NUMBER: 79-11

FILE: English


The following policy statement, recommended by the Academic Senate at its meeting of November 2, 1978, and approved by the President on December 13,1978, is as follows:

Demonstration of Writing Skills Competency as a Requirement for Graduation:

1. To qualify for-the baccalaureate, each student must be certified proficient in