Teacher Education Certificate
Challenge Method: Portfolio

"Completing an e-portfolio during the Teacher Education Program was a process of personal action research that provided a forum for my personal and professional narrative. In considering and responding to the BC College of Teachers Standards for the Education, Competence and Professional Conduct of Educators through reflective practice, I gained a greater insight into my own learning and growth. It gave me an opportunity to review my life, work and educational experiences.

While there were moments when I became frustrated with it as a requirement for program completion, I am thankful for the journey it provided.

My professional e-portfolio has been a tool to assist me in setting pedagogical and professional goals and a guide for decision making thereby effecting positive change.

Looking to the future, it will continue to be an evidence based tool that promotes reflective inquiry and as a public working portfolio it will also invite discussion and feedback from peers and mentors."



Child & Youth Care
Challenge Method: Portfolio

"I received academic credit for my portfolio and I have used it twice in interviews.

I would recommend other people develop a portfolio for academic credit or employment because in the end it is an amazing overview of my accomplishments to date which helped me see areas I could improve on and areas that I wanted to pursue.

As I was putting my life into pages I was proud of my skill sets and accomplishments.

Creating a portfolio helped me to better understand myself, my frame of reference as well as further my career.

Although it took time and energy to create, employers and faculty were very impressed by my portfolio and I know it played a significant part in my career trajectory."



Child & Youth Care
Challenge Method: Portfolio

"Being able to complete a portfolio that met the academic requirements of a Child and Youth Care practicum allowed me to be able to apply all of my previous 20 years of work experience and demonstrate that the required competencies had been acquired. The organization of the material collected during this time, validated my personal experiences and knowledge of working with young children and families.

The process of creating a portfolio involved a lot of research and thought. Initially, it seemed overwhelming. I soon developed a system and took each of the cluster skills (Clinical skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Self-Reflecting Skills, Professional Skills and Contextual Skills) and defined what each meant. I then made a list of indicators that would fit into each of the categories. As I collected the work samples education/workshop certificates I made a note of which competencies they would be indicators for. In many cases the collected information pertained to more than one skill cluster.

I have had the opportunity to share my binder with my family and friends. It makes a wonderful journal of what I have done over the years. Although I have not used it in my professional work place, I do continue to add information to it."



Adult Education
Challenge Method: Portfolio

"I found the process of developing my portfolio to be draining, though I knew it was an important step for me. Developing a portfolio and challenging courses to obtain academic credit is among the best things I’ve ever done as it has allowed me to see my capacity and realize my capability.

I would recommend portfolio because it will organize your life by differentiating what is important and what is not important.

My original goal was academic credit for the portfolio development course in Adult Education but now that I’ve achieved that goal I also use it as part of my daily life (through presentations, etc). It has helped my life and my career by organizing my life into a variety of “hats” so I can pick and choose evidence and reflection in my portfolio to make presentations that vary depending on the audience."

"When I first heard about RPL I didn’t believe that I could get academic credit for my skills and learning. I have now been able to get 18 PLAR credits which let me complete my program in less time so I can begin my masters program sooner than I had originally planned.

I recommend that students who want direction and help through this process seek the skillful staff and faculty in RPL and around faculties at UFV."



‌ Challenge Method: Portfolio

I became a registered nurse 28 years ago when a good percentage of nurses took their training in a hospital setting. It had been a long time goal of mine to undertake further studies and acquire a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  Five years ago, while raising a family of four children and working full time on the inpatient Psychiatry unit at Chilliwack General Hospital, I took the plunge and started back to university.

I was able to complete two of the nursing courses by utilizing the “Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition” (PLAR) process. Throughout my career as a nurse, I have had the opportunity to work in several interesting areas of practice. Two of these areas were Home Health Nursing and Public Health Nursing. The process of PLAR required that I put together a portfolio that would demonstrate how the skills and knowledge I had gained from my experience compared to the learning I would have achieved by taking the given courses. While going through this process I learned that I did indeed have a good deal of knowledge related to the subject areas. I learned that my hands on experience had taught me many valuable lessons.

I found putting together the portfolio a very interesting process. It required many hours of work but I learned so much. Now that some time has passed I think I would go through this process again. It allowed me the opportunity to fit my university work in around my job, family life and other commitments.

I would recommend the PLAR process to others. It does take a good deal of time to complete but it allows one the option of completing it at home which can be extremely helpful in time management. I believe that I gained knowledge that was even beyond the expectations of what the course would have asked of me. I would say that the portfolio I developed has helped my career as any knowledge gained is useful in the provision of solid nursing practice.



Russian 101
‌ Challenge Method: Exam

I lived in Russia for 13 years so I met the requirement that anyone who challenges Russian 101 be a native speaker. A language course was required in my BBA-Aviation program.  I met with faculty only 2 times and further discussions were through e-mail. Organizing my challenge didn’t take very much time because I was only required to register and complete the exam. I was given two final exams that covered the whole course which I wrote in 3 hours.

