5.0 Academic Performance Standards & Annual Review: Annual Review

Annual Review Process
The Graduate School requires that each graduate student file an Annual Progress Report every year. This form has two parts, due on two different dates.

In addition, the Rhetoric & Writing Program requires that each graduate student submit an annual portfolio and complete an annual review with the guidance committee every year. All of the above constitutes the Rhetoric & Writing Program’s annual review process.

The primary purpose of the annual review process is to provide each graduate student with clear feedback on her/his progress in the program, to provide the student with guidance on making satisfactory academic and professional progress, and to help students understand how to prepare for evaluation in their professional lives. This annual review process is very similar to the annual review that all faculty are expected to do, but which is particularly important for untenured faculty who need to prepare a case for tenure and promotion.

A second but important purpose for this process is to provide the graduate director with qualitative data about students in the program.

There are three components to this process:

  • the Annual Progress Report (Parts A and B, plus current c.v.);
  • preparation and submission of a portfolio, and
  • the annual review

Part 1. The Annual Progress Report (Part A)
In December of each year, all students will receive an electronic copy of the Annual Progress Report form (Parts A and B) and a letter detailing the annual review process.

The student completes and submits Part A of the Annual Progress Report, accompanied by a current curriculum vitae or résumé, to the graduate program secretary and to the student’s advisory or guidance committee chair.

The deadline for this submission is indicated on the Annual Progress Report form; it is usually January 15.

Part 2. The Annual Portfolio
The student should be collecting relevant portfolio materials throughout the year in preparation for this part of the annual review process. This portfolio (which can be print, electronic, or a combination) should include samples of the student’s work completed during the previous year:

  • representative work done in courses (the student should include good, excellent, and even not-so-good work);
  • professional work done outside courses (e.g., conference presentations, consultations or collaborations with community partners); and
  • teaching material (e.g., course evaluations, syllabi, instructional materials).

Each year, the portfolio should also include a new overview essay that provides evidence of reasoning about and reflection on how the student’s program has affected his/her research, teaching, and professional goals. This is also due by January 15.
The student must submit the portfolio to both the guidance committee members and the graduate program secretary.

The student should then arrange with the guidance committee chair the exact procedure for the annual review, keeping in mind that the Annual Progress Report Part B for current students is due by March 15 (and for students in the first year of their program by April 15).

Part 3. The Annual Review
All members of the guidance committee review the student’s Part A, c.v., annual portfolio, and essay. The committee provides the student with a written evaluation of the past year’s work.
The student sets a meeting–either with the chair alone or with the entire guidance committee–to discuss the evaluation of the student’s work.

Both the committee chair and the student sign Part B of the Annual Progress Report form and submit that form to the graduate director.

Exceptions to the Review Process
Students who are actively engaged in the process of MA or PhD exams do not need to submit a separate portfolio to their guidance committees, substituting their exam portfolios and faculty exam responses for the annual review portfolio. Students engaged in the process of thesis or dissertation research and writing may submit a brief progress report in lieu of an annual portfolio. In both cases (exams and thesis/dissertation) students should talk with their committee chair about making the exception and the entire committee should be consulted before the exception is granted. Even if an exception is granted, the student must still submit both parts of the Annual Progress Report form and meet both deadlines.