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mville portfolio


The Portfolio System, as developed in 1971 and articulated in the 1973 Manhattanville Plan, is among the first such systems in the United States and lies at the heart of Manhattanville’s distinctive approach to integrated education. The Portfolio provides a framework, centered on the College‘s Mission, within which each student can reflect on his or her formal and informal learning experiences and develop the skills of self-reflection and self-assessment. The Portfolio is also designed to aid students in planning and assessing their own academic careers, seeking advice of mentors, considering life and career goals beyond graduation, and highlighting their best academic work for various audiences within and beyond the College.  All Portfolio submissions are reviewed by the Board on Academic Standards, an elected committee of nine faculty members.

Through their work within the Portfolio System students will: 

  1. Construct and carry out a personalized course of curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular activity that integrates the Mission of the College with the students’ own passions and life goals.

  2. Become engaged and responsible learners, familiarizing themselves with College policies and procedures, seeking appropriate mentoring and advice from faculty and staff, and taking action to improve their own education as a result.

  3. Produce written reflections on their educational experiences that demonstrate the ability to critically assess their own educational experiences.


The primary materials included in the Portfolio are:

  • A Freshman year essay;
  • A Study Plan outlining all coursework to be counted toward the degree;
  • An essay examining the rationale for the student‘s choice of courses, which serves as a basis for conversations about the state of progress with a student‘s advisor;
  • An essay examining the mission of the College as it relates to the student‘s curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences;
  • A resume developed in consultation with the Center for Career Development. (For final review only)

In its totality, the Portfolio System encourages students to be active participants in their academic and extracurricular pursuits and to gain an expanded perspective through the examination of the relationships between their choices, the College mission and the world around them. At the conclusion of the Sophomore review, the Board on Academic Standards may invite students with exceptional portfolio submissions to participate in an interview, thus becoming eligible for Portfolio Distinction. During the Senior review, exceptional portfolio submissions may also be recommended for Portfolio Honors. Each year a senior Portfolio is also chosen for the prize of Outstanding Portfolio and this prize is presented at Baccalaureate in the Spring.

Both formal portfolio reviews will appear on the student‘s official transcript with a Pass/Fail notation. Students who submit a complete portfolio by the published deadline that is judged satisfactory by the Board on Academic Standards (BOAS) will receive a Pass. Students who submit a reasonably complete portfolio, but are required to resubmit one or more items, may receive a Grade Deferred (GD), with omitted material to be submitted by the date specified by the BOAS. Students who do not submit a portfolio, or who submit a seriously incomplete portfolio, or who, after receiving a GD, fail to revise their portfolios to the satisfaction of the Board on Academic Standards will receive an F for the portfolio that semester. If allowed to continue at the College, these affected students will be required to submit their Portfolios again in the following semester for review. Students who fail to submit the portfolio on schedule are liable to dismissal from the College .