Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement; Revised by EM 99-003

Executive Memorandum 90-022

May 24, 1990

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement; Revised by EM 99-003.

I approve the following revision to EM 85-08, Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.   It incorporates two recommendations of the  University Writing Committee: First, the coordinator of the Writing Across the Disciplines program will chair the University Writing Committee instead of the English Department composition coordinator; and second, students who earn below a C- in the writing proficiency  course in their major must repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive writing proficiency credit. The revised policy becomes effective in fall 1990.


Writing Effectiveness Screening Test Writing Proficiency Courses University Writing Committee 

The University graduation writing assessment requirement (GWAR) requires upper-division students to achieve a level of writing proficiency which may be expected of college graduates. In May 1976 the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution endorsing "the principle that all students entering CSU after implementation of the proficiency Idiagnostic examination (EPT) would be required to demonstrate their competency with regard to writing skills as a requirement for graduation." (REP 5-7-4).

The Trustee mandate resulted in the CSU, Chico upper-division literacy requirement, effective since fall 1976: "All departments shall require their majors, before graduation, to demonstrate writing skills in their own fields. The task of formulating the procedure for determining competence is delegated to each department. The policy developed by each department will be subject to approval by the Provost."   (EM 75-22) Furthermore, effective fall 1982, all students have been required  to pass the prerequisite Writing Effectiveness Screening Test (WEST) before demonstrating writing proficiency  for certification  in the major.

Writing Effectiveness Screening Test
All students are required to take the Writing Effectiveness  Screening Test (WEST) in their first semester of upper-division study at CSU, Chico.  They must pass the WEST to become eligible for Writing Proficiency courses.
Writing Proficiency Requirements
Writing proficiency (WP) courses are the backbone of the graduation writing assessment requirement at Chico.  They are required upper-division courses in the content of the discipline in which students use writing to organize the subject matter, engage in rigorous study about a body of knowledge essential to the major, and communicate that knowledge to others.  WP courses integrate writing with the context of the course.  They involve both in-class and out-of­ class writing that provide students with opportunities to write frequently in various modes of discourse.
The departments  develop  criteria  and  procedures  to implement  the WP program within the major and to certify by a WP course grade of C- or better those students who satisfy  the graduation  writing assessment standards of  the major. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive Writing Proficiency credit. The Provost or designee  shall verif y students' eligibility  in WP courses and approve the writing proficiency  policies developed by each department. The policy shall include a provision  to certify the writing of students who have transferred  WP course content from  another  institution. Any proposed  alternative to the WP course must be based on major-related writing produced at CSU, Chico by a junior  or senior who has already passed the WEST.
University Writing Committee
The University Writing Committee, functioning since 1978, will continue to oversee the GWAR program--WEST and WP.  Advisory to the Provost, the committee recommends policies and procedures, monitors department compliance, and aids departments in upgrading the quality of student writing in the majors.  The Provost and Faculty Senate will review all proposed universitywide policy changes.
On the recommendation of the school deans, the Provost and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall jointly  appoint one representative from each school to three-year staggered terms. The Writing Across the Disciplines Coordinator chairs the committee, and the Vice Provost and WEST /WP Coordinator serve as ex-officio members.