All Millsaps students are required to complete a portfolio of their writing as a core and graduation requirement. The writing in the portfolio is assembled by both students and faculty before it will be assessed to determine a student's proficiency as a writer and a thinker.
The portfolio is an integral part of IDST 1000, the Core, and our overall ability to assess student writing at Millsaps. Faculty participation in the process is essential to its success. Faculty are involved not only by assigning paper topics and teaching the writing process, but also by evaluating students' writing, submitting writing portfolios and assessments to the Writing Program Office in a timely manner, and making the Writing Program faculty aware of students in need of additional support and instruction in Writing.
In order to insure the efficiency and effectiveness of this process, the guidelines and procedures of the Writing Proficiency Requirement are outlined below.
IDST 1000/1050 Faculty Responsibilities:
Assess and submit 4 papers from IDST 1000/ 1050 for each student by the Writing Program to the Writing Program Office at the end of the semester; an assessment form and folder will be provided by the Writing Program.
Core 3 and Second Semester Heritage Faculty Responsibilities:
Assess and submit 1 paper from Core 3 or Heritage to the Writing Program Office at the end of the semester; the assessment forms for your class will be sent to you by the Writing Program at the end of the semester.
In addition, faculty must approve the pieces of writing submitted from their classes by signing the appropriate cover sheet provided to the student by the Writing Program Office.
Students in Core 1 IDST 1000/1050 and Core 3 or Heritage MUST submit clean copies of the required papers to their instructors.
Students must also submit any other required papers (at least 2 sophomore level*) accompanied by completed cover sheets to the Writing Program Office. At least one paper must come from a Core 6-9 course or any appropriate Science Division or Else School of Management course.
*In consultation with the Director of the Writing Program, Transfer Students who have completed their Core requirements elsewhere must submit 3 papers written at Millsaps to their Writing Portfolios.
Portfolio Assembly Procedures
At the end of Core 1 IDST 1000/1050, faculty members should collect clean copies of 4 primary writing assignments from each student. Faculty will be given folders for each student's portfolio from the Writing Program so that the work from each year's entering class may be submitted uniformly for the Writing Program's records. For traditional students and Transfer students enrolled in their courses, Core 3 faculty will then submit an additional paper to the students' portfolio at the conclusion of the Spring semester.
Once the Core 1 and Core 3 papers have been submitted to the Writing Program Office, faculty responsibility for submitting students' work is complete. Students are then responsible for submitting subsequent papers to their portfolios. Teachers must, however, approve the pieces of writing submitted from their classes by signing the cover sheet completed by student and provided by the Writing Program Office.
Portfolio Assessment Procedures
At the end of Core 1, faculty will assess student writing abilities. Those students whose writing is "slightly below proficient" should receive a "2" on the five-point scale and then be recommended to register for WritProg 1000 (See Further Guidelines and Procedures), a follow-up writing intensive course. Those students whose writing is "well below proficient" should receive a "1" on the five-point scale and then be required to register for WritProg 1000 (See Further Guidelines and Procedures).
When the portfolio is complete, it will be assessed and the student will be notified by email whether they have met the writing proficiency requirement. If not, the student will be required to do additional work on his or her writing either in courses or in the Writing Center and to submit additional papers to the portfolio for its reassessment.
The portfolio must be completed and passed before the student will be eligible to enroll in Senior Seminar. In Senior Seminar, students will be asked to write a reflective essay about their growth as writers and thinkers based on their earlier writing included in the portfolio.
Faculty members or students with questions about the Writing Portfolio Requirement may get additional information in the Writing Program Office in John Stone Hall.