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Thread: TESU portfolio tips

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    tesu-acct-student's Avatar
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    Default TESU portfolio tips

    Hi all,

    I've gotten so much from these forums that I thought I should share some of my own tips. I've done several PLAs through TESU and have developed a strategy that others might find helpful. I haven't seen these ideas elsewhere, and they are in no particular order.

    1. I usually purchase an older edition textbook to help me organize my thinking. I skim it, reading mostly the summaries of each chapter and refreshing myself on relevant vocab. This has another benefit: I then include this book in the bibliography.

    2. Below is a checklist I created in Word. I print the checklist, crop it down so that it fits on the outside of a file folder, then tape it to the front/outside of the folder. Then I fill it out as I go. This allows me to quickly see at a glance where I am in the process. Since I have had more than one PLA going at a time, this checklist has helped me a lot. I hope it can help somebody else.

    Portfolio checklist modified.docx

    3. Regarding the narrative. As most already know, TESU is looking for about five pages per credit. This means 15 pages. But I prefer to think of it in terms of word count, since the page count can vary depending on font sizes and margins. My goal is to have a bare minimum of 3,750 words.

    I begin with the CD (course description) from the PLA Database. Some courses have LCs (Learning Outcomes) with a list of bullet points. I use these bullet points as the "skeleton" for the narrative, and also as a way to estimate how many words each bullet point should take. An LC with six bullet points means that each bullet point should be about 625 words on average. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule but it helps me organize my thinking. Here is the CD for Accounting Systems & Concepts so you can see what I mean about the bullet points:

    ACC-340 Course Descript 20160229.JPG

    That's all I can think of that I haven't seen elsewhere.

    Do you have any portfolio tips?
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    BSBA/Accounting at TESU, degree conferred September 16, 2016.

    Started my bachelors in 1984, finished all my credits by July 2016:
    University: 43 credits for GE
    CC: 16 credits for GE
    PLA: 18 credits, ACC-121 (payroll taxes), ACC-213 (computerized acct), ENG-216 (biz Eng), ACC-340 (Acc systems), ACC-406 (Forensic acc), ACC-440 (Acc theory)
    TECEP: 6 credits, ACC-101, ACC-421
    e-pack: 3 credits, SOC-101
    GS/OL: 27 credits, other acc/biz/GE
    CLEP College Algebra, 3 credits
    DSST Business Ethics and Intro to Business, 6 credits
    Penn Foster: Strat Man (business capstone), 3 credits

    Here is my PLA thread: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created, and page three has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

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    davewill is offline Count / Countess
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    I'm glad nobody told me about that 5 pages per credit thing, I would have given up. Are you counting everything or just the narrative in that? Either way I was nowhere close.

    I used the same portfolio for 15 credits, except that I had two versions of the narrative. One for the programming courses and data structures, and one for the software engineering and computer architecture courses. Each narrative came in around 6 or 7 pages, double spaced, plus two more for my PLA resume, 3 for my professional resume, plus various evidence links and documents, and three verification letters.

    The only real tip I can give is to tailor everything to the learning objectives from the course description...and remember you don't have to be an expert, you just have to know what your average college student would know at the end of the course.
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    PLA Tips Thread

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    6-7 pages? Dang, I've been working too hard.
    BSBA/Accounting at TESU, degree conferred September 16, 2016.

    Started my bachelors in 1984, finished all my credits by July 2016:
    University: 43 credits for GE
    CC: 16 credits for GE
    PLA: 18 credits, ACC-121 (payroll taxes), ACC-213 (computerized acct), ENG-216 (biz Eng), ACC-340 (Acc systems), ACC-406 (Forensic acc), ACC-440 (Acc theory)
    TECEP: 6 credits, ACC-101, ACC-421
    e-pack: 3 credits, SOC-101
    GS/OL: 27 credits, other acc/biz/GE
    CLEP College Algebra, 3 credits
    DSST Business Ethics and Intro to Business, 6 credits
    Penn Foster: Strat Man (business capstone), 3 credits

    Here is my PLA thread: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created, and page three has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

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    This seems like a lot more work than just taking a simple challenge exam

    though of course I understand not every course has such a simple test-out option.
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    Mamasaphire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesu-acct-student View Post
    Hi all,

    I've gotten so much from these forums that I thought I should share some of my own tips. I've done several PLAs through TESU and have developed a strategy that others might find helpful. I haven't seen these ideas elsewhere, and they are in no particular order.
    Thanks for sharing -- this is a very helpful thread!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsd View Post
    This seems like a lot more work than just taking a simple challenge exam
    Not really. I just finished two narratives this past weekend.
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    BSBA/Accounting at TESU, degree conferred September 16, 2016.

    Started my bachelors in 1984, finished all my credits by July 2016:
    University: 43 credits for GE
    CC: 16 credits for GE
    PLA: 18 credits, ACC-121 (payroll taxes), ACC-213 (computerized acct), ENG-216 (biz Eng), ACC-340 (Acc systems), ACC-406 (Forensic acc), ACC-440 (Acc theory)
    TECEP: 6 credits, ACC-101, ACC-421
    e-pack: 3 credits, SOC-101
    GS/OL: 27 credits, other acc/biz/GE
    CLEP College Algebra, 3 credits
    DSST Business Ethics and Intro to Business, 6 credits
    Penn Foster: Strat Man (business capstone), 3 credits

    Here is my PLA thread: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created, and page three has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

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    I'm glad you posted this, I was going to ask you about it.

