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The Directed Self-Placement Tool For Academic Writing I Placement

To select a first-year Academic Writing I course (AWI) at Central Washington University (CWU), you will determine if you need to take two quarters of AWI in the Stretch Program or one quarter of AWI. CWU uses a Directed Self-Placement (DSP) tool to help students select and AWI course that best fits their needs. The DSP is made up of three parts:

  1. Overview and summary of the directed self-placement
  2. The survey and placement tool
  3. A course recommendation

Part 1: The Introduction

A DSP will allow you to determine what kind of reading and writing support you need to succeed at CWU and an opportunity to self-select the writing course that best fits your needs. The placement tool only works if you value having the autonomy to be honest about your learning needs and select the course that will prepare you to succeed at CWU. After you watch the short video on the DSP and read more about the expectations for academic writing at CWU, you will complete a self-placement survey that will ask you to reflect on your previous reading and writing experiences, preparedness for academic writing, the course work and expectations for academic writing, and identify the course that best fits your needs.

Your responses to this survey will lead to a recommendation for a writing course that best fits your needs. Again, it is extremely important that you answer the survey questions as honestly as possible. The answers to these questions do not place you in a writing course. They provide you with a suggestion for selecting a writing course; however, the decision about your first-year writing course is up to you and should be made after a careful reflection of yourself as a writer that is based on previous experiences with writing.

Part 2: The Self-Placement Survey

This survey will take approximately 30 minutes and will ask you questions about your previous experiences reading, writing, and overall preparedness for academic writing.

Answering the survey questions will help you:

  • Gain insight into your current reading and writing practices, especially in light of your prior experiences with reading and writing.
  • Relate your experiences with writing to the expectations for AWI course work.
  • Understand what will be expected of you in CWU college-level Academic Writing I courses.

Part 3: The Recommendation

Once you have completed the self-placement survey, you'll be given a recommendation for a one or two quarter first-year writing course. It's important that you don't make a quick or uninformed decision. The survey will help you to select a course more carefully (that's the guided and directed part of this experience). Print or screenshot the recommendation page and bring it to your advisor so you both can review the recommendation. Read a description of your course options, discuss those options with an advisor, and make your own choice.

  • One-quarter Academic Writing I Recommendation

    If you were recommended for a one-quarter Academic Writing I (AWI) course, read the following course descriptions below. One quarter AWI courses are similar in their degree of challenge and support. For example, Academic Writing I: Critical Reading and Responding (5 credits) "prepares students with the skills necessary for critical reading and academic writing, including summarizing, reading sources critically and responding to them, synthesizing multiple perspectives, and using academic writing conventions, including grammar and mechanics."

    The following three courses are part of the AWI sequence:

    1. ENG 101 - Academic Writing I: Critical Reading and Responding, Credits: (5)
    2. PHIL 110 - Beyond Belief? Exploring the Fringe and the Paranormal, Credits: (5)
    3. PHIL 111 - Writing and Power: Authority, Oppression, and Resistance, Credits: (5)
  • Two-quarter Academic Writing I Stretch Program Recommendation

    The other option is a two-quarter Academic Writing I sequence in the Stretch Program: ENG 101A in the first quarter, ENG 101B in the second quarter. This pair of courses allows you to remain with the same instructor and same group of students for two quarters. It is designed for students who want or need more time to work on their critical reading and writing skills. Stretch courses are not remedial or basic courses. Stretch ENG 101A (5 credits) and ENG 101B (5 credits) are an AWI course stretched out across two quarters. Five credit hours counts toward your AWI General Education course requirement and the other five credits count towards your general electives. please visit the stretch program website to learn more about the stretch program.

All these courses are college-level and engage students in college-level reading, writing, and thinking from the beginning to the end of each quarter. The primary difference between one and two quarter AWI courses is the amount of time they allow for developing and practicing college-level writing. If you enroll in a two-quarter stretch sequence, you will have more time to develop and reinforce college-level reading and writing practices. The self-placement survey will help you recognize whether you need or do not need more time for writing practice. Inappropriate self-placement may increase the time it takes to complete a certificate or degree and may interfere with financial aid. Once you decide on a course that best fits you, you can register for that course.

Take the Survey