Department of English

West Chester University

Contact Info
Dr. Jen Bacon
532 Main Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2822
English-dept@wcupa.edu


Test Of Writing Competency & Portfolio Requirements & Procedures for B.S.Ed.

This document will explain the requirements for the Test of Writing Competency and the Writing Portfolio. These are required only for students in the B.S.Ed. program and for students pursuing PA certification. Students must pass the Test of Writing Competency in order to gain formal admission to the Teacher Education Program in English. Students must pass the Writing Portfolio requirement to student teach.

TEST OF WRITING COMPETENCY

All B.S.Ed.students must pass the Test of Writing Competency to be formally admitted to our teacher education program. The Test is given once each fall and spring semester; test dates and location are posted in the Department of English, with advisors, and on our Blackboard ite. The Test is not given during the summer. Take the Test no later than your second semester with sophomore status; transfer, certification, and graduate students should take the Test as soon as possible.

Procedures

  • You do not need to register for the Test.
  • Bring to the Test: blue/black pen(s), 8.5 x 11 writing paper; dictionary, if desired.
  • Test rubric appears in the following pages.
  • If you do not pass: Students who fail the Test of Writing Competency must confer with a member of the Teacher Education Committee during the same semester in which the Test was taken. They should retake the Test the following semester.
  • Students whose Test of Writing Competency does not meet Department standards after two submissions will be required to do additional work in writing before they may take the Test a third time. This work may involve taking an offered course or doing independent study in writing supervised by a faculty member.

PORTFOLIOS

All students entering the program must submit a Writing Portfolio that illustrates their excellence in writing two semesters before student teaching. No summer submissions are accepted. Students who submit their Portfolios at least two semesters before student teaching will have plenty of time to resubmit a revised Portfolio the following semester in the event that the portfolio does not pass on the first attempt. Students who do not pass and have not submitted their Portfolios at least two semesters prior to student teaching can expect that their student teaching and graduation will be delayed.

Requirements

Portfolios that do not meet all of the following requirements will not be read:
  • The Portfolio must be an 8.5 X 11 manila folder with the writer's full name on the tab.
  • At least one paper must have all preceding notes and drafts. All papers should be in their original form and include grades and comments. These can come from any University or may be written specifically for the Portfolio. Ungraded papers written expressly for the Portfolio must include all drafts and notes. No more than two ungraded papers (inclusive of the reflective piece) may be submitted.
  • The Portfolio must include one paper in each of three different modes in addition to a self-assessment:

The three modes
  1. Personal Essay includes personal autobiographical narrative as well as fiction, biography, and oral history. The personal essay tells a story generated by the writer, not gathered from a secondary source.
  2. Research Writing incorporates primary and secondary sources and a recognized citation system.
  3. Persuasive Writing, the purpose of which is to move readers to form or to change an opinion or to take a specific action. This includes literary analysis and other academic essays intended to prove a thesis as well as book reviews or other opinion-based writing.

The self assessment:
Self-Assessment, 3-4 pages long. It must describe
  1. the assignment that prompted each piece of writing in the Portfolio,
  2. the process that produced each piece, and
  3. what each reveals about the writer's ability and/or growth as a writer. (It is not necessary to include drafts for this essay.)

Procedures

  • Students should submit their Portfolios to the Chair of the Teacher Education Committee in the Department of English. Submission to the Teacher Education Chair is usually done through the office of Department secretary in Main 540.
  • If you do not pass: Students whose Portfolios do not meet Department standards must confer with their readers, who will be listed when scores are posted, during the same semester in which the Portfolio was submitted. Students should resubmit their Portfolios during the following semester by the deadline specified. No Portfolios are evaluated during the summer.
  • Students whose Portfolios do not meet Department standards after two submissions will be required to do additional work in writing before they may resubmit the Portfolio. This may involve taking an additional writing course or doing independent study in writing supervised by a faculty member.

You must pass both the Test of Writing Competency and the Portfolio to attain a B.S.Ed.in Secondary English Education or achieve teaching certification at WCU.