Portfolios for Student Growth

What is Portfolios for Student Growth?

Portfolios for Student Growth (PSG) is a holistic, student-centered, process-led approach to portfolio development.  PSG offers educators a way to guide students to explicitly link academic learning with future planning and goal setting. Through the portfolio process, students develop the self-awareness, goal-setting, and decision-making skills essential for lifelong self-determination.

How Does Portfolios for Student Growth Promote Active Student Learning?
Using Portfolios for Student Growth, students are actively involved in a process of taking responsibility for their own learning and life plan as they:

  • examine a broad range of their own work collected over time
  • analyze and assess their own progress
  • plan and manage their time to complete the work
  • integrate diverse experiences in and out of the classroom
  • make decisions about future goals based on evidence and criteria

How Can Portfolios for Student Growth Apply to Students in My School or Program?
PSG is valuable for:

  • Creating an individual, class, or school portfolio process
  • Enriching a portfolio process already in existence
  • Sharing information about students with families and other educators
  • Fostering student empowerment and self-determination

PSG can be implemented in a variety of schools and program settings. 

  • Residential and day-schools for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • Inclusive and mainstream classrooms in public schools
  • Resource rooms and other support service environments
  • Independent study and senior project courses

PSG can serve a variety of functions:

  • A hub for student growth, reflection, and planning in all aspects of a student's school experience.

PSG is appropriate for use with ALL students.

For more information download An Overview and Teacher/Staff Guide: "Everything You Need to Know"

Table of Contents

For High School:

Introduction to the Portfolio

  • Why Student Portfolios?
The Professional Process
  • Overview
  • Role of the Portfolio Advisor
  • Making the Student Process More Effective
  • Assembling a Model Portfolio
The Student Process
  • Overview
  • Role of the Student
  • Annual Knowledge and Skills Targets
  • Benefits
  • Assessing the Student Portfolio Process
  • Using Portfolios from Previous Years
  • Permanent Portfolio Materials
The Student Portfolio Product
  • Overview
  • Supplies
  • Contents of the Student Portfolio Product
  • School-wide Student Portfolio Product Requirements
  • Assessing the Student Portfolio Product
  • Portfolio Forms
  • Evaluating Student Portfolios
  • Student Presentations

Frequently Asked Questions


Below you will find links to an extensive collection of reflection forms, rubrics, tips and related materials for each outcome.  They are provide as word documents so they can be used as is, or adapted to your school or program. 

Portfolio Forms and Materials for High School

Related Forms 

Portfolio Forms and Materials for Middle School

Overview for Educators

Portfolio Forms and Materials for Elementary School

Overview for Educators

This site was supported by federal funding. Publication of this material shall not imply approval or acceptance by the U.S. Department of Education of the findings, conclusions, or recommendations herein. Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, hearing status, disability, covered veteran status, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis.