English 202C by Portfolio

English 202C by portfolio (ENGL202C(p)) is an alternative means for engineering students to receive full academic credit for the required English 202C (Technical Writing) course by submitting a printed portfolio of technical writing samples created over the course of three registered (i.e., for-credit) internships or co-op semesters.

Students who wish to pursue this option must submit a completed portfolio for review and grading by an English instructor. Students whose portfolios demonstrate adequate mastery of technical writing skills will receive credit for English 202C, but no grade. Instead, the credits will be designated on the transcript as Credit awarded by portfolio assessment (similar to a transfer credit notation).

ENGL202C(p) may be a good option for you if you are already confident about your technical written communication skills or if you want to save time toward your degree by receiving credit for work you are already doing or have already done.

Because you will not have weekly in-class access to an English instructor while you are on your co-op or internship assignment, you are advised to purchase a good technical writing textbook for guidance. The English department recommends a list of textbooks including the following:

  • Johnson-Sheehan, Richard. Technical Communication Today. 4th ed. Pearson, 2012. ISBN-13: 9780205171194.
  • Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu. Handbook of Technical Writing. 9th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011. ISBN-13: 9781457610615.
  • Anderson, Paul. Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach. 7th ed. Thomas/Wadsworth (Cengage), 2010. ISBN-13: 9781428263932.
  • Markel, Mike. Technical Communication. 9th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. ISBN-10: 0312485972 (e-book version: ISBN-10: 0-312-38782-2).

Registration Procedure
Submission Deadlines
Assessment and Grading


To be eligible for the ENGL202C(p) option, you must:

  • Be a student in the College of Engineering or an engineering student in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Have completed three for-credit internship experiences, a three-rotation for-credit co-op experience, or any combination of three for-credit co-op or internship experiences
  • Have at least fifth-semester standing—with few exceptions—in the semester during which you submit your portfolio


The cost for the ENGL202C(p) option is $390.

Registration Procedure

By the end of the second week of your third work assignment (internship or co-op rotation), submit your Intent to Register Form [PDF] and a Brief Proposal to our office. Your employer may also require you to sign a disclosure agreement (provided by the employer) that asks you not to divulge any sensitive or proprietary company information; your employer may require the English instructor who will grade your portfolio to sign this agreement as well. If this is the case, please send the disclosure agreement along with your proposal and include a return address, indicating where the signed agreement should be sent.


The portfolio must include:

  • Cover page [PDF], including your co-op or internship supervisor's signature on the disclosure portion
  • Disclosure agreement(s), if required by your employers
  • Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application [PDF]
  • Table of contents for the portfolio
  • Mandatory Assignments
    • Copy of Brief Proposal that you submitted with your registration form
    • Job Application Package
    • Copies of two End-of-Semester Reports, which you submitted either for two internships or for your first and second co-op rotations
  • Two Elective Assignments
  • Personal check for $390, made out to "Penn State"; please include your nine-digit Penn State student ID number on the check

Please assemble all portfolio components into a three-ring binder, with each assignment paginated and with divider sheets inserted between each assignment or submission. Incomplete portfolios will not be accepted.

Submission Deadlines

You can submit your completed portfolio to our office at any time during your third work assignment, prior to the deadlines. It's advisable, if possible, to complete the work earlier rather than later; if you don't receive a passing grade, you'll need to register for a resident section of ENGL202C.

The deadlines for portfolio submission each semester are:

  • Fall: November 25
  • Spring: April 25
  • Summer: July 25

If the due date in a given semester falls on a weekend, the portfolio will be due by 5:00 p.m. the Monday immediately following the weekend.

Assessment and Grading

A faculty member or instructor in the English department will grade your portfolio. If it is deemed acceptable, the grader will complete the academic department portion of the Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application, deposit the fee, and submit the form to the Admissions office, where the credit will be added to your transcript.

If the grader feels that minor changes need to be made to your portfolio, you will be asked to make modifications and to resubmit the portfolio by a certain date. However, if the portfolio is deemed unacceptable (i.e., major changes would be required), no re-write will be allowed and you will forfeit the fee.

You will receive credit notification (i.e., approval of your portfolio) via email prior to the start of the following semester.

You can collect your graded portfolio in our office (205 Hammond Building) during the second week of the semester in which you return to campus.

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