As of the Summer of 2018, the graduation requirements changed from the MasterProject to the professional portfolio and portfolio defense.

The professional portfolio is a requirement for the Masters of Arts degree in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy with a specialty in either:

  • Art Therapy
  • Counseling Programs
    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    • Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction Counseling
    • Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling

Click here to view the current Student Professional Portfolio Manual.

A portfolio is a collection of experience-based materials and reflective information that demonstrates various dimensions of graduate students’ work, philosophy, skills, and attitudes. Students demonstrate, through diverse activities and personal insights, their competency in meeting their respective program’s learning outcomes.

  • The development of the portfolio begins as the graduate student enters a program and continues throughout one’s chosen program of study.
  • A session will be held with all graduate students during their first semester of coursework to review the portfolio process. The portfolio culminates with a portfolio defense at the end of the graduate student’s program.
  • An advisor will be assigned to each student to help advance the portfolio process. Working with your advisor is important in order to receive feedback and make purposeful progress needed to contribute to a successful final product.


The portfolio is developed in an ongoing manner throughout the graduate program and used periodically as a tool for reflection, evaluation, and feedback. The overall purpose is to collect and combine examples of student work, experience, skills, and mastery with reflection on their meaning or significance. The process of developing a professional portfolio has several purposes:

  • Portfolio development is designed to facilitate a thoughtful and intentional entrance into one’s chosen field of study. As students begin preparation in a professional career, it is important that they actively engage in each step of their learning. Reviewing one’s strengths and “growing edges,” setting goals for needed learning, and regular evaluation of progress are all important steps in engaging with the learning process at the graduate level. Developing a portfolio is a vehicle for this engagement.
  • The process of portfolio development also provides opportunities for regular faculty evaluation and feedback for each student in a manner that includes dialogue between the faculty member and graduate student. Developing one’s professional identity is best accomplished with the guidance and feedback of professionals who can serve in the roles of consultant, teacher, mentor, and supervisor. Active dialogue enables students to shape and modify their learning with attention to personal needs, strengths, and professional requirements. The portfolio development process provides for dialogue and feedback throughout the course of study.
  • Successful completion of the assessment components of the portfolio process serves as “points of evaluation” in the course of graduate study.
  • The portfolio assists with the professional job search process. A completed portfolio demonstrates proficiency and mastery and can be used as an employment tool.

These purposes reflect the development of a student’s portfolio as a process. Program requirements focus elements of the portfolio into a coherent process that: (1) facilitates students’ intentional shaping of their learning, (2) provides for regular faculty feedback, (3) serves as “points of evaluation” throughout the program, and (4) provides a format for presentation of professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes.