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Proficiency Requirements

Writing Program

 

The Writing Proficiency Requirement

To graduate from Millsaps College, all students must complete the Writing Proficiency Requirement. In other words, before you can receive your diploma, the Writing Proficiency Requirement must be completed.

The Writing Proficiency Requirement consists of two parts:

  1. Completing the Writing Portfolio by submitting 6 papers by the end of your second year; and
  2. Receiving a rating of Proficient from the Writing Program. (See "Evaluation Form")

 

Part 1: Four Steps to Completing Your Writing Portfolio:

Year 1, First semester

  • Complete and pass the required Core 1: Introduction to Thinking and Writing (IDST 1000/1050), AND submit clean copies of papers 1-3 to your instructor. The instructor will then assess (See "Evaluation Form") and submit them to the Writing Program Office to begin your Writing Portfolio.
  • If you do not pass Core 1, you will be required to repeat the course the next time it is offered (See "Further Guidelines and Procedures").
  • If you complete Core 1 but your writing has been assessed "below proficient," you may be recommended to complete an additional writing course, WritProg 1000: Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric (See "Further Guidelines and Procedures").
  • If you complete Core 1 but your writing has been assessed "well below proficient," you will be required to complete WritProg 1000: Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric (See "Further Guidelines and Procedures").

Year 1, Second Semester

  • First-year students required to take Core 3 or Heritage must submit a clean copy of a 4th paper to your instructor, who will then assess (See Core3/Heritage evaluation form) and submit it to your portfolio in the Writing Program Office;
  • Any student NOT required to take Core 3 or Heritage must submit a 4th paper with a completed cover sheet to the Writing Program Office in John Stone Hall (See below or click here for more information).

Year 2, Semesters 3 and/or 4
All students must submit papers 5 and 6 with completed cover sheets to the Writing Program Office in John Stone Hall.

  • One paper must have been written in Core 6-9 or any appropriate course in the Science Division or Else School of Management.
  • The remaining paper may come from any other course taken at Millsaps College.

NOTE: When you have submitted the required 6 papers, Part 1 of your Writing Proficiency Requirement (completion of your Writing Portfolio), is satisfied. However, to fulfill Part 2 of the Writing Proficiency Requirement, your portfolio must also be assessed as proficient.

 

Part 2: Portfolio Assessment

  • Proficient: If your Writing Portfolio is assessed "Proficient," you will be notified through email, and your portfolio will be returned to you in Senior Seminar. (See Evaluation Form and Assessment Procedure below.)
  • Below Proficient: If your Writing Portfolio has been assessed "Below Proficient," you will be notified through email and given instructions on how to proceed. (See Evaluation Form and Assessment Procedure below.)NOTE: If you fail to complete this process as outlined, your pre-registration and/or registration process may be blocked. For further Explanation of Guidelines and Procedures, see below.

 

Explanation of Guidelines and Procedures

Year 1, First Semester
During your first semester at Millsaps, you will attend the required Core 1 course - either IDST 1000 (for first-year students), or IDST 1050 (for non-traditional and transfer students). In Core 1, you will write at least 3 papers. Your Core 1 professor will ask you to submit clean copies of these 3 papers at the end of the semester. Your Core 1 professor will then assess (See Core 1 Evaluation Form) your writing on a scale ranging from "Well below" to "Well above Proficient" and submit your folder (provided by the Writing Program), containing the 3 papers and completed evaluation form, to the Writing Program Office in John Stone Hall. Note: A copy of the assessment is also sent to your advisor, whom you may ask for insight into your initial writing proficiency status.

If your Core 1 professor has serious concerns about your writing proficiency status at this point, you may either be recommended or required to take an additional writing course, WritProg 1000: Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric (See "Further Guidelines and Procedures"). Note: If you have not been recommended or required to take WritProg 1000 but want to continue working on your writing, you can choose to take WritProg 1000. In addition, at any point in your writing process - while taking any course or writing for any purpose, including personal statements for graduate school - , individual tutoring sessions are available in the Writing Center.

Year 1, Second Semester
Students required to take Core 3 or Heritage: During your second semester at Millsaps, you will enroll in either a Core 3 Topics course or the second semester of Heritage. In each course, your professor will designate a paper as the one to be assessed for the portfolio. Your professor will then assess (See Core3/Heritage evaluation form) this paper, consulting your Core 1 assessment in order to see if your writing continues to improve. Both this paper and its assessment will then be added to your portfolio on file in the Writing Program Office.

Students NOT required to take Core 3 or Heritage: Students from IDST 1000 (for first-year students) or IDST 1050 (for transfer students) who have completed their Core requirements elsewhere must submit 3 papers written at Millsaps to their Writing Portfolios, in consultation with the Director of the Writing Program. The 3 papers may come from any courses taken at Millsaps, including a Core 6-9 or any appropriate course from the Science Division or the Else School of Management. These 3 papers, in addition to the 3 submitted from IDST 1000 or IDST 1050, will complete your portfolio. However, to fulfill the Writing Proficiency Requirement, your portfolio must also be assessed Proficient.

Year 2, Semesters Three and Four
You will need to submit two papers. At least one of those papers must come from a course in Core 6-9 or any appropriate course from the Science Division or the Else School of Management. The other paper may come from any course taken at Millsaps College. These 2 papers, in addition to the 3 from Core 1 and Core 3 or Heritage, will complete your portfolio. However, to fulfill the Writing Proficiency Requirement, your portfolio must also be assessed Proficient.

Procedure for Submitting Papers:

  1. Select the paper[s] that you would like to submit to your writing portfolio.
  2. Print out a cover sheet for each paper, or pick them in the foyer of John Stone Hall.
  3. Complete your portion of the cover sheet.
  4. Ask your professor to sign the cover sheet and to include any additional information.
  5. Submit your paper with the cover sheet to the Writing Program Office, JSH.

NOTE: The responsibility for submitting the required papers to your portfolio is yours. If your portfolio has not been completed by your 5th semester, your pre-registration or registration may be blocked. In addition, if your Writing Proficiency Requirement has not been met by your senior year, you may not be permitted to take Senior Seminar, and ultimately, you may not be allowed to graduate.

Assessment Procedure (See "Evaluation Form")
Once your writing portfolio is complete (contains the 6 required papers), it will be assessed by the Writing Program Director.

  • If your portfolio is found to be "Proficient," you will be notified by email that you have completed the Writing Proficiency Requirement. The Office of Records will also be notified.
  • If your portfolio is assessed "Below Proficient," you will need to make an appointment with the Writing Program Director to review the portfolio.

NOTE: If your Writing Proficiency Requirement has not been met by your senior year, you may not be permitted to take Senior Seminar, and ultimately, you may not be allowed to graduate.