    If you're up for it I'd love to hear a synopses of how you broke down an actual course for which you received credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel100 View Post
    ...I'd love to hear a synopses of how you broke down an actual course for which you received credit.
    I created the checklist for that very reason. I am the kind of person who needs to SEE what is going on.

    I'll use ACC-340 as an example since I've already posted the CD. Keep in mind a couple things: 1. I have worked in accounting for 18 years, mostly as a freelancer. 2. I have a terrible case of "imposter's syndrome," which means that no matter how much evidence there is that I know something, I still have strong internal doubts. This explains why I need so much detail for my PLAs. Notice that somebody here has reported that he's done narratives with 7-9 pages. I don't think I could do that. TESU (supposedly) has a policy regarding the page count, and just to soothe my own internal doubt I must do at least the minimum.

    ANYWAY...

    I first get the checklist setup the way I described. Then I setup a folder on my computer specifically for the course. I have a folder called TESU, and I put this course folder inside the TESU folder beginning with the course number then the name. For example:

    ACC-340 Accounting Systems and Concepts

    I do them all like this so that they are organized alphabetically by course number within the TESU folder.

    I look at the checklist and start gathering digital copies of things, such as relevant certificates (scan them if needed) and relevant articles I've written (saved as PDFs). These get saved into that folder.

    Then I open Word and save two new documents: the bibliography and the narrative. I enter the heading and my name, then I save them in that folder, even though the docs are otherwise empty. It just gives me a small sense of accomplishment to do it this way. Plus it's a good place to take a break.

    Now you can go a couple different directions: work on the bibliography or work on the narrative.

    Narrative: copy and paste the bullet points from the CD into the narrative document. I include an Introduction in the beginning and talk a little bit about my background and why I am qualified to write this narrative. I also explain that I've copied and pasted directly from the LOs so that the reader understand what's going on. Then I just go through the bullet points points and start writing. Sometimes I am explaining a theoretical concept, sometimes I am telling a relevant story based actual experience. The bullet points have vocabulary so I always use that plus other relevant vocab. It is probably better to include some actual relevant stories, but I did one portfolio a few years ago and there were no stories, it was purely theoretical (ACC-121 Payroll Taxes).
    Mamasaphire, rebel100 and SuzanneD like this.
    BSBA/Accounting at TESU, degree conferred September 16, 2016.

    Started my bachelors in 1984, finished all my credits by July 2016:
    University: 43 credits for GE
    CC: 16 credits for GE
    PLA: 18 credits, ACC-121 (payroll taxes), ACC-213 (computerized acct), ENG-216 (biz Eng), ACC-340 (Acc systems), ACC-406 (Forensic acc), ACC-440 (Acc theory)
    TECEP: 6 credits, ACC-101, ACC-421
    e-pack: 3 credits, SOC-101
    GS/OL: 27 credits, other acc/biz/GE
    CLEP College Algebra, 3 credits
    DSST Business Ethics and Intro to Business, 6 credits
    Penn Foster: Strat Man (business capstone), 3 credits

    Here is my PLA thread: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created, and page three has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

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    I have to say you're challenging my previous (very negative) thoughts on PLA Credit. What was the cost of these credits and have you ever failed one or had it sent back for significant revision?
    tesu-acct-student likes this.
    MBA, Western Governors University February 2014
    BS Charter Oak State College November 2011
    AS in EMS August 2010

    I'm always happy to complete the free application waiver for those applying to WGU (I get a free gift from WGU for this). Just PM me your first/last name and a valid email so I can complete their form.

    Thread; COSC AS using FEMA http://www.degreeforum.net/excelsior...000-total.html

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    Ready for your CLEP exam?

    Study for your exam using the same CLEP Study Guides used by thousands of members of this discussion forum!


    I have received credit for 2 portfolios and neither were returned to me for revisions. These were done prior to TESU implementing their requirement for PLA100/200, which they made me do even though I had successfully submitted two portfolios. I developed the checklist AFTER those experiences, not during or before.

    Right now I have three portfolios that are almost ready for submission. I just have to finish two of the bibliographies. I was thinking to do the capstone (BUS-421) as a PLA, but after reading here I feel more confident to do it as a TECEP. I'm going to make that decision in the next day or two. If I decide to do it as a TECEP, then I will submit the three portfolios in the next few days. I'll definitely keep you updated on the status. Based on my past experience, I'll be really surprised if they get returned to me for revisions.
    Mamasaphire and rebel100 like this.
    BSBA/Accounting at TESU, degree conferred September 16, 2016.

    Started my bachelors in 1984, finished all my credits by July 2016:
    University: 43 credits for GE
    CC: 16 credits for GE
    PLA: 18 credits, ACC-121 (payroll taxes), ACC-213 (computerized acct), ENG-216 (biz Eng), ACC-340 (Acc systems), ACC-406 (Forensic acc), ACC-440 (Acc theory)
    TECEP: 6 credits, ACC-101, ACC-421
    e-pack: 3 credits, SOC-101
    GS/OL: 27 credits, other acc/biz/GE
    CLEP College Algebra, 3 credits
    DSST Business Ethics and Intro to Business, 6 credits
    Penn Foster: Strat Man (business capstone), 3 credits

    Here is my PLA thread: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created, and page three has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

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