Graduation Portfolio

The Graduation Portfolio Should Demonstrate:

1) Writing and editing at the Graduate-level;

2) Comprehension of fundamental rhetorical theory and research methods as they pertain to the field of technical communication;

3) An understanding of the history, current issues, scholarship, research, and cultural concerns surrounding technical communication;

4) The connection between theory and practice through effective document creation in technical communication genres and proficiency in performing software technology;

5) An awareness of technical communication's ethical issues and its implications for technical communicators.

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  • MATC Graduation Portfolio Graduation Requirements

    • To graduate from the MATC Program, you will complete the MATC Graduation Portfolio, you will develop, organize, categorize, and present your best academic and practical work to demonstrate what you have learned. Your portfolio serves as the assessment tool for faculty to comprehensively review your work. The portfolio collection should provide evidence of your growth through the program and support the ideas you offer in the Reflective Analysis Essay that you will write as part of the portfolio presentation.

      For an example of the MATC Graduation Portfolio, see instructions from Fall 2020 below. These instructions are subject to change, and updated instructions are emailed to students each semester. 


    • The portfolio should be arranged with the Reflective Analysis Essay at the beginning and the various documents (such as a research paper) and projects (such as web pages) neatly separated and clearly marked. Any documents with long amounts of text need to be done in conventional serif typefaces such as Times Roman; shorter documents and text can be in conventional sans serif typefaces such as Arial. If you have a reason related to your portfolio presentation for different typefaces, please feel free to use them, but you should consider explaining the choice to your reviewers. You can choose whatever citation style you wish as long as it is a standard one in Technical Communication (MLA, Chicago, APA), and you should stay consistent throughout your portfolio with that style.

      Students will upload their Graduation Portfolio into their MATC Exam Spring 2021 Assignment in the MATC Program Canvas site for faculty members to review. Students can use a range of electronic technology such as HTML or Flash as long as all faculty members can access it. However, all paper documents must be in PDF format when presented in a digital version.

      When you upload your portfolio, it needs to be appropriately organized with the Reflective Essay at the beginning and the Contextual Introductions before each appropriate section. (See detailed information below.) Appropriate organization of the portfolio demonstrates professionalism.


    • There are three key parts to the portfolio:

      • Reflective Analysis Essay;
      • Documents and Projects; and
      • Contextual Introductions.


    • A key part of your portfolio is a 12-page double-spaced essay in which you describe and explain your educational growth during your time in the MATC program. The documents and projects you present in the portfolio should reflect your growth. The essay should:

      • Demonstrate graduate-level writing and editing;
      • Explain how the included documents address at least three of the goals stated earlier;
      • Tie rhetorical and/or technical communication theory to each of the documents/projects included.

      A single document or project may deal with all of the goals, or a few of the goals, but overall the essay must address stated goals.


    • In addition to the Reflective Analysis Essay, the portfolio must include three to five documents or projects demonstrating the knowledge and skills you learned during the program. The portfolio must include at least one academic or research essay, one project or document demonstrating your skill with technology, and one project or document demonstrating an application you have completed in your course work. The Graduation Portfolio should demonstrate a full range of efficiency in technical communication, therefore, you should include more documents if most are on the smaller side.

      You may include collaborative work that you substantially contributed to with an explanation of your contributory role. Collaborative work cannot be more than 30 percent of the projects and/or documents presented. You must get permission from the owning business, organization, or agency if you include proprietary work in your portfolio. This permission includes a letter from the owner(s) stating you have permission to use their proprietary materials in the portfolio.


    • You must begin each document or project with a brief (500-word or more) introduction. These introductions should highlight the following:

      • A description of the rhetorical inspiration for production (why was it created?),
      • An explanation of the practical and theoretical context (why this style, method, and language?), 
      • An explanation of the revision process since conception (how and why you revised it?).

        In the case of collaborative work, you must explain your role in the collaborative process.


    • Students must upload their Graduation Portfolio to the MATC Exam Assignment in the MATC Canvas Site. Students must include a copy of the MATC Portfolio Checklist, and any specific instructions reviewers need to open or view the portfolio. Graduation Portfolio instruction details and submission deadlines are emailed to all MATC students the during Fall and Spring semesters.  If you have any questions regarding the portfolio, consult with  Dr. Chris Dayley at


    • Two faculty members will evaluate your portfolio based on the portfolio criteria. The faculty review and scoring of your portfolio are independent of scores you may have received during graduate coursework. The designated faculty members will each submit one of the following scores to the Graduate Director for each portfolio: Pass or Fail.

      If there is no consensus among reviewers, then the portfolio will go to a third reviewer. The decision of two out of three reviewers is controlling and will indicate the final grade. In rare circumstances, a portfolio may be given a Pass with Distinction designation.

      If a candidate receives a failure designation they can appeal to the Graduate College for a time allowance to revise and present the portfolio for special review. Be aware that the MATC Graduation Portfolio Exam is only given during the fall and spring semesters.


MATC Graduation Portfolio Checklist

Items to Include:

Reflective Analysis Essay
Contextual Introductions for each document

3-5 Document Samples demonstrating:
  • Academic essay
  • Technology-based project
  • Applied project
Copy of this checklist
Make sure to include your name and any specific instructions for opening or navigating documents and/or projects.