Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

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.

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

  • Most students, who submit portfolios, pass the assessment. In 2008, 96% of English 090 students and 78% of English 101 students who submitted portfolios passed. 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.

Students whose portfolios do not pass will receive an Incomplete (I) grade. The grade earned in the course will be released once the student resubmits the portfolio and passes. If one of your advisees has an Incomplete for English 090 or 101 due to not passing the portfolio assessment, please do the following:

  • Ask the student if he or she has contacted J. P. Nadeau, Portfolio Assessment Chair, about getting tutoring.
  • If the student is currently being tutored and working to revise his or her portfolio, please advise as usual.
  • If the student has not made contact regarding this issue, please ask him or her to contact J. P. Nadeau at x2728 so that he or she can begin to take the proper steps in getting support as he or she revises.
  • If this student would like to register for English 101 or 102 and does not have the override form sent to him or her after the portfolio was assessed, the student should also contact J. P. Nadeau who can provide another override form to be presented to Enrollment Services upon registration.
  • Stress to the student that not revising and resubmitting the portfolio (in order for it to pass and allow the course grade to be released) may result in having to retake the course.

If you have questions about the Portfolio Assessment Project, please contact J. P. Nadeau at x2728.