Master of Education Research Theses

Date of Successful Defense


Date Degree Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M.Ed.)




Andrew Runyan, Ph.D.


portfolios, adult education, assessment, two-year colleges, hiring tools, employment


Two-year college enrollment continues to increase to meet the challenges of our changing economy. Due to this increased enrollment, it has become quite evident that more research in the area of two-year colleges is needed. Many two-year colleges have their students complete a portfolio upon graduation, to assist them in the competitive job market. Does the portfolio really help students get jobs? The contents of this paper follow a mixed-method study that involves surveying graduates of two-year colleges as well as interviewing employers who frequently hire two-year college graduates. Graduates from a number of two-year colleges were asked to complete a 27 item survey with a four-point Likert scale. Employers that frequently hire two-year college graduates were interviewed regarding hiring practices when portfolios are involved. Several themes emerged from both sets of research data, but overall, portfolios continue to be a positive way to assess students, who not only have many differing levels of knowledge, but also differing learning styles in differing disciplines. Portfolios are a positive addition to an interview, so long as the student portfolio includes artifacts that accurately depict what a candidate is capable of doing. Further research could be conducted in the form of a case study, closely following one or two students in the employment process from the initial job search to hiring.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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