Academic Portfolio

A satisfactory academic portfolio, a presentation of the portfolio, and an oral exam are required for graduation from the MTPC program. The portfolio, the presentation of the portfolio, and the oral exam are reviewed by your advisory committee. The advisory committee consists of three faculty members—a chair and two other faculty. The chair must be a member of the MTPC faculty; the other two may be from other areas of the Department. One member may be from outside the Department.

Parts of the Academic Portfolio
The academic portfolio will consist of five parts:

  • A portfolio website. This site should be your original design and follow best practices. The site should be usable, accessible, well conceived, well executed, and attractive. You may adapt images and snippets of code as appropriate as long as the design remains your own and you have appropriately addressed permissions, copyright, and attribution. See the MTPC Portfolio Supplement for more information.
  • An introductory memo of no more than 2000 words to the advisory committee. This memo must address these two general questions: (a) Based on your coursework, what do you see as the major issues in technical and professional communication as a discipline? (b) How do you as a professional and the work presented in this portfolio address those issues? At least 10 sources must be cited following Chicago, APA, or IEEE style. After responding to these two questions, you should provide an overview of the documents in the portfolio. Also, please label the memo with two, three, or four most relevant keywords (e.g., "Theory/research: usability and accessibility") from the rubric that the MTPC faculty use to assess the program
  • A résumé or curriculum vita.
  • Five documents—print or online—that you have worked on during your two years in the MTPC program. These should include at least one document from ENGL 6000: Technical and Professional Editing and one document from ENGL 6010: Document Design in Technical and Professional Communication.
  • For each of those five documents, a 500-word meta-analysis. The meta-analysis should include:
    • Name of the course and the professor.
    • Two or three keyword labels (e.g., "Application: document design") from the rubric for MTPC program assessment.
    • Audience(s) and purpose(s) for the document.
    • Your role in creating the document if the document was prepared collaboratively.
    • Your goals for the document and a description of the document-development process.
    • Theories and principles that informed the development of the document.
    • In-text and reference list documentation of secondary sources that support the document-development choices. Again, you can follow Chicago, APA, or IEEE style.

The portfolio should be submitted to your advisory committee as a usable website and PDF on CD-ROM.

Review Process for Academic Portfolio
When you are ready to start work on the portfolio, you should talk with the advisory committee chair to clarify any questions and to decide which documents to include. Before you submit the portfolio to the rest of the advisory committee members, give the chair at least two weeks to review the portfolio. You are required to make any revisions that your committee chair suggests.

When the chair gives permission, you can submit the portfolio to the other two members of the advisory committee. This submission of the portfolio to the other committee members should occur at least three weeks before the scheduled date of your portfolio presentation and oral exam. You should set up a meeting with the advisory committee for about 10 days before the presentation of the portfolio/oral exam. You must incorporate any suggestions that you receive during that meeting. The advisory committee may also review a draft of your oral presentation.

Presentation of Portfolio and Oral Exam
Besides the portfolio, you are required to pass an oral presentation of the portfolio and an oral exam. The oral exam follows the presentation of the portfolio.

The time and day for the presentation of the portfolio and oral exam should be set early during the semester you plan to graduate, and it should afford enough time for you to make multiple revisions to the portfolio. According to a Graduate School requirement, you must satisfactorily complete your portfolio presentation and oral exams before mid-April to graduate in May.

The presentation of the portfolio is usually a PowerPoint presentation showing three or four documents from the portfolio. Other MTPC students, faculty, and friends are invited to attend. Besides showing the documents, you should discuss them, according to what you did and how the theory you learned in the MTPC program informed your choices. The talk should not last more than 30 minutes, and questions will follow.

After the presentation of the portfolio ends, the invited guests leave the room, and the advisory committee conducts the oral exam. Because graduates of the MTPC program will be expected to have well-rounded knowledge of technical and professional communication as a discipline, questions in the oral exam may involve theory and practice beyond what is demonstrated in the portfolio. Some committee members may be willing to talk with you about the questions they plan to ask before the exam, but some may not.

Final Submission

So that we can navigate the electronic versions of the portfolios easily in future years, the MTPC faculty would like for students to do the following when transferring their web portfolio site and materials to CD-ROM:

1. If this has not been done so already, name the home page of the portfolio "index.html."

2. Ensure that this file sits at the root of the site file structure, preferably at the top level of data on the CD-ROM. In other words, we should be able to see the index.html file immediately and without drilling down when we put the disc in our drives and look in File Manager.

3. Revise any hyperlinks on sub-pages of the site to reflect these changes so that there will not be any broken links.

4. Finally, ensure that all examples, reflections, and other materials are accessible via hyperlink from within the site.

When you have successfully defended the portfolio and turned in the CD-ROM to the chair of your advisory committee, you will be given a Form 8 to take to the Graduate School.

Last Updated: January 09, 2013