Challenging the courses saved me time and I would recommend that other native speakers pursue challenge to meet course requirements or electives in their programs.



Adult Education (ADED)
‌ Challenge Method: Portfolio

It was an exciting, fun, affirming and inspirational process. Developing my portfolio allowed me to find innovative ways to illustrate my achievements and it was also a creative means of self-expression. I will continue to develop my portfolio to document what I have done, what I am doing as it represents my personal growth.

The portfolio has been instrumental to my career.  I am now able to share my portfolio when appropriate during a performance review. It has provided me with the opportunity to build a record that supplements my résumé and demonstrates to my current employer, in a concrete way what my skills and abilities are.

I use my portfolio as a highly visual tool to showcase my skills, abilities and achievements during an interview with prospective employers. It is literally a "portable and purposeful collection" which fits in nicely with the new age concept of transferable skills and adaptability that employers are looking for today. Unlike my résumé, which simply records what I have done, my portfolio helps me tell an employer what I can do now and it backs up what I am saying with solid evidence to support my accomplishment statements.

My portfolio is also an excellent progressive tool for my career development. It is allowing me to demonstrate my non-formal learning experiences as a learning assessment instrument so that I can gain access to PLAR credits, which will help me complete a degree and move towards my ultimate goal of achieving a master’s degree in an expedited and timely fashion.

The saying, “You’ve come a long way,” comes to mind. As a committed lifelong learner this meaningful opportunity helped me to collect and reflect on my experiences. I would recommend it because the portfolio experience has been very rewarding for me, both professionally and personally. 



Punjabi 210
‌ Challenge Method: Exam

I grew up speaking Punjabi but I only learned how to write it from my time in Punjabi 101.

I found the challenge process to be very pleasant because once I met with my instructor and heard from him that he thought I knew the material, I had about four further email conversations with him and then wrote the challenge exam. After initially asking my instructor about it he did most of the work in getting permission from the head of the department. The faculty does a great job of setting things up and setting up an exam date that best suits your interests. The only work I had to do was to prepare to write the exam.

I would recommend that other students challenge courses if they are confident in their knowledge of the course.



Computer Information Systems (CIS) 190
‌ Challenge Method: Exam

After I spoke to the instructor about my prior learning and discussed my knowledge and skills in relation to CIS 190, I registered in CIS 190 as a Challenge. The Challenge took about a month from start to finish because I attended class a couple of times and then wrote the exam. I passed the exam and received credit for the course on my transcript. I’d recommend PLAR to anyone who feels that they could make more efficient use of the time and money saved by challenging a course. I was able to focus more time and energy on other projects that demand large amounts of time.



Teacher Education Program (TEP)
‌ Challenge Method: Portfolio

Creating a compact, professional-looking and comprehensive “snapshot” of what I have learned is pretty rewarding and I’m impressed with all I’ve accomplished. I learned from this experience that I need to stand back and look at myself to acknowledge, “Wow, that’s impressive! I have learned a lot!”

My portfolio is electronic so I had to choose the format and learn the software. I found that I reduced my stress and increased my productivity and insightfulness by giving myself ample time to produce a portfolio.

I would recommend that people develop portfolios for academic credit and to use in job interviews.



 Adult Education (ADED)
‌ Challenge Method: Portfolio

Portfolio development is a very personal journey. When I look back on it, I feel like it was a rite of passage and a necessary professional “cod liver oil” I needed to strengthen my development. As a result of developing my portfolio I’ve turned into a bit of a ferret and pack rat. I am constantly updating artifacts in my portfolio now as I collect them. I would recommend people develop a portfolio because you will end up knowing yourself better and with more confidence.

As I developed my portfolio, I learned to rely on myself and my sense of judgment on what it is I know and what competencies I posses. I also learned how to effectively provide concrete examples of what it is I know and do.

I have used parts of my portfolio to demonstrate competencies for job interviews and to explain the benefits of portfolio development to members of my team and organization.  I know that I will use it in the future for employment opportunities.

I also use it as a touchstone I can go back to reflect on whether or not I am still true to my personal philosophy of development. It allows me to demonstrate to myself what I have learned and what it is I am still learning. It’s a life long process now and I just need to get used to that.



Child and Youth Care (CYC)
‌ Challenge Method: Portfolio

Initially, I found the portfolio development process to be overwhelming overwhelming. However, as I began to put the pieces of my learning and the course competencies together, I realized how much I had accomplished in my career and then became excited. It was most helpful in putting together where I have been and where I may be going. I was able to reflect on why I have made the choices I have and to also ensure I am where I want to be.

After completing the portfolio I now have the route to my professional life organized and mapped out.  I would strongly recommend portfolio development to anyone who has a strong professional background as that is where the majority of my evidence came from.


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