Senior Portfolio

Senior Portfolio

All English majors are required to complete a senior portfolio and pass ENGL 4909 in order to graduate. If possible, you should take ENGL 4909 during the semester BEFORE the term in which you will graduate. To receive permission to enroll, please contact your English major advisor, who will serve as your ENGL 4909 instructor.

The Spring 2024 deadline for submitting your portfolio is Friday of the 14th week of classes (April 19, 2024). You submit your portfolio by “sharing” its Google Drive folder with your advisor and this year's Portfolio assessment coordinator, Dr. Paula Derdiger ([email protected]).

See below for instructions on how to store materials in online portfolios and on how to share these materials with other people.

Why a Portfolio?

Senior Portfolio is a reflection on your experience as an English major, an assessment of your work in English courses, and a tool for assessing and improving the English program. You will need to complete a minimally satisfactory portfolio in order to pass English 4909, which is required for completion of the English major. After you graduate, the English program faculty will use the accumulated portfolios to evaluate their own effectiveness in helping students reach the English Program’s Student Learning Outcomes and other program goals.

What Goes Into Your Senior Portfolio?

Each student’s Senior Portfolio is made up of completed pieces of work from courses taken as part of the English major. (You may NOT submit work from courses that do not count toward the English major.) These pieces of work will often include course papers, but other forms of completed work are possible as well. The work in Senior Portfolio is intended to give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning as an English major and document the work you did in the major that best demonstrates each of the program’s Student Learning Outcomes.

You are responsible for choosing work that exemplifies each learning outcome. The total number of pieces in a Senior Portfolio will vary; one piece of work might illustrate more than one Student Learning Outcome, but you also might submit two pieces of work as evidence of one Student Learning Outcome.

Here are the required pieces of a completed Senior Portfolio:

1. A completed Student Learning Outcomes Map that clearly indicates which pieces of work demonstrate each SLO, and why you think so. (To make your own copy of this document, open it, and then select "File --> Make a Copy")

2. A document titled "Overview of Supporting Evidence" that includes the following items:

  • The title of each piece of work you are including.
  • After each title, which course, term, year and instructor this piece of work was written for.
  • After that, a brief (~150-word) statement of the piece’s argument/purpose/artistic goal and what you learned from writing/creating it. Note: this is NOT the document in which you explain how your portfolio pieces demonstrate each Student Learning Outcome. This is merely a table of contents of the work that you have decided to include, with a quick overview of each piece of work.
  • See a sample “Overview of Supporting Evidence” document

3. Each piece of work mentioned in the Student Learning Outcomes Map, uploaded as separate files, with the title of the work (or the first few words of that title) as the file name. In other words, the title of the file you upload should match the title that appears in the Student Learning Outcomes Map and the Overview of Supporting Evidence above.

4. A brief reflective essay (2-4 pages, double spaced) in which you

  • Describe how you came to decide on an English major.
  • Highlight the variety of texts, time periods/movements, and genres you have explored throughout your English major.
  • Describe some of the experiences, knowledge, and/or skills you have gained by being an English major. In other words, what was your English major good for?
  • Tell us what is next for you after your time at UMD and how your English major might be relevant to those pursuits.
  • Tell us what suggestions you have, if any, that might help improve UMD's English program for future students.

How to Create and Submit Your Portfolio

  • Go to your e-mail page at "" and log in as you normally would.
  • Click on the "Apps" button in the upper-right-hand corner (it looks like nine little squares). Then click on "Drive" in the scroll-down menu that appears.
  • Click on the "New" button in the upper-left-hand corner and scroll down to "Folder". Name that folder "Your Name - English 4909 Portfolio".
  • Click on the "New" button and scroll down to “File Upload.” This will open a window that allows you to browse documents on your computer for upload into Google Drive and then into the folder you have created. Each document that is in Google Drive will be accessible to you from any computer with a web browser.
  • Upload each of the required documents listed in “What Goes into a Senior Portfolio” above.

To provide access:

  • In your main Google Drive, click on your folder's name.
  • Near the top of the screen (or after right-clicking on the folder name), look for the "Share" button, which is a picture of person with plus sign floating over her right shoulder. Click on that "Share" button.
  • This will open up a "Share" window in which you can enter UserIDs or email addresses for anyone with whom you wish to share your portfolio.
  • The documents you upload to your portfolio should be in a format that is readable within Google Drive. If double-clicking the name of your document in Google Drive does not make the document viewable in your browser, please convert the file to a viewable file format (such as PDF or .docx) and re-upload.
  • Keep adding to your portfolio as you progress through the program so that it is not a burden for you at the deadline period.

Please remember that your ENGL 4909: Senior Portfolio requirement is not complete until you share a fully completed Portfolio with your advisor and the English Assessment Coordinator.

If you have questions about the content of your portfolio, please contact your advisor.