How it Works

Project Portal logo and digital badge icon.

The Project Portal is a robust platform for mentored projects, intentionally designed with compelling benefits for faculty and the university at large.

How it Works

As students engage in mentored projects, they will complete co-curricular activities through ELN Digital Badges, which are designed help them build skills and competencies for their career, then display their achievements on their digital resumes and ePortfolios for future employers and graduate schools. This new system provides:

  • rich data on student learning and success
  • compelling stories to advance strategic communications
  • maximum benefits for faculty mentors related to building capacity in their work

Learn More

Students work through and earn digital badges that guide and support their project experience. The digital badges are based on ELN's PEARL model and competencies outlined by the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Student Testimonials

"Determining the competencies that I wanted to work on was something that I didn't think about doing, but I believe will be very helpful throughout my project."

"After completing this badge, I learned a lot about the purpose behind my research, and what I want to take away from it to improve upon myself and my skill set."

ELN Digital Badges

preparation phase icon.

Preparation Phase

  • Set goals and intentions.
  • Gain important context and understanding of the topic.
engagement phase icon.

Engagement Phase

  • Gather feedback from mentor and/or partners.
  • Produce a tangible product or output from the experience.
reflection phase icon.

Reflection Phase

  • Reflect on the experience through various lenses.
  • Evaluate the growth of skills and competencies.
  • Weave experience and growth into a narrative that employers will value.
mentored research digital badge icon.

Achievement Phase

  • Build a plan to leverage your project experience to achieve your future goals.
  • Enhance your resume by translating your experience and skills.
  • Articulate growth and development through storytelling.


ELN's PEARL framework serves as the foundation for both our Project Profiles and our digital badges that guide student engagement. PEARL stands for Prepare, Engage and Add Value, Reflect, and Leverage—all critical steps toward activating the full potential of high-impact experiential learning to support students' academic and career goals.

  1. Prepare:  set intentions; develop context relevant to project focus
  2. Engage and Add Value: make a plan and execute with feedback from mentor while adding value in collaboration with core partners
  3. Reflect: revisit intentions and create a narrative that connects experience with academic and professional goals
  4. Leverage: build on experience toward greater impact and craft your change maker story

List a Project

The Project Portal is powered by faculty and community partners who mentor our undergraduate students as they explore exciting ideas, challenges, and places through meaningful hands-on projects. List a project on the Portal to invite undergraduate students to collaborate!

Faculty Benefits

  • Work with better prepared students who come with clear goals and understanding of context.
  • Project and conference funding for students whom you mentor.
  • Student impact data and stories of their experiences will be shared to enhance external engagement and grant applications.
  • Engage graduate students in mentorship and capacity building.

Strategic Communications

  • Find new topics for dynamic content development.
  • Generate compelling stories of students, faculty and university partners.
  • Utilize digital gallery of student projects for outreach and recruitment.
  • Use projects as a means to connect with alumni for engagement in student learning, professional networking and philanthropy.

Capacity Building

  • Collect rich data from digital badges to assess impact on student growth, success and retention.
  • Support access and equity to experiential learning and international education opportunities.
  • Share outcomes with key university partners to harness the outputs of this dynamic system.