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Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

In order to obtain a degree or certificate from CSULB, all students must demonstrate upper-division competence in academic writing in English. All students must attempt to fulfill the GWAR before filing a request to graduate. A new GWAR policy was adopted in Spring 2012. However, the new policy has not yet been fully implemented. Currently, students are required to fulfill the following requirements.

Continuing students are required to attempt the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) when they have earned between 30 and 50 units. Transfer students are encouraged to attempt the WPE prior to their enrollment at CSULB but are required to take the WPE in their first semester of enrollment. Students are permitted to take the WPE only once unless they are approved to take it a second time by a GWAR advisor. Based on their score on the WPE, students fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:
Students receiving scores of 11 or higher have satisfied the GWAR and may proceed with completion of other degree requirements.

Students receiving scores of 8, 9 or 10 must complete a GWAR portfolio course and submit a passing portfolio at the end of the course. Students following this pathway are expected to fulfill the GWAR within two semesters of enrollment following their WPE attempt.

Students receiving score of 7 or lower must complete English 301A with a "C" or better in the following semester of enrollment and must complete a GWAR portfolio course and submit a passing portfolio in the subsequent semester of enrollment. Students following this pathway are expected to enroll in an appropriate GWAR course in each semester following their WPE attempt.

Students who have questions about their next step or who need help selecting an appropriate GWAR portfolio course should schedule an appointment with a GWAR advisor in the University Center for Undergraduate Advising, Horn Center, 103 (562-985-4837). Information about the GWAR is available at www.csulb.edu/gwar. Students who attempted the WPE once prior to Fall 2010 may attempt the WPE a second time or may enroll in an appropriate GWAR course and submit a portfolio for assessment. Students are not permitted to take the WPE more than two times.

Students can register for the WPE online at www.csulb.edu/testing. Students must pay a fee each time they take the test to cover the costs of test administration and scoring. Testing, Evaluation & Assessment offers three-hour workshops one to two weeks prior to each WPE date. Information about these workshops, the WPE workbook, and related services is available at BH-216 or at www.csulb.edu/testing.

The GWAR and Registration Holds

If undergraduate students neglect to attempt the WPE by the time they earn 50 units or, if they are upper-division transfer students, in their first semester of residency, CSULB will place a hold on their privilege to register for classes. Students must register for and take the WPE to release these registration holds.

Students with compelling reasons can request deferrals at Testing, Evaluation and Assessment, BH-216. In certain circumstances, students, with help from their faculty or staff advisors, may submit an appeal or contract to release a registration hold temporarily.

If students fail to comply with requirements to enroll in a GWAR course, CSULB will place a hold on their privilege to register for classes. Students must meet with a GWAR advisor to release these registration holds.

Future GWAR Policy

It is anticipated that the new GWAR policy will be fully implemented in Fall 2015. At that time, the following changes in the requirements to complete the GWAR will go into effect:

CSULB students will be required to take the GWAR Placement Examination (GPE). Students will be permitted to take the GPE only once unless they are approved to take it a second time by a GWAR advisor.

Continuing undergraduate students will be required to take the GPE or alternate assessment when they have earned between 30 and 50 CSULB baccalaureate units.

Upper-division transfer students will be required to take the GPE, preferably before they enroll at CSULB, but no later than their first semester of enrollment.

Based on their score on the GPE, students will be placed into one of the following pathways to fulfill the GWAR:

Students with an upper-range score on the GPE will be required to complete with a C or better a General Education writing intensive capstone course.

Students with a mid-range score on the GPE will be required to complete a GWAR portfolio course, including submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score, and to subsequently complete a General Education writing intensive capstone course with a grade of "C" or better.

Students with a low-range score on the GPE will be required to successfully complete English 301A with a C or better; to then complete a GWAR portfolio course, including the submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score; and to subsequently complete with a "C" or better a General Education writing intensive capstone course.

Undergraduate students with low- or mid-range scores on the GPE will be required to begin the pathway within two semesters of taking the GPE. These students must enroll in an appropriate pathway course each semester until they are deemed ready to take the General Education writing intensive capstone course. Registration may be prevented for students not complying with timely completion of the GWAR requirement.

Students will be permitted to appeal to complete requirements concurrently if required for timely graduation. Appeals will be reviewed by the Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Studies.

 


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