Scott Gladd, MFA
5 min readDec 27, 2023


SYLLABUS | senior portfolio

Library — Next to Beehive — 231
Doucette Hall — 106

Beehive — 2nd floor of Library (for now, 711 in Library (7th floor)

Office Hours
Mon / Wed 9:00am — 12:00pm
If you are unable to make my office hours please e-mail me to schedule an appointment via Zoom.

This is the best way to reach me, please allow 24 hours for a response.

Course Description
This course is designed to be a culminating experience for Graphic Design majors. Students will complete multiple small-scale assignments, two large scale projects, and present a complete, professional portfolio. Each student’s final portfolio will be presented at a review attended by faculty, students, and regional professionals. A guest lecturer will select the “Top Portfolio” of the semester from a group of s finalists chosen by faculty. Trigger warning: I tend to swear occaisonally because sometimes life requires it, if it bothers you, please let me know. But I do have a very STRICT policy on offensive language towards others.

Learning Objectives
Self-author a multi-component comprehensive design project as a culminating educational experience (thesis/self-promo). Revise and complete a final professional portfolio, including print and web presence, resume and business card, and create a thesis installation. Finally, you will present a final portfolio to faculty and design professionals.

Course Requirements
To reinforce professionalism within this class the following standards should be met:

Attendance + Punctuality
Attendance is mandatory at PennWest University. That said, you are all adults and can make decisions for yourselves. Important announcements are made at the start of class and may not be repeated. Since this class is all about timing and planning, it’s important to be “present” when possible. I wanna be here, and want you all to be here too…wherever here may be!

Partially completed work will suffer a grade penalty regardless of the final. Maintaining progress over a set period of time is critical, trying to complete an entire project the night before it is due is impossible and will not benefit your work. If you fall behind, talk to me. Do not wait until the final l review to inform me of problems you may be having. You will receive a progress grade at each class.

Working in the client-based creative industry often depends on a designer’s ability to meet project deadlines. In this course, missing project deadlines will negatively impact your final grade (see progress). In the ‘real world’ missing project deadlines could mean losing your client, your commission and your job. Think of this as important practice. All final projects are due on the scheduled calendar date.

Always come prepared to work in class. You are required to keep a process book that contains all of your notes, sketches, and materials for this class. Do not throw away discarded ideas! (They are an important part of your design process). Potential employers oftentimes want to see how you come to a solution, and your process book is the perfect way to show them. Suggestions and comments given by faculty and fellow students during critiques should ALWAYS be noted regardless of your immediate intent to follow up on them.

Projects must meet high standards of craft and execution at all stages of the design process in both hand and computer rendering skills. Poor craft will affect project grades.

There are two parts to communication: speaking and listening. Share your opinions and be considerate of others’ viewpoints! Class critiques are the best practice for communicating your ideas, developing the ability to argue for a particular solution to a problem, and using the vocabulary associated with design principles. During critique students must be prepared to describe the project and its content, explain the concept behind the design, the process used, provide a rationale for the solution, and show discarded ideas. Please take the time to listen and engage in every project critique: be considerate of other’s feelings and offer constructive criticism.

Treat all supplies in the graphic design area like they are your own. Clean up after yourselves in the labs, put supplies back where they belong and do not leave behind personal property. No cell phones, texting, or surfing during class. If you absolutely need a cell phone for emergency please leave the ringer off and excuse yourself from the classroom to take a call. Do not wander in and out of the room during class. If you feel that a break is needed, please notify me of this at mid-point through the class period. Storage of your projects, supplies or personal belongings in any of the design labs or classrooms is not permitted due to space limitations and lack of security.

General Printing
Students may print assignments (unless otherwise directed) on university copiers. Prints may be released from any of these campus printer using your ID card. All students will start fall and spring semesters with a $7.50 credit, but you will be responsible for printing expenses beyond this allowance. For printing instructions, locations, per-sheet pricing, and directions for checking/reloading your balance go to

Projects / Grading
Identity/Resume/Business Card

Team/Group Project

Individual Project (Thesis)

Final Portfolio (print + web presence)

Edinboro Portfolio Reviews

Semester Progress

*Your final portfolio MUST reflect your established personal brand identity and contain your resume, business card, individual project, group project, and 5–8 additional projects. At least two projects must include documentation of your process.

How I Grade
Look at it this way…this is pretty much a pass/fail class. If I see that you are putting in the work and coming to class, you’ll do just fine. If you abuse the open-nature of this class you may fall in jeopardy of failing and no one wants that.

*Academic dishonesty, Plagiarism, or another student completing your work will result in a F for the class and referral to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and a hearing before the Committee of Fact for disciplinary action. Plagiarism may be defined as the act of taking the ideas and/or expression of ideas of another person and representing them as one’s own. If a student is in doubt of plagiarism, it is their responsibility to resolve any ambiguity by asking the professor prior to submitting the work. By enrolling in this course, you give the instructor permission to use any work created for promotional purposes. Proper credit will be given.

Printing + Computer Usage
All students enrolled in Senior Portfolio are permitted to use the G&ID Printing Lab and all G&ID supplies located in Doucette Hall. Students must supply their own high-quality papers for printing final projects. Low quality laser paper is available for printing roughs/in-progress work on the color laser printer.

So, to avoid being late for class, it is strongly advised to print your projects the day before the project is due (24 hours in advance). Only print from PDF files.

Support Services
The following support services are available on campus to assist you. If I can help you in any way, just ask.

Professor: Do not wait, contact your professor for help. Academic Advisor: Contact your Advisor for help you may need while attending PennWest University (beyond scheduling, as well).

Academic Success Center (ASC): Baron-Forness Library, 2nd Floor, Monday through Thursday 8:ooam-8:oopm, Fridays 8:ooam-4:3opm Go to ASC for help with time management, study skills, attendance, stress reduction, etc.

McNearney Health and Wellness: 9:ooam-5:oopm, appointment required

Crisis Intervention Assistance: after hours available 24/7 Erie County 456–2014 (Crisis Services/Safe Journeys Behavioral Health) or Crawford County 724–2732 (Crisis Hotline/Meadville Medical Center). Campus Police Crisis or Emergency available 24/7, call 732–2911 on campus or “911” otherwise.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1–800- 273-TALK (8255) Free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.



Scott Gladd, MFA

Unequal parts creative director, writer, educator, type designer, father figure, Labrador Retriever. Have laptop, will travel.