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Portfolio FAQs

What is a portfolio? 

A portfolio is a written document justifying and documenting the request for college-equivalent credit.

Portfolios have four components: 1) a cover letter requesting credit for specific college courses; 2) a resume identifying your educational, professional, and other relevant activities; 3) a narrative demonstrating that you have “college-equivalent” knowledge and skills; and 4) documentation to support your claims of accomplishment.

Who reads the portfolios and determines whether credit is awarded? 

Portfolios are submitted to the RBA office and forwarded to the departments which offer the requested credits. Faculty members in those departments read the portfolio and determine the number of credits awarded.

Can I request college-equivalent credit from institutions other than WVU? 

Yes, but only in areas where WVU does not offer the program of study or where specialty courses are involved.

Credit requests that go outside WVU are particularly likely in the areas with specialized Associate Degrees – welding, business technology, legal assisting, electronics, etc. – since WVU does not offer such programs.

Can I get help in deciding what credits to request? 

Yes. An RBA advisor (preferably your assigned advisor) will work with you to find the most effective way to request credits. The advisor could also read drafts of your portfolios and provide feedback on ways your portfolio could be improved. The WVU RBA Office also offers a two-credit hour online course in RBA portfolio development during the fall, spring and summer semesters that may be helpful. Should you elect to the take the portfolio development course, then the instructor will assist you with developing a list of compatible courses based on your life and work experiences. 

Is there a limit on the amount of college-equivalent credits that can be earned? 

No. Most students earn an average of 30 hours of college-equivalent credit. Though rare, some students have earned over 100 hours of college-equivalent credit. Students must still meet the 24 hour residency requirement mentioned above.

What is the cost of submitting portfolios:

There is a standard submission fee of $300 dollars per semester for portfolio submission. Additionally, students are tasked with paying $10 per credit awarded. For instance, if a student petitions for and is awarded 3 credits, then their portfolio cost will be $330. If the student decides to petition for additional credits during the same semester, they will pay the fees for the credits awarded. However, if they elect to petition for new courses during a different semester, then they will have to pay a separate submission fee as well as their fees for the credits awarded.

How do the credits earned by writing portfolios appear on my transcript? 

They are designated as CR (credits). These are not graded and does not impact a student's GPA.

Can you resubmit a portfolio if you don’t get all the credit you want? 

It depends. It is usually possible to re-submit a portfolio for additional credits, especially if faculty evaluators indicate what is needed for full credit. There is no portfolio fee required for re-submission. Re-submissions must be done within one year after the portfolio was initially returned. In contrast, some portfolios (BUSA and ENTR) are generally evaluated as is.

What if I decide to transfer to another program?

It is important that you inquire with the program that you intend to transfer into in order to determine whether or not they would be able to use your portfolio credits. Generally, credits awarded through the portfolio development process transfers to other programs if they meet specific program requirements; otherwise, they may be used for meeting one’s graduation requirements.

Can I see a sample portfolio? 

Yes. Sample portfolios may be viewed in the RBA Office.

How do I submit my portfolios? 

ALL portfolios must now be submitted through Foliotek, which is a new software that the RBA program uses to facilitate portfolio submissions and evaluations. 

Should you submit portfolios as soon as you enter the RBA Program? 

Yes and no. If you are requesting large-credit standardized awards – such as X-ray technology – and don’t expect to write portfolios or request other credit awards, then you will probably want to bring in your credits early in order to get the advantage of a higher class rank. Students with higher class ranks select courses ahead of those with lower class ranks.

If you have very little college experience, you will probably want to wait to submit portfolios until you are more familiar with how the faculty conduct classes and assess academic work. 

How long does it take to get a portfolio evaluated? 

There is no straightforward answer to this question, because this generally hinges upon the evaluator's schedule. Thus, some portfolios may take one or two weeks to be evaluated depending on the time of the semester in which they were submitted, while it may take longer if evaluators are consumed with other responsibilities. However, as soon as portfolios have been returned from evaluation students will be notified by their assigned advisors. 

For other questions, please contact the RBA office at or 304-293-5441.