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Constructing a Professional Identity: Connecting College and Career Through ePortfolios


In this paper, we describe the use of ePortfolios at a public, land-grant university and document how the ePortfolio has been used to develop more authentic learning experiences. We discuss the best practices for ePortfolios and its varied use as a teaching and learning tool. In addition, we discuss the challenges of implementing ePortfolios. For these examples, we provide strategies for helping both undergraduate and graduate students communicate how their academic experiences connect with the expectations of employers. All of these efforts are directed through an online, outward‐facing ePortfolio by providing examples of relevant, professional experiences, combined with reflective writing (i.e., authentic learning). Students who identify the narrative themes running through their experiences, and use those themes to develop an online presence, are able to reflect, construct, and articulate a professional identity through the ePortfolio. Students then can answer the critical question posed by employers, “Tell me about yourself.”