The final product of the National Student Council Student Leaders Program and process to earn your status as a Distinguished Student Leader is the creation and submission of a portfolio. A portfolio is a way to organize evidence that you have completed the required activities for your designation. All materials that you include in your portfolio should be authentic. Include only requested materials in your portfolio.

Portfolio Criteria

  1. Every student seeking to become a distinguished student leader must submit a portfolio that contains evidence of completing the tasks and activities found in the application.
  2. Portfolios must be neat, legible, and assembled in order according to the outline here.
  3. Portfolios will include all application materials, writings, photos, and samples of evidence.
  4. Portfolios should be bound using a report folder or notebook of appropriate size to hold all pages securely.
  5. The cover page of the portfolio should contain the following information:

    Student Name
    Current Grade Level in School
    Month, Day, and Year of Application Submission

National Student Council strongly encourages you to make copies or electronic archives of each piece of evidence found in your portfolio.

Order of Portfolio Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Completed Information forms, Activity Sign-Off forms, and Signatures page
  4. Evidence of completed tasks
  5. Letters of Recommendation

Portfolio Outline

The outline for the portfolio follows the parts and activities in the application. Please be sure to number your pages and include those numbers on your contents page.

Section A: Leadership (Parts 1-10)

1. Leadership and You

  1. Explain the 3 styles of leadership 
  2. Identify 5 traits of leaders 
  3. Identify 2 situational leadership behaviors 
  4. Provide your personal definition of Leadership 
  5. List and examine your leadership qualities 
  6. Explain when to use situational leadership behaviors 
  7. T-P Leadership Questionnaire

2. Goal Setting

  1. Identify 5 reasons to set goals and 5 reasons why people don’t set goals 
  2. Identify the parts of SMART goals 
  3. Use the NatStuCo 4-Step process to write a group goal 
  4. Create one short- and one long-term goal

3. Team Building

  1. Explain the attributes that separates a team from a group 
  2. Identify 10 characteristics each of effective team members and team leaders 
  3. Identify 5 signs that a student council is in need of effective team building 
  4. Select and lead a team building exercise

4. Decision Making

  1. Explain how decisions are made using each of the 4 decision making methods 
  2. Identify a decision that would be best made using each decision making method 
  3. Name and explain 5 points to incorporate during the decision making process 
  4. Explain the importance of ethical decision making and how to evaluate whether or not a decision is ethical 
  5. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using a consensus approach to making decisions 
  6. Facilitate a group to meet consensus on a decision

5. Problem Solving

  1. Identify and explain the purpose for each of the 7 steps to problem solving 
  2. Select 3 barriers that can block creative problem solving and explain how a leader can resolve each one with a win-win solution 
  3. Summarize the basic techniques of brainstorming 
  4. Lead a committee or group in a problem-solving activity using the 7 steps

6. Group Dynamics

  1. Identify what happens to a group in each stage of the team building process 
  2. Explain the roles of group members in the “task” category 
  3. Explain the roles of group members in the “maintenance” category 
  4. List 4 actions to maintain cooperation within a group 
  5. Describe 9 Self-Oriented roles that weaken group development and select 3 to suggest strategies that a leader can use to bring about a positive change in cooperation
  6. Select and lead a council group or committee through a group cooperation activity

7. Time Management and Personal Organization

  1. Identify 6 strategies to better manage your time 
  2. Identify 10 strategies to improve personal organization 
  3. Identify the general signs of stress 
  4. Explain 5 strategies that can be used to deal with stress 
  5. Create a plan that incorporates at least 3 strategies to improve your personal organization 
  6. Create a personal calendar with a daily “To Do” list covering two weeks 
  7. Complete a Stress Test inventory; summarize your reaction to the results and explain what you do to reduce your own stress

8. Meeting Management

  1. Explain 7 basic principles for meetings and identify 5 characteristics of good meetings 
  2. Identify 10 strategies used to facilitate a meeting; select 5 and explain how each one is important to use during meetings 
  3. Identify and explain key actions that meeting organizers should always do 
  4. Identify the differences between main, subsidiary, and incidental motions, and explain how each is correctly handled
  5. Demonstrate the ability to create and use a proper meeting agenda 
  6. Diagram tracking a motion from beginning to end, explain council options 
  7. Demonstrate use of parliamentary procedure and correct terminology in meetings 
  8. Plan, organize, and run a committee or council meeting; summarize the experience

9. Communication

  1. List the 4 common elements of communication, and explain the role of each 
  2. List the 8 common influences on communication; pick 5 to explain their effects 
  3. Explain five ways that students can become better listeners 
  4. Identify 10 conditions blocking effective communications; define 5 
  5. Compose a letter or memo (or submit sample) 
  6. Compose an e-mail or PowerPoint presentation (or submit sample) 
  7. Demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate orally 
  8. Demonstrate your ability to speak using proper stage and podium etiquette

10. Evaluation

  1. Provide an explanation of why it is important to evaluate people, groups, governing rules, and activities 
  2. Identify 10 evaluation methods or instruments and provide examples 
  3. Name 5 characteristics of good evaluation instruments 
  4. Identify the best evaluation method for each example given 
  5. Using the 7 tips for planning evaluations, plan, perform, and report the results 
  6. Complete the Individual Leader Evaluation Form; summarize the results

Section B: Service

  1. Explain the role of service as it pertains to student leaders 
  2. Explain Direct and Indirect service, identify strengths or weaknesses of each 
  3. Explain the difference between service and service learning; identify 4 key elements of service learning and explain what occurs during each 
  4. Research and create a list of 5 resources at the school and 5 in the community to contact or utilize in support of student council service projects 
  5. Provide evidence of participation in 2 service projects 
  6. Use the 12 Ws of project planning to plan and carry out a community service project

Section C: Civic Engagement

  1. Identify 2 types of school issues and 2 types of community issues for which students should have input and explain why
  2. Explain what it means to be civically engaged and why it is important for students to be involved in civic-based activities 
  3. Identify 4 goals of civic engagement 
  4. Explain 3 types of civic engagement and activities that illustrate each one 
  5. Identify 3 student council functions/activities that are civic-based and explain how 
  6. Create a list of 3 community resources and 3 websites that support civic engagement, explain how the student council can utilize each 
  7. Organize and lead a committee or the student council in a civic-based activity that engages members of the student body

Section D: My Leadership Philosophy

  1. Create a list of your leadership traits and identify the style of leadership you most often use 
  2. Write an essay of 750 to 1,000 words to discuss your personal philosophy about leadership