Learning: Its Opportunity and Promise

Vol. 15, No. 2
ISSN: 1546-2676


return to KON home page
to print, please use this version
browse other KON publications

Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM

Vol. 15, No. 2. 
1546-2676. Editor: Dorothy I. Mitstifer. Official publication of Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society. Member,
Association of College Honor Societies. Copyright © 2004. Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM is a refereed, semi-annual publication serving the profession of family and consumer sciences. The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the society. Further information: Kappa Omicron Nu, PO Box 798, Okemos, MI 48805-0798. Telephone: (727) 940-2658 ext. 2003

Interested in submitting an article to KON FORUM? Papers are now being accepted for review. For more information, click here.



Service Learning and Portfolios: Enhancing the Scholarship of Integration and Application


Source: Journal of Teaching in Marriage and Family: Innovations in Family Science Education, 2004, 4(1), 79-99.

Brenda L. Bass, Howard L. Barnes, Kyle L. Kostelecky, Wm. Michael Fleming

Drs. Bass, Barnes, Kostelecky, and Fleming teach family science in the Family Services Program in the Department of Design, Family & Consumer Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa.


Service learning provides students the opportunity to realistically assess the strengths of their professional knowledge and skills while contributing to services that address community needs. Process and product portfolios are proposed as tools for integration of thought and action as students analyze their service-learning experiences. Ernest Boyer's concepts of the scholarship of integration and application are presented as central to the portfolio development process. Data from students and faculty suggest portfolios are a compelling tool for encouraging professional reflection and integration of service-learning experiences. Three themes emerge from student and faculty evaluation data. First, completing the portfolio process improved students' integration of academic and service-learning experiences into a coherent professional identity that can inform their career goals. Second, the assignment facilitated students' understanding of the professional standards taken from a national organization to structure the portfolio (in this specific case, the Certified Family Life Educator competency areas from the National Council on Family relations). Finally, the students reported that the reflection process necessary for developing a portfolio helped them gain confidence in their professional skills. In sum, portfolios provide a vehicle for students to synthesize and reflect upon their service-learning projects, stimulating further development in their professionalism for the field as well as their individual professional identity. 


Boyer, E. L. (1990a). Civic education for responsible citizens. Educational Leadership, 48 (3), 4-7.

Boyer, E. L. (1990b). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Boyer, E. L. (1994, March 9). Creating the new American college. The Chronicle of Higher Education, A48.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Cassidy, D. C. (Eds.) (1995). Family life education curriculum guidelines (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: NCFR.

Carney, J. & Cobia, D. (1996). The use of portfolios in the clinical and comprehensive evaluation of counselors-in-training. Counselor Education & Supervision, 36, 2 (11). Retrieved July 18, 2000 from EBSCOhost database (MasterFILE Elite, Item9701143109):

Franta, P. (1994). Service-learning: A new priority for career centers. Journal of Career Development, 21(2), 131-134.

Kendall, J. C. (1991). Combining service and learning: An introduction for cooperative education professionals. Journal of Cooperative Education, 27(2), 9-26.

Paulins, V. A. (1998). Assessment through portfolios in retail merchandising. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 90(4), 82-87.

Paulson, F. L. & Paulson, P. R. (February, 1991a). The making of a portfolio. (Eric Document Reproduction Services, No. ED 334 251)

Paulson, F. L. & Paulson, P. R. (May, 1991b). The ins and outs of using portfolios to assess performance. Expanded version of a paper presented at the Joint Annual Meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education and the National Association of Test Directors, Chicago, IL (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED334 250).

Roschelle, A. R., Turpin, J., & Elias, R. (2000). Who learns from service learning? American Behavioral Scientist, 43(5), 839-847.

Spicuzza, F. J. (1996). An evaluation of portfolio assessment: A student perspective. Assessment Update, 8(6), 4-6 & 13.

Ward, K., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2000). Community-centered service learning: Moving from doing for to doing with. American Behavioral Scientist, 43(5), 767-780.

For further information about manuscripts: 

{short description of image}spaceVia E-Mail
spaceDr. Dorothy I. Mitstifer, Executive Director
     Call for Papers


previous articlePRINT VERSION FIRST ARTICLEnext article

return to top of page