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Portfolio Guidelines

  • What is the master’s degree portfolio for Reading Certification?

    This portfolio is a collection of artifacts from your coursework that demonstrates your understanding of literacy processes and practices developed as you engaged in the Master’s Degree in Teaching, Learning and Leadership with a specialization in Reading/Literacy. Attached to each artifact should be an analytic reflection about the selected artifact that provides a rich and complex picture of you (the candidate) as a reading specialist. Your literacy portfolio should be created in an effort to assess, reflect upon and plan for your growth as a literacy education professional. Successful completion of this portfolio satisfies the non-thesis option requirement of your degree, as well as one of the state requirements for certification as a Reading/Literacy Specialist. It is important to approach the portfolio systematically and thoughtfully, beginning with your admission portfolio (goal statement and initial reading philosophy statement from your application) and building thoughtfully to your graduation portfolio. Read and study the 2017 ILA Standards for Literacy Professionals carefully and reflect on the connections between your coursework and these standards as you move through your program. The instructional goal for this portfolio is for you to see the “big picture” of your learning and experiences throughout the program and demonstrate how your understanding of both the OSU LEADS framework and ILA Standards showcase your knowledge, skills and dispositions of a reading professional.

  • Who is the audience?

    The audience for your portfolio is your advisory committee and the literacy faculty group. Your goal is to demonstrate your learning across the program, as it relates to the 2017 ILA Standards for Literacy Professionals. However, at any time, the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP) can ask to review your portfolio. They will initiate this process through the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences and a request will be sent to you to submit your portfolio for review. This means you will need to have your portfolio available for at least five years after you graduate.

  • What are important dates to remember?

    The “admission” portfolio will be due when you file your initial plan of study. Your advisor will read and evaluate this section of your portfolio.


    The “graduation” portfolio will be presented to your advisory committee and a small group of your peers one month after your comprehensive examination.


    Two weeks prior to the portfolio presentation, you need to upload your portfolio to LiveText for faculty preview. Send your advisor an email notifying him/her that the portfolio is ready for preview.


  • What is to be included?

     The Admission Portfolio

    As part of your application to the TLL Master's Program Reading/Literacy Specialist, you submitted the following two statements that will be your first portfolio submissions:


    • Initial Goal Statement: A brief biographical statement that includes your teaching experience, professional goals and reasons for pursuing this degree (approximately two pages or 500 words)
    • Philosophy of Reading/Literacy Statement 1st Version: A brief statement of your philosophy of reading and writing processes and instruction (approximately two pages or 500 words)


    The Graduation Portfolio

    • Plan of Study (POS): A copy of the final POS approved by your advisor and submitted to the OSU Graduate College.
    • Initial Goal Statement
    • Philosophy of Reading/Literacy Statements
      • First Philosophy Statement -  Written as part of the application process
      • Second Philosophy Statement - Written in your last semester
    • Documentation of Learning: This section of the Graduation Portfolio is organized by the 2017 ILA Standards (See the "Matrix of Professional Role by Standard" document on the 2017 ILA Standards for Literacy Professionals) and the L.E.A.D.S principles).
      • Each of the seven sections below should have following:
        • An introductory reflection that addresses the significance of the standard and discusses how each artifact demonstrates your learning in that area
        • A list of the three to five artifacts included in that section
        • The full artifact/assignment documents uploaded in Word or PDF format
      • Sections:
        1. Foundational Knowledge: Candidates understand the theoretical, historical and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language and the ways in which they interrelate and the role of literacy professionals in schools.
        2. Curriculum and Instruction: Candidates use foundational knowledge to critique and implement literacy curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to design, implement and evaluate evidence-based literacy instruction for all learners.
        3. Assessment and Evaluation: Candidates understand, select and use valid, reliable, fair and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; participate in professional learning experiences; explain assessment results and advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.
        4. Diversity Candidates: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies and essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate an understanding of themselves and others as cultural beings; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district and community levels.
        5. Literate Environment: Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
        6. Professional Learning and Leadership: Candidates demonstrate the ability to be reflective literacy professionals, who apply their knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues; demonstrate their leadership and facilitation skills; advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families and communities.
        7. Practicum/Clinical Experiences: Candidates complete supervised, integrated, extended practica/clinical experiences that include intervention work with students and working with their peers and experienced colleagues; practica include ongoing experiences in school-based setting(s); supervision includes observation and ongoing feedback by qualified supervisors.
      • The Standards for Literacy Professionals-Revised 2017 document may be downloaded from the International Literacy Association website. On the site, please pay particular attention to criteria for "Reading/Literacy Specialists/Literacy Coaches" under "Role Descriptions, Elements and Evidence that Demonstrates Competence" when selecting artifacts and reflecting on your knowledge and abilities.
      • In addition, your artifacts should show your knowledge and abilities relative to the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences L.E.A.D.S. document, which outlines core values that guide instruction and learning in our college.
  • What kind of reflection is needed?

