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K-State Today

July 5, 2012

Designing success: Portfolio design intersession course can help students showcase their talent

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The design of a portfolio can be key to a student's success in acquiring a job, internship or a scholarship in the design fields. That's where a course offered online through Kansas State University's Division of Continuing Education can help.

Portfolio Design, a three-credit hour intersession course being offered July 9 to Aug. 3, helps students learn how to effectively create a portfolio that showcases their talent -- from concept development, to document design, to print production. The course is offered under the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, but is available to students in several academic fields.

Students will receive abundant feedback on their work from the professors facilitated through K-State Online. The constant communication between students and professors allows rapid progression through the design of the portfolio.

"Through K-State Online, we do use tools such as the message board and course content modules. But more intensive interaction occurs through our detailed commenting and mark-up of student drafts. We make ourselves highly available to students through email as well," said Katie Kingery-Page, assistant professor of landscape architecture and regional and community planning who is teaching the course with Jon Hunt, also an assistant professor of landscape architecture and regional and community planning.

The intersession course was first offered in summer 2010 with 12 students, grew to 25 students in 2011, and is anticipated to have up to 50 students this summer.

The course is open to all students who are in disciplines that require them to showcase their work in a collective format -- not just students in architecture. The projects assigned at the beginning of the course are specifically designed for students to research and identify the objectives for a portfolio within their own field. This information is then applied in a final portfolio put together by the students that is assessed by the professors, and is then available for use when applying for a job.

"Portfolios contain typography, images and copy or pages of text. The combination of all of these elements into a coherent whole is portfolio design," Hunt said. "Students going into architecture or other design-related fields need to learn to create a portfolio that will make their work appealing in a competitive job market. This intersession class teaches students how to think visually and critically to understand what works or fails for the design of one's portfolio."

"Whether a portfolio is created by future landscape architects, planners, engineers or food scientists, the general intent of all portfolios is to showcase what a person can do," Kingery-Page said. "The best portfolios also communicate a person's unique strengths and passions in their work. A great portfolio allows a person to put their best work and qualities in front of potential employers."

For more information on the Portfolio Design course or other intersession courses visit http://www.dce.k-state.edu/courses/intersession.