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For PWR Advisors

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Notation Advising Overview

Notation students have two advisors: a PWR Advisor and a Faculty Advisor

The student’s PWR Advisor provides crucial guidance to the Notation student, meeting with the student for 30 minutes at least once a year, either through a Hume appointment or during office hours. At these meetings, the PWR Advisor will consult with the student in relation to the following:

  1. Course planning and completion of requirements
  2. Consultation on the development of the ePortfolio
  3. Evaluation of ePortfolios

Course planning and completion of requirements

The PWR advisor helps students plan out their course of study for the Notation, ensuring they fulfill the following requirements in a timely manner:

  • PWR 99A: Portfolio Preparation I (1 unit): Students should take this portfolio planning course shortly after being admitted into the notation. Pre-requisite: PWR1.
  • Notation Gateway Course: NCR students take PWR 194NCR: Introduction to Cultural Rhetorics (4 units) and NSC students take PWR 91NSC: Introduction to Science Communication (4 units). These courses are typically offered at least once every year.
  • PWR Elective Course: PWR 91 (3-4 units) or PWR 194 (3-4 units). NSC students should take courses in the SC track; NCR students should take courses in the CR track. Pre-requisites: PWR 1 and PWR 2.
  • Non-PWR Elective Course with a significant communication component (3-5 units): This course can be in their major or in a related discipline, but students should choose an elective course that provides them with the opportunity to create a text that they can include in their final notation ePortfolio. See the NCR Courses and NSC Courses pages for more information on selecting Non-PWR Electives.
  • PWR 99B: Portfolio Preparation II (2 units) Students should take the final portfolio planning course at the end of their NSC course of study, but no later than the winter of their senior year.  Pre-requisite: PWR 1, PWR 2, PWR99A, and completion of their other notation course requirements (although a student may take one of the other required notation courses concurrently with PWR 99B).

Consultation on the development of the ePortfolio

The PWR advisor provides important guidance to students while they are developing their ePortfolio. The ePortfolio is the capstone project for the Notation and will be assessed by the Notation committee as the final mode of evaluating the student’s work in the Notation. During their advising meetings, PWR advisors provide feedback on the rhetorical elements of this process, helping the student make productive choices in terms of:

  • which artifacts the student selects to include
  • how the student articulates connections between the different texts
  • how the student frames these texts rhetorically as part of the reflective component of the ePortfolio

More information about portfolio elements and structure can be found on the ePortfolio Capstone page, and you can explore ePortfolios from graduated students in the ePortfolio Archive.

Note that PWR advisors do not need to develop technical expertise in the ePortfolio platform (Digication); students should direct technical questions to PWR’s Coordinator of Pedagogical Technology (

Evaluation of ePortfolios

PWR advisors may be called upon to evaluate ePortfolios from graduating seniors; the level of participation is similar to that for serving on the Boothe or Lunsford Prize selection committee. This process will take place during April.

Thinking about becoming an advisor?

Check out the short video below for more details on the NSC program and the role of the NSC PWR advisor. You can also reach out to the NSC ( and/or NCR ( teams for more information.