Challenging English 120
Students who wish to challenge English 120 must comply with university policies for challenging a course. http://www.ndsu.edu/registrar/placement
English 110 cannot be challenged, but transfer students and non-traditional students may review the placement exceptions for English 110. Incoming students may take the CLEP exam if they wish to try and earn credit for English 110.
Students should contact Dr. Emily Wicktor, Director of First-Year Writing (Morrill 207D), once they have received their Petition for a Course Challenge from the Office of Registration and Records; she will function as the instructor for the course. Students without sufficient credentials (ACTs over 33; old SAT over 1460, new SAT over 2190—all are combined scores) or experience (professional writing experience, college writing courses at other universities) will not be allowed to challenge English 120.
The English department uses a portfolio exam to evaluate whether or not students should receive credit for English 120. Students have to be able to demonstrate through their portfolio that they can meet the expected outcomes for English 120:
- Communicate effectively in a variety of genres for various audiences and diverse situations. (General Education Outcome #1)
- Incorporate knowledge in a coherent and meaningful way. (General Education Outcome #6)
- Show an understanding of the concept of “leadership” and the ways in which good communication skills are central to being both a leader and a productive team player.
English 120 exam portfolios consist of:
- A self-reflective memo, in which the student identifies the ways in which the portfolio meets the three outcomes for English 120.
- A leadership profile that draws on interview(s) and observations. The interview(s) may be with the person being profiled, and/or you might consider interviewing other people who can give you insight into that person. Your observations may be drawn from the interview sessions, or from seeing the leader in action. Secondary research can be incorporated as well. Remember that leadership can be defined very broadly, and you do not necessarily need to focus on an obvious leader.
- Two other genres of your choice. One genre should have a strong visual design component, and one genre should be a well-researched academic essay (commentary, proposal, or other). Research should be properly documented (APA, MLA, or another appropriate style guide).
- Total of 15–18 pages, although a short, well-designed project could result in fewer pages, and the review committee will take that factor into account.
Students challenging English 120 will have six weeks to complete the portfolio from the day in which they initiate the process. The portfolio will be read by at least two members of the English department’s First-year English Committee, and students will be notified of their results within three weeks of turning in their portfolio to Professor Emily Wicktor, Director of First-Year Composition. A successful portfolio will be above average, not simply passing work, but it does not need to be excellent or "A" work.
Students who wish to challenge English 120 are encouraged to consult Johnson-Sheehan and Paine's Writing Today, 2nd edition, the standard textbook for English 120 at NDSU.