Passport to Professionalism

Employers asked us to create this program. They wanted their student employees and interns to learn basic professional workplace skills. Supervisors genuinely care about their students and want them to flourish, but most supervisors don’t have the time to do a lot of training. The Passport solves that problem. Employers simply ask students to complete specific learning modules online and then turn them in – the same as a class assignment in college. The learning assignments are all ready to go.

Students want feedback and guidance. Students want to understand organizational culture, expectations, and how to excel in their jobs and internships. Most students have not been coached before, so The Passport assignments introduce them to real-world issues. Then employers provide feedback and advice as students reflect on their job.

Alumni wished they had such a program. We have all heard alumni say something like “I wish I had known what the real world was like before my first job.” There is a steep learning curve in first destination jobs and The Passport makes it much easier to succeed after graduation because students will already understand professional behavior and work expectations.

How it works

Once the supervisor and student select the learning modules, students complete them based on the schedule they develop.

  • For paid jobs and internships the student completes the assignments during work hours, or are paid for their time after hours.
  • For non-paid internships, volunteer positions, and/or unpaid academic credit internships, the student and supervisor agree on an assignment schedule and the student submits their work as agreed.

The modules are built for maximum flexibility so that they can be completed over a period of time (such as when work is slow). You can also complete multiple modules in one day.

At the end of each module there is a worksheet that the student fills out and puts in a dropbox, a shared document folder, or printed as a hard copy so the supervisor and student can go over them together. If you do not have a Google Drive here are instructions to get this started:

The steps:

  1. Students and supervisors review the learning modules and decide which ones the student will complete as part of their orientation and/or professional staff development. They may select all of them, or just those that are most relevant to the job. They might also add learning activities that are not included in The Passport.
  2. Students seeking academic credit for internships may be assigned these modules and other learning activities by their professor.
  3. Due dates and deadlines are established.
  4. Students complete the learning modules per the deadline schedule and turn them in to their supervisor just like they would for class assignments in college.

What are the benefits?

  1. The Passport gives supervisors a ready-made orientation and staff development process for their students.
  2. Supervisors receive ongoing information from students who document activities. This is very useful for managing work flow, performance evaluations, and updating job descriptions.
  3. The Passport creates many opportunities for supervisors to coach and advise their students.
  4. Students gain a deeper appreciation for work culture and how to think and act professionally.
  5. Students can make immediate adjustments and corrections on their job in real time rather than waiting for formal evaluations.
  6. Students are introduced to typical professional expectations that employers say are very important to them.

Suggestion: If you so choose, you can create badges or a certificate that a student can add to their resume as an indication of professional preparation.

What are the costs?

The Passport is free and fully accessible by supervisors and students. It was designed by a team of supervisors, students, and faculty who needed an elegant program that introduces core professional concepts but does not require intensive training. The only cost is the time it takes for students to complete the modules and regularly scheduled meetings with their boss.

View samples of a Passport Planning Calendar, Signature Form, and Evaluation Form

Willamette University

Career Development

UC 3rd floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Back to Top