Smith creates leaders, that much is clear, notes Jessica Bacal, director of the Wurtele Center for Work and Life. But how does that happen? What is the personal process students go through while here that transforms them into people who enter the world equipped to move and inspire others toward positive change?

eportfolioindex“Many students don’t even recognize that they’re developing important tools and habits-of-mind here,” says Bacal, “the kind that prepare them for leadership roles.”

To help bring insight to the Smith learning and leadership experience, the Wurtele Center for Work and Life and the Women’s Narratives Project are offering the Global Engagement and Leadership ePortfolio program, beginning later this month, in which participants will reflect on their own leadership development in guided workshops and retreats. The ePortfolio series is a pilot program; sessions will take place between this October and April 2013.

The deadline to apply in the Global Engagement and Leadership ePortfolio Pilot program is Friday, Oct. 12. Apply online. No experience with ePortfolio is necessary to participate.

An ePortfolio is an online, multimedia representation of learning experience in and outside the classroom. The CWL ePortfolio project aims to uncover students’ potential as globally engaged people and leaders of change.

“During this project, students will think deeply about their most important learning experiences, and will be guided in uncovering what has been called ‘tacit knowledge,’” explains Bacal. “We hope each student will come away with an increased sense of purposefulness and confidence. We also hope that each student will have a high-quality, online documentation of her unique path at Smith and her goals for the future.”

The ePortfolio pilot program will require participation in two Friday-Saturday overnight retreats in the fall, and one in the winter, as well as 15 additional hours throughout the program. The retreats will take place at the beautiful Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire (with gourmet meals included).

“This program is for any student who is ready to commit time and deep thought,” says Bacal, “and who is interested in coming to better understand her own strengths, all while having a lot of fun!”