Lorain County JVS - Enhancing Student Professional Development and Future Readiness

Organization Name: Lorain County Joint Vocational School/Lorain County JVS (LCJVS)

Website: https://www.lcjvs.com/

Product Used: CN ePortfolio

User Size: 1500


Founded in 1971, the Lorain County Joint Vocational School (Lorain County JVS or LCJVS) offers accredited career-technical education to high school students in grades 9-12 and adult learners. Through their programs, students gain the skills, knowledge, and training needed to succeed in their careers. LCJVS offers professional preparation programs in carpenter, culinary arts, cyber security and networking, early childhood education, industry electricity, graphic design, and many more highly applicable areas.

Transition from Paper-based to Digital ePortfolios

Career portfolios have been an integral part of LCJVS’ career-technical curriculum, enabling students to showcase their skills and accomplishments. To further its impact, LCJVS decided to move from paper-based portfolios to digital portfolios in 2021. After reviewing available products in the market, the school chose CN ePortfolio as their ePortfolio platform with the following goals and objectives:

  • Transit from a physical binder portfolio to a digital portfolio to allow access anywhere, anytime.
  • Support students to use and update their ePortfolios after graduation.
  • Ensure privacy and security for students.

Systematic Rollout

The new client kick-off was held in September 2021. During this meeting, LCJVS’ ePortfolio project goals and objectives were discussed and initial strategies were brainstormed. For instance, to ensure student privacy and data security, the CN team and the LCJVS project leaders agreed to take the following actions:

  • The CN Admin training would cover details of the various privacy and visibility settings.
  • LCJVS would hold internal team meetings to review the privacy settings and form a student account management plan.
  • CN and LCJVS would collaborate for any necessary feature refinements.

Both the admin and train-the-trainer training were delivered a week after the kick-off meeting. It is worth mentioning that several champion teachers attended the train-the-trainer session and immediately started piloting the ePortfolio platform with their students. The pilot went smoothly.

In the next couple of months, LCJVS converted their paper-based portfolio checklist to an ePortfolio checklist. This one-page guide lists the ePortfolio sections students are expected to populate and the artifacts that go into each section. It serves as an effective resource for students to relate to personal experiences while achieving a school-wide, unanimous format.

In November 2021, the CN team delivered two teacher training sessions, which covered the core CN ePortfolio features, a sample student ePortfolio (https://www.thecn.com/LT875) built upon the LCJVS ePortfolio checklist, ePortfolio assignment and feedback practices, and student engagement techniques. In early 2022, the CN team gave a virtual orientation to all LCJVS juniors - each student walked out of the session with a basic ePortfolio that was created following the LCJVS ePortfolio checklist. They are ready to add more content to bring their ePortfolios to the next level.


Currently, the school is implementing ePortfolio with their 9th and 10th graders with an effort to integrate ePortfolio through both classroom activities and career preparation. The goal is to teach every student “ how to promote themselves professionally for the working world beyond school”, as shared by the ePortfolio project leader.

Since 2021, the CN ePortfolio has proven to be an essential asset in preparing LCJVS students for their professional journey. In a recent client survey, the school rated both the user-friendliness of the CN and their satisfaction with the platform 5 out of 5. The school reported having not encountered any major challenges using the platform and the CN R&D team has made several enhancements to the privacy settings for both individual users and school admins based on continued conversations with the client. LCJVS described the CN services as “quick, efficient, and understands what we need to troubleshoot for students as problems pop up”.

I could recommend this easily to other schools in our area. CourseNetworking is quick, efficient, and understands what we need to troubleshoot for students as problems pop up.

Stephanie Rosebrock

What Can Schools Learn from LCJVS

LCJVS’ success in leveraging ePortfolio as a career preparation tool gives confidence and ideas to other vocational schools that seek ways to help students articulate their technical skills, demonstrate work samples, and stand out in the job market. Looking closely into LCJVS’ ePortfolio implementation, the following strategies are worth adopting by other schools.

Involve champion faculty from early on. LCJVS invited champion faculty, whose class had ePortfolio as a major component, to the train-the-trainer training. This early introduction allowed the champion faculty to pilot the ePortfolio, suggest implementation strategies to the project leadership, and assist other teachers in integrating ePortfolio into their teaching down the road.

Make the career service staff the primary stakeholder. At each step of the ePortfolio adoption, the LCJVS career service specialist has played a significant role in adopting the tool, from creating the ePortfolio checklist and organizing training, to integrating ePortfolio with other career preparation activities.

Set up a school ePortfolio checklist and sample ePortfolios. As described above, the LCJVS ePortfolio checklist clearly states the sections to populate and the content to put under each section. The CN team then populated a sample ePortfolio following the checklist to put the abstract template into context. These two resources have been proven effective in guiding students to create ePortfolios cohesively and consistently. Once some students have created their ePortfolio, exemplary ones should be shared with fellow students as more relevant and concrete examples.

Leverage the CN team’s expertise to deliver orientation sessions to teachers and students. LCJVS requested additional training sessions for their teachers and junior students. The CN team carefully designed and delivered these training sessions with the client’s project goals and objectives in mind. Upon completing the training, all teachers felt prepared to incorporate ePortfolio assignments in their class while all senior students walked out of the virtual orientation with a solid ePortfolio foundation to build upon.

Regular review of the implementation progress with the CN team. One of the value-added services of the implementation consultation package is an annual review of the implementation progress with the CN team experts. At the beginning of each contract year, the CN team and the client form a plan for the next year after looking into existing usage data. The LCJVS team found the review sessions valuable in keeping them on the right track and at the right pace toward their goals and objectives. “The regular review of the portfolio helps improve what is put out there to make it the very best possible”, claimed the school project leader.

Schools that are interested in using CN ePortfolio for career training and demonstrating students’ employability skills, feel free to reach out to the CN team for a live demo of the platform, more use cases, and discussions of licensing opportunities.

TThis is an image of the ePortfolio Checklist Lorain County Joint Vocational School uses for its students implementing ePortoflio

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