    The reflection statement introducing each ILA Standard/section should explain the standard, link the standard with relevant L.E.A.D.S. principles and note how artifacts demonstrate your knowledge and abilities at the reading/literacy specialist level. Rethink your understanding of each of these areas and analyze the information you learned in your various classes to inform your reflection. It is in this reflection aspect of the entry that your deeper understandings of literacy should be clearly demonstrated. Asking yourself the following questions may help you to write a strong reflection:


    • What would an accomplished literacy teacher or specialist need to know and be able to do with respect to a specific standard?
    • How might an accomplished educator demonstrate proficiency with respect to this standard?
    • How could such an educator prove that s/he was meeting this standard?
    • Do the section and the reflection, taken as a whole, accurately represent my philosophy of reading/literacy instruction and the practices that I would enact and advocate?
    • Are there important aspects of my teaching that the entry does not capture? Should I select different student work samples to better illustrate my understanding of the standard?

    Reflections and artifacts should include your understanding of description, analysis and reflection.

    • Description is often a retelling of what happened in a teaching or learning situation. This type of writing sets the scene for the reader of the portfolio. Your description should be logically ordered and detailed so that the reader understands to which standards you are linking.
    • Analysis deals with reasons, motives and interpretations and is grounded in concrete evidence provided by the artifacts in the portfolio. Analytical writing indicates the thought processes that you used to arrive at the conclusions you made regarding the artifact. Analysis also demonstrates the significance of the evidence you submit.
    • Reflection is a thought process after a teaching or learning situation. This is the thinking that allows you to make decisions about how you would approach similar situations in the future. You could decide to do something the same way, differently, or not at all. Although reflective thought may occur in many places, the “reflection” section of your portfolio is where you must show how you will use what you learned from program courses and experiences to inform and improve your practice in the future.
  • How will I present my portfolio?

    After you have completed your LiveText portfolio, you will present/share it with the literacy faculty and your cohort graduating that semester in a focused group format. This presentation will occur one month after comprehensive exams. You will discuss your philosophy with the group and reflect on your growth. Be prepared to not only discuss your philosophy, but to support it with literacy theory.

  • How will my portfolio be evaluated?

    You will be evaluated on the critical insights and depth of understanding demonstrated by your philosophy statements and reflections, your mastery of ILA Standards, and the professional quality of your written and oral communication.


    We will use a four point rubric, based on the following ratings, to score the philosophy statements and reflection and each of the seven ILA standards sections:


    • Exceptional: Demonstrates critical thought; demonstrates depth of understanding; demonstrates thoughtful and referenced reflection; shows clear and comprehensive connections to standards; shows individual’s personality; highly professional in both oral and written presentation.
    • Thorough: Well organized and complete; clearly presented; demonstrates clear understandings; demonstrates thoughtful reflection; shows connections to standards.
    • Adequate: Meets minimum requirements; includes general information but lacks elaboration, lacks originality, demonstrates surface level reflection, shows some connections to standards.
    • Inadequate: Missing evidence or information or artifacts, sloppy and poorly organized, shows no connections to standards, demonstrates only surface understandings; little or no reflection in response, it is simply a retelling.
  • What happens if my portfolio is rated as inadequate?

    If your portfolio is rated as inadequate, you can revise it one time, submitting your revision either:

    • By the end of the semester in which you first presented OR
    • During the next semester

    We will not review reworked portfolios beyond this time frame. If you fail to resubmit an adequate portfolio within the time indicated, you will not have completed the degree requirements and we will not recommend you for certification as a reading/literacy specialist.

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