What is the English Honours Portfolio?

The English Honours portfolio Program is designed to foster expertise in and enthusiasm for the study of English literature, and to reward excellence in academic accomplishment.

The intention is to offer excellent students who are interested in English literature and writing to collect and propose for presentation to the English Department a selection of their best written work completed during their studies at Vanier College.

Who Can Participate?

Any student whose work and motivation are above average is eligible to participate in the English Honours Portfolio Program. However, to be eligible for a certificate of attestation, the student must have maintained an average of 80% or above in at least three of his or her English courses at Vanier.

What Does the Portfolio Involve?

The English Honours Portfolio consists of three or more excellent examples of writing produced by the student while attending Vanier. One must be an English course essay for which the student received high marks (85%+). The other two examples may be chosen from among the following categories:

  • English course essays for which the student received high marks (85%+);
  • creative writing for which the student received high marks in a course (85%+) or for which the student won at least honourable mention in the Vanier College Writing Contest. A creative writing example may be fiction or drama (a short story or dramatic text of about 1500 words) or poetry (three poems are considered equivalent to one story);
  • news or feature articles written by a student which a faculty advisory has considered notable in some way (about 1000 words);
  • other written work, to be proposed by the student and approved by the supervising Department member.



What Role Do Faculty Play?

Participation in the English Honours Portfolio Program is entirely voluntary, on the part of both teachers and students. Any teacher may act as a supervisor for the preparation of the Portfolio. The program is overseen by the Honours Portfolio coordinator.

What Is the Procedure?

  1. It is up to the individual student to propose and assemble the portfolio.
  2. The onus is on the interested student to approach a member of the English department, propose the portfolio and come to an agreement both about the three or more examples to be included, and about any revision that might be deemed necessary by the chosen department member (supervisor).
  3. The student and supervisor may choose to complete and sign a contract which predicts the date of completion of the portfolio (this step is optional if both parties agree to a verbal contract). The date of completion must fall before the end of term.
  4. It is the role of the supervisor to suggest and oversee necessary changes or revision to the portfolio. Once the portfolio is complete and deemed worthy of acceptance by the supervisor, the supervisor collects the portfolio, keeping it on file and, by term’s end, sends the student’s name and ID number to the Honours Portfolio Coordinator. No mark is given the portfolio, but supervisors may choose to offer constructive feedback throughout the process.

What is the Reward?

A student who completes his or her Portfolio receives an Honours Portfolio Certificate of Attestation from the English Department upon graduating. Students may also request from their HP supervisors a separate letter of attestation to send out to the universities to which they are applying. As this certificate is an award of merit, it will be an asset to the student’s curriculum vitae.

Whom Do I Contact?

You may begin the process by contacting any member of the English Department, or by contacting the English Department Coordinator or the office of the Faculty of Science and General Studies.

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