Policies & Procedures

The following policies and procedures have been agreed upon by the Bristol English Department:

  1. Faculty participation is voluntary. 
  2. New faculty are encouraged to join the project. The department chair devotes a department meeting each semester for recruitment and discussion of the project’s process. Each semester, the committee chair contacts every adjunct English faculty for recruitment purposes. 
  3. Portfolio faculty receive a stipend of $300 per semester and a course size reduction of nineteen students in English 101 and fourteen students in English 090. 
  4. In order to participate in this activity and receive a reduced class-size, faculty members must:
    - Be teaching at least one writing course (English 090 or 101) within two academic years.
    - Have taught or currently be teaching either English 090 or 101 at Bristol.
    - Require students to develop portfolios.
    - Submit their students’ portfolios. 
  5. In order to receive compensation, faculty members must:
    - Participate in the portfolio evaluation and norming sessions .
    - Participate in the appeals process and evaluate a mid-semester evaluations.  
  6. Faculty new to the project may opt for a one semester “no stakes” experience. This means that the faculty members fulfill their responsibilities and receive the appropriate compensation, but there are no consequences for their students for the first semester of those faculty members’ tenure on the committee.  
  7. The Quest Writing Specialist is invited to be a portfolio faculty member since he or she is qualified to teach English 090 and 101 is responsible for a significant amount of group and individualized instruction to students in these courses. 
  8. Faculty document the portfolio procedure on their syllabi in coordination with the “standard model,” and make it clear that passing the portfolio assessment is a course requirement. 
  9. The support mechanism for students who pass the course, but whose portfolios fail, is as follows:  The instructor assigns an “I” (incomplete) as the course grade and, upon the student’s passing the portfolio re-evaluation, releases the course grade that the student would have received if the portfolio had passed. Students who receive an “I” are contacted by the committee chair and notified that they must make an appointment with the committee chair within the first three weeks of the next semester. Together, they develop a plan for helping the student improve the weak areas in the portfolio. The student then resubmits his or her portfolio at mid-semester or at the end of that semester. The student must contact the committee chair and make an attempt to revise his or her portfolio within one semester, otherwise the instructor may change the “I” to an “F”. 
  10. Students who receive an Incomplete, but do not make progress on their portfolio receive correspondence for one semester and then receive a “last letter” apprising them of the consequences of their incomplete. 
  11. Students who receive an “I” because their portfolios failed matriculate to the next level of English, so that they can continue to work on their writing while receiving additional tutorial support. An “I” grade does not affect a student’s G.P.A., but the student is not allowed to graduate or transfer that credit until the “I” is removed. 
  12. The committee chair tutors and tracks the progress of students who must resubmit portfolios and makes the student aware of resubmission deadlines. 
  13. Other faculty involved in the project may be hired to tutor in the fall, spring or summer. 
  14. The committee follows an appeals process should students or faculty want to address the success/failure of a particular portfolio. 
  15. In rare, special circumstances, students may request a waiver of the portfolio assessment as a course requirement. To make this request, the student must fill out a Petition for Waiver of English Department Portfolio Assessment Requirement. This petition may be obtained from the chair of the Portfolio Assessment Committee. 
  16. At the end of each semester, the committee reports the following to the Dean of Humanities and Education: A summary of project initiatives and concerns, the number of faculty participants, the number of portfolios assessed and pass/fail rates.