What Does it Mean to be a College Student?

Due: Thursday, October 13th

For your midterm portfolio, you will be asked to collect evidence that documents your development into a bona fide college student. Once you have collected your evidence, you will then write a reflective overview that will describe your transition from high school to college by reflecting on each piece of evidence and how it is "proof" of you learning what it means to be a student.

In order to complete this, you must decide for yourself what types of activities are representative of being a college student. Fortunately, David Conley defined some qualities of college students in a recent article to help you out.

Conley's definition of college student characteristics includes the following abilities:

  • Reading skills and strategies "sufficient to process a full range of textual materials" (p. 18).
  • Writing skills and strategies "sufficient to....respond successfully to written assignments" (p. 18).
  • Accepting feedback and critiques of work and using it for improvement
  • HONESTLY assessing your progress in a course
  • Setting goals to complete tasks on time
  • Studying independently
  • Studying in groups
  • Studying for an extended period of time (ie, not just the night before an exam)
  • Interacting successfully with a diverse group of people (including faculty, staff, and other students)


Conley's list is far from complete and you don't have to use it when compiling your evidence. Think about everything you've done in the first part of this semester and pick out what you think were the most valuable learning experiences. You then need to find a piece of evidence to represent each experience. This evidence should ALREADY EXIST and should be from your life as a student inside or outside of Triad M. Once you have your evidence of these experiences collected, then you can begin writing the Reflective Overview.


The Reflective Overview (or RO) is a typed, double-spaced document. It is the ONLY writing you will do for the portfolio. The RO should have an introduction, as well as AT LEAST one paragraph for each piece of evidence in your portfolio. (It helps if you speak about your pieces of evidence in the order that you've arranged them in your portfolio.)

For each piece of evidence, you should explain what it is and then argue why/how you think it represents your transition into a college student. How is the piece of evidence proof of your learning? (In other words, what's the "story" behind the evidence?)

Your RO should end with a conclusion that ties everything together and reflects on your development as a student thus far based on the evidence you've collected.


Your portfolio consists of the RO and all of the evidence described in the RO. That's it!

Sections 512/513 (Jennifer's Students)
This portfolio will be a COMBINED assignment with your Composition class. Jennifer and I will discuss with you how to fit the requirements for the two courses together into ONE submission with ONE Reflective Overview (not two)!

Portfolio submissions must be in a paper folder (NOT A BINDER) and all of the papers must be in the brads. Portfolios will be submitted to the box outside my office, FC 126, on the due date!