Student and mentor reviewing a paper in front of a computer

The Evaluation Process

The Writing Center

Every portfolio is evaluated by at least two faculty graders, using the following rubric: Writing Proficiency Portfolio Grade Sheet. The graders score the portfolio in seven categories, using a 1 to 5 scale.

The graders read everything in the portfolio, but particular attention is paid to the reflective essay and to the example(s) of researched writing. The scores of both graders are averaged in each category and then combined to determine the final overall score. The evaluation process typically takes around one month.

Those students who have demonstrated competency in university writing (scoring at or above the minimum benchmark of 3.0) will receive notification in print and electronic format that they have satisfied USC Aiken’s expectations concerning writing proficiency. All students are emailed notification to pick up the letter with the results within approximately one week; if the letter is not picked up, it is mailed to the student’s local address. One copy of the letter is sent to the student’s advisor.

Those students whose portfolios do not meet minimum competency will be directed as follows:

  • Those with scores significantly below the benchmark will be required to enroll in and pass ENGL 201 with a grade of C or better. 
  • Those with scores slightly below the benchmark will be notified of their option to resubmit their portfolio for reconsideration.
    • If they choose to do so, they will need to schedule an appointment with the Writing Assessment Director, who will share the scoring sheets with them and offer them advice on the areas that need improvement. Palmetto College and other online students can request an email and/or phone consultation. It is up to the student in question, however, to reevaluate and revise, if needed, all of his/her initially submitted work and to make adjustments to the reflective essay in acknowledgment of those changes.
    • The revised portfolio—no new papers can be added at this point—will be given to a third reader, who will look at the whole portfolio with a fresh eye. This faculty grader will be given the original score sheets and will know the original score. The third grader will be examining the portfolio in its entirety as if it were freshly minted.
    • He/she will mark the resubmitted portfolio as pass or needs ENGL 201. Students who pass on resubmission will receive electronic confirmation of that fact with a copy of the final determination sent to the advisor as well. Students whose portfolios do not pass on resubmission must enroll in and pass ENGL 201 with a grade of C or better.