Credit by Portfolio

IST students may be able to use substitute activities in their full-time position to fulfill the internship requirement by using the Credit by Portfolio option.  This option allows students to submit a portfolio of technical work samples, created from their full-time work experiences, that are comparable to, or exceed, the duties of a normal internship.

Students who are approved for Credit by Portfolio will be enrolled in IST 295B(p) for students obtaining an associate degree or IST 495(p) for students obtaining a bachelor's degree, allowing them to receive full academic credit for the required internship course. 

Overview

  • Any student enrolled in the College of Information Sciences and Technology or the Division of Undergraduate Studies, who was employed full-time for six or more months in an IT/IS related field within the past two years.
  • Projects submitted as part of the portfolio must demonstrate that the student has a significant depth and breadth of knowledge and hands on practice in their related field.
  • Completing the Credit by Portfolio is easiest if students are current, active students in the semester in which they are submitting their credit by portfolio.
  • If a student is completing their internship requirement through Credit by Portfolio, it is recommended that it not be the final and only credit for the student in a given semester. The credit can only be awarded in a semester when a student is enrolled in other classes as well or if they are re-enrolled for graduation.
  • Work samples must be no more than two years old
  • Activities must be comparable to, or exceed, the duties of a normal internship
  • Samples must be of a depth and breadth that represent a deep understanding of the professional IT field

The Credit by Portfolio process can be started at any time. Once you have an approved portfolio proposal, we request a completed portfolio to be submitted within one year of that approval date. You may send your portfolio prior to the deadlines you are given via the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement. You are not obligated to turn in your portfolio early, but remember that the earlier you submit the portfolio, the earlier you will learn whether or not you passed.

The portfolio submission deadlines will be provided to you upon review of the Intent to Register form (IST 495p or IST 295p) and brief proposal. These deadlines are set to meet graduation timelines.

In general, the College of IST requires portfolios be submitted a minimum of four weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester in which you wish to graduate to allow for review and credit submission to fulfill graduation requirements. Note that these timelines do not include required for a non-disclosure agreement.

  • Do not register for credit at your local campus. The internship credit will be applied via the Assessment Form once your portfolio has been approved.
  • Keep a copy of your portfolio for your own records.
  • Confirm if your employer/organization requires a Non-Disclosure Agreement to allow you to submit your work through Credit by Portfolio.
  • Students who submit an acceptable portfolio that demonstrates adequate mastery of technical expertise and writing skills will receive credit for IST 295B or IST 495, but no grade. The credits will be designated on the transcript as “credit awarded by portfolio assessment."
  • The registration fee is non-refundable. If minor portfolio changes are needed, the portfolio will be returned and can be resubmitted. If major changes are needed or the portfolio is deemed unacceptable, no credit will be granted and the fee is forfeited.

Process

  • Submit your Intent to Register Form for IST 295p or IST 495p and brief proposal to the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement at the beginning of the semester
    • Your email subject line should be "Credit by Portfolio Proposal for [insert your name]"
  • Keep a copy of your proposal to include in your portfolio
    • If you are not able to submit documents electronically, please mail them to:

      Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement
      The College of Information Sciences and Technology
      The Pennsylvania State University
      E103 Westgate Building
      University Park, PA 16802-6822
  • Before moving on to the next steps, you will need to wait for an email approval from the Career Solutions office
  • Be sure to review the information regarding non-disclosure agreements, as these can add significant time to your portfolio process

Upon approval of your proposal:

  • Complete the project reports and compile the portfolio as described in the portfolio instructions
  • Include the following items:
  • Include a check made payable to Penn State University and include your student ID number on the check

You have two options to submit your portfolio: hard copy or electronically. No assessment will take place until notification of the assessment application and fees has been received.

Hard Copy Submission

Mail your completed portfolio and payment to:

  • Financial Officer
    The College of Information Sciences and Technology
    The Pennsylvania State University
    E340 Westgate Building
    University Park, PA 16802-6822
  • Include a check for $390 made payable to “The Pennsylvania State University” with your portfolio submission. Please put your student ID on the check.
  • Completed Portfolios should include: ​

Electronic Submission

Once received, IST faculty will review your portfolio. If deemed acceptable, credit will be applied to your transcript. If unacceptable, either the faculty will seek further clarification from you and review the portfolio again, or the portfolio will be deemed unacceptable.

You will be informed of the approval or rejection of portfolio via email within two weeks of your submission.

  • Be sure to keep a copy of your portfolio for your own records. 
  • Students who submit an acceptable portfolio that demonstrates adequate mastery of technical expertise and writing skills will receive credit for IST 295B or IST 495, but no grade. The credits will be designated on the transcript as “credit awarded by portfolio assessment."
  • The registration fee is non-refundable. If minor portfolio changes are needed, the portfolio will be returned and can be resubmitted. If major changes are needed or the portfolio is deemed unacceptable, no credit will be granted and the fee is forfeited.
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Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Make an Appointment

careers@ist.psu.edu
(814) 865-4509