Information for Advisors

Please let all students who are registering for English 090 or English 101 know that their class may require portfolio assessment. This means that not only will their instructor grade their work, but also two other English faculty members will read four of their revised compositions. While the portfolio may or may not figure into their course grade (depending on the grading criteria of the instructor), passing the portfolio is a necessary part of completing the course for students in sections requiring portfolio assessment. All passing portfolios meet a departmental standard.

Benefits of the English Portfolio

Students should be aware that there are many benefits associated with portfolio assessment including:

  • Most students who submit portfolios, pass the assessment. On average, at least 85% of students in the program tend to pass the first time their portfolios are assessed.
  • Classes for which there is a portfolio assessment requirement are smaller than non-portfolio sections. English 101 courses are capped at 19 (instead of 22) and English 090 sections are capped at 14 (instead of 22). This is likely to result in more individualized attention for the student.
  • The writing outcomes that are assessed are also consistent with those writing outcomes for first-year writing at Bridgewater State College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. (See the CONNECT Writing Project Rubric for more details.)
  • Students whose portfolios do not pass the assessment receive free tutoring in order to revise and resubmit their portfolios in the next semester. Many students have remarked that this one-on-one tutoring has had a significant and positive effect on their writing, helping them to be more successful in future courses.
  • Students whose portfolios do not pass the portfolio assessment are allowed to continue to their next writing course (English 101 or English 102). The program is designed to help students improve their writing, so the opportunity for students to continue in their writing courses is encouraged.