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Portfolio Development Timeline

Engl 516 class, Maya Duratovic, Kristen McPeek Photo

Below is a general timeline for completing your portfolio in time to walk across the graduation stage to receive your MATC diploma. We advise you to start thinking about your portfolio before your last semester. Some MATC students have had their graduation delayed until the next semester because they failed to start early enough and failed to invest the necessary time to craft a passing portfolio.

Before Your Final Semester

  1. Register for next semester’s ENGL 592 Portfolio. You enroll in ENGL 592 in the semester in which you intend to graduate. Ask your advisor (who will serve as chair of your portfolio committee) for a permission number to enroll in his or her section.
  2. Review the Registrar’s graduation checklist.
  3. One to two months before your final semester, contact your advisor to discuss his or her specific guidelines for your portfolio. Review PREPARING YOUR PORTFOLIO: ENGL 592. You might also ask to see examples of passing portfolios from prior semesters.
  4. About a month before your final semester, send your advisor a list and brief description of the portfolio pieces you are considering for inclusion in your portfolio. Get approval to start assembling your portfolio.
  5. Begin assembling your portfolio: start writing your overview and your reflective introductions for each portfolio piece.

Start of Your Final Semester

  1. Apply for graduation on your account.
  2. Begin thinking about who you will recommend as your third reader of your portfolio. This person should be a professional communicator. Although this person does not have to hold a job title of technical communicator or technical writer, this person must have the background to provide informal feedback on the quality of your portfolio work. Identify someone you have met through networking whom you do not already know well. Please send your advisor the name, job title, and email address of your choice for a third reader, as well as a brief description of why this person would be able to provide appropriate feedback.
  3. No later than end of the second week of classes, share drafts of your overview and 1-2 reflective introductions with your advisor to make sure you are on target.
  4. Identify some dates and times toward the end of the semester when you will be able to present your portfolio to an audience of technical-communication students. Your advisor will work with other faculty to identify a time and date for your presentation.
  5. No later than week four, assemble a complete, well-edited first draft of your portfolio with all necessary elements and share with your advisor for feedback. Note: The two most common problems students encounter at this stage are (1) poor editing and (2) underdeveloped reflective statements, especially too brief a reflection on the weaknesses of a piece.
  6. Make suggested revisions and resubmit to your advisor. Continue this process until your advisor determines your portfolio is ready for review by your second reader. Your second reader will be recruited by your advisor and is another technical communication faculty member.
  7. No later than week seven, share your portfolio with your second reader. Make suggested revisions and resubmit to your second reader. Continue this process until your second reader determines your portfolio is ready for review by your third reader.
  8. No later than week ten, share your portfolio with your outside reader identified and approved in step 2. The outside reader should provide informal feedback about how your portfolio is appropriate for the area in which you want to work. You may change your portfolio in response to the outside reader’s comments before you submit it, but you don’t have to. After you talk with the outside reader (via phone, email, video chat, or meeting in person), ask him or her to confirm your conversation with your advisor.
  9. Present your portfolio to the audience of technical-communication students identified in step 4. Your presentation should last 20–25 minutes, plus time for questions from the audience. Your presentation should demonstrate that you have met the following MATC learning outcome: Plan, design, and deliver rhetorically appropriate oral communication
  10. Provide your advisor with an electronic copy of your entire portfolio.
  11. After presenting your portfolio to an audience, talking with the outside reader, and turning in your approved portfolio, you will receive a grade of Pass in your ENGL 592 course. You’ve cleared the last hurdle and you’re ready to get your master’s degree.