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TESU portfolio tips
#1
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.


.docx   Less than 1 minute ago">Portfolio checklist modified.docx (Size: 11.46 KB / Downloads: 72)

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:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1697[/ATTACH]

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

Do you have any portfolio tips?


Attached Files
.jpg   Less than 1 minute ago">portfolio checklist.JPG (Size: 77.52 KB / Downloads: 22)
.jpg   Less than 1 minute ago">ACC-340 Course Descript 20160229.JPG (Size: 77.48 KB / Downloads: 35)
BSBA/Accounting TESU (2016). MSA UIUC (2018).

Need help with portfolios? I earned 18 credits at TESU through portfolio evaluations. Nine of those were for upper level accounting courses. My advice for PLA/portfolios: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created. Page ten has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

Using Straighterline's Financial Accounting as a substitute for TESU's Intermediate Accounting I? Don't do it if you are an accounting major and/or want your CPA license. They are not the same course and I think TESU has erred in accepting the SL course as Intermediate I. I made this discovery here: Intermediate Accounting II.
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#2
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.
NanoDegree: Intro to Self-Driving Cars (2019)
Coursera: Stanford Machine Learning (2019)
TESU: BA in Comp Sci (2016)
TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Anthro, Pers Fin, Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

PLA Tips Thread - TESU: What is in a Portfolio? - InstantCert Credit
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#3
6-7 pages? Dang, I've been working too hard.
BSBA/Accounting TESU (2016). MSA UIUC (2018).

Need help with portfolios? I earned 18 credits at TESU through portfolio evaluations. Nine of those were for upper level accounting courses. My advice for PLA/portfolios: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created. Page ten has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

Using Straighterline's Financial Accounting as a substitute for TESU's Intermediate Accounting I? Don't do it if you are an accounting major and/or want your CPA license. They are not the same course and I think TESU has erred in accepting the SL course as Intermediate I. I made this discovery here: Intermediate Accounting II.
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#4
This seems like a lot more work than just taking a simple challenge exam hilarious

though of course I understand not every course has such a simple test-out option.
In Progress: MS Cybersecurity, Georgia Tech (9/32cr), 2021?
BS IT Security, Western Governors University, 2018
BA Psychology, Thomas Edison State University, 2016
AA Sociology, Chaffey College, 2015

View all of my earned credits on my Omni Transcript!
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#5
tesu-acct-student Wrote: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!
BA.SS: TESU '17
AA.LS, with Honors: CC '16
CHW Certification: CC '15
ΦΘΚ, Alumna Member

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."― Confucius



B&M University: '92-'95
CC: '95-'16
CLEP: A&I Lit; '08
DSST: HTYH; '08
FEMA: unusable at TESU
IIA: Ethics & CPCU; '15
Kaplan: PLA course; '14,
NFA: 2 CR; '15
SOPHIA: Intro Soc; '15
Straighterline: US History II, Intro Religion, Bus. Ethics, Prin. Mgmt, Cult. Anthro, Org Behavior, American Gov't, Bus. Comm; '15
Study.com: Social Psych, Hist of Vietnam, Abnorm Psych, Research Methods in Psych, Classroom Mgmt, Ed Psych; '16
TECEP: Psych of Women, Tech Writing, Med Term, Nutrition, Eng Comp I; '16
TESU: BA.SS Capstone course; '16

Ended with a total of 170 undergrad credits (plus lots of CEUs). My "I'm finally done" thread
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#6
jsd Wrote:This seems like a lot more work than just taking a simple challenge exam hilarious

Not really. I just finished two narratives this past weekend.
BSBA/Accounting TESU (2016). MSA UIUC (2018).

Need help with portfolios? I earned 18 credits at TESU through portfolio evaluations. Nine of those were for upper level accounting courses. My advice for PLA/portfolios: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created. Page ten has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

Using Straighterline's Financial Accounting as a substitute for TESU's Intermediate Accounting I? Don't do it if you are an accounting major and/or want your CPA license. They are not the same course and I think TESU has erred in accepting the SL course as Intermediate I. I made this discovery here: Intermediate Accounting II.
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#7
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.
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-tho...total.html
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#8
rebel100 Wrote:...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).
BSBA/Accounting TESU (2016). MSA UIUC (2018).

Need help with portfolios? I earned 18 credits at TESU through portfolio evaluations. Nine of those were for upper level accounting courses. My advice for PLA/portfolios: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created. Page ten has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

Using Straighterline's Financial Accounting as a substitute for TESU's Intermediate Accounting I? Don't do it if you are an accounting major and/or want your CPA license. They are not the same course and I think TESU has erred in accepting the SL course as Intermediate I. I made this discovery here: Intermediate Accounting II.
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#9
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?
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-tho...total.html
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#10
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.
BSBA/Accounting TESU (2016). MSA UIUC (2018).

Need help with portfolios? I earned 18 credits at TESU through portfolio evaluations. Nine of those were for upper level accounting courses. My advice for PLA/portfolios: TESU portfolio tips The first post has the Portfolio Checklist I created. Page ten has the actual narrative I wrote to receive credit for ACC-440.

Using Straighterline's Financial Accounting as a substitute for TESU's Intermediate Accounting I? Don't do it if you are an accounting major and/or want your CPA license. They are not the same course and I think TESU has erred in accepting the SL course as Intermediate I. I made this discovery here: Intermediate Accounting II.
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