For Faculty and Staff

According to the literary critic Jonathan Gottschall, humans are remarkable for being the only “storytelling” animal. The anthropologist and systems thinker Gregory Bateson taught us that story is the way minds process experiences and store information about the world in a way that can be used later. The list of great thinkers who acknowledge the power of narrative spans every discipline. We all create stories about our place in the world, about our past, and about the order of the universe, all in an effort to create order and meaning in our own lives. Our students are no different - they are seeking to discover and refine their own story. But this takes practice. A “portfolio” is a powerful way for students to practice telling their story, as an iterative and developmental process. It is therefore not surprising that the creation of a portfolio has been recognized as a High Impact Practice by AAC&U.

Each student at Bucknell will create a Pathways portfolio that will support their intellectual and personal development. As an advisor, coach or mentor, your students’ portfolios will allow you to more clearly see their developmental progress, aspirations, disappointments, challenges and successes, so that you can give more individualized and targeted advice. A student’s Pathways portfolio will also provide a useful resource for the composition of letters of recommendations. Although the portfolio is by default owned by the student, they can share it with others, eventually using portions of their portfolio to apply for internships and jobs. 

It is important to remind our students that their portfolio is not simply a list of “things done”, “hoops to jump through, ” a “fancy resume,” or another “social media site”. Rather, this is a safe space to think critically, to intentionally explore new experiences, to try out alternative narratives, and to map out a personal pathway through Bucknell with intentionality and forethought.

Faculty and staff have slightly different privileges than students. However, the Digication software tool is based upon the ability to create a portfolio. It is suggested that you complete the introductory checklist (the same steps students will take) as first start. This will help you log in to the system for the first time, set up your account and practice creating portfolios. With that as background you will be ready to begin creating templates for your students. If you need help getting started you should consult the Student and Faculty Guides or attend one of the faculty workshops. You can also look at the menu of options for engaging in Pathways. 

For more information contact Rebecca Thomas (