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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, and under this new policy all students are required to complete a writing placement test and the appropriate GWAR pathway based on the score received on that test. In Fall 2016, the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) replaced the previous placement test, the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). All students, regardless of their admission dates, who have not taken the placement test prior to Fall 2016, will be required to take the GPE. WPE scores attained by students who were admitted prior to Fall 2016 will continue to be used for placement purposes, and students who completed the WPE are not required to complete the GPE.

Continuing students are required to attempt the writing placement test when they have earned between 30 and 50 units. Transfer students are urged to attempt the GPE prior to their enrollment at CSULB but are required to take the GPE in their first semester of enrollment.

Based on their score on the placement test, students who have been admitted or readmitted to CSULB in Fall 2016 or in a subsequent semester fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:

• Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test will be required to complete a General Education writing intensive capstone course with a grade of “C” or better.

• Students receiving scores of 8, 9, or 10 on the placement test will be required to complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, 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 receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test will be required to successfully complete English 301A with a grade of “C” or better; to then complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, including the 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.

Undergraduate students with scores lower than 11 on the placement test will be required to begin the pathway to successfully complete the GWAR within two semesters of taking the test. 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 by placing a GWAR hold. 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.

Students Admitted Prior to Fall 2016
Based on their score on the placement test, students enrolled at CSULB prior to Fall 2016 fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:

• Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test have satisfied the GWAR and may proceed with completion of other degree requirements.

• Students receiving scores of 8, 9 or 10 on the placement test must complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, including submission of a passing portfolio.

• Students receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test must complete English 301A with a grade of "C" or better and must complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, including submission of a passing portfolio.

Undergraduate students with scores lower than 11 on the placement test will be required to begin the pathway within two semesters of taking the test. These students must enroll in an appropriate pathway course each semester until they have fulfilled the requirement. Registration may be prevented for students not complying with timely completion of the GWAR requirement.

GWAR Advising & Testing
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, 103 Horn Center, (562-985-7378). Information about the GWAR is available at www.csulb.edu/gwar. Students who attempted the WPE once prior to Fall 2010 may attempt the placement test a second time or may enroll in an appropriate GWAR course and submit a portfolio for assessment. Students can register for the placement test 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 placement test date. Information about these workshops, test dates, and related services is available at BH-216 or at www.csulb.edu/testing.

GWAR Registration Holds
If undergraduate students neglect to attempt the placement test 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 placement test to release this registration hold. Students with compelling reasons can request deferrals at Testing, Evaluation and Assessment, BH-216. 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 this registration hold. It is imperative for timely degree completion that students make steady progress on fulfilling the requirements of the GWAR.

 


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