible.

When addressing the standards in the “Programming” section of the portfolio narrative, the presentation seems most effective when several exemplary programming efforts are highlighted which describe programming that fulfills all or most of the standards. The narrative should strive to describe the quality and program cohesiveness of the applicant’s programming over time and subject matter, as well as the effectiveness/impact of their programming (to the extent possible with examples). As needed, the applicant should consider supplementing these “case study” exemplary programs with some short information bytes to show the breadth of programming and fulfillment of each programming standard.

Prepare your portfolio using Georgia theme font, size 12 minimum, with 1½ line spacing and 1 inch margins at top, bottom, and sides of each page. Graphs, tables, and charts are acceptable if they are explained in the narrative. Carefully follow these and other style and formatting specifications described in these guidelines for preparing your portfolio. The written narrative cannot exceed 20 pages of summary information regarding the three specific areas of criteria – professionalism, programming, and professional development. Do not use plastic sleeves on narrative pages, however, sleeves may be used for holding documentation. Documentation must be in written format only -- no CD, DVD, or video tapes. Documentation sleeves are to be limited to no more than one sleeve per standard and each sleeve must be labeled and tabbed. The reviewers will be expecting a portfolio that is organized and formatted according to these guidelines and will be better able to evaluate your accomplishments if you follow them carefully. Do not include documentation that is not discussed in the narrative.

Avoid acronyms and abbreviations because peer reviewers from other program areas may be unfamiliar with specific elements of your program, and may not recognize acronyms or abbreviations that are familiar to you.

Use the first person and active voice wherever possible in describing your activities and accomplishments. Use of the word “I” is not only acceptable; it is preferable, as it identifies what you contributed. Make every word count and replace long words with short ones and technical terms with non-technical terms. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and to the point. Proofread carefully to minimize typographical errors.

Have an on-going dialogue with your supervisor and district staff on preparing your portfolio. Have your portfolio informally reviewed by other educators in your district in order to ensure that you have presented your accomplishments in a clear, concise writing style that addresses the criteria. 

To help you learn more about the portfolios, you are highly encouraged to attend the career ladder training that will be offered.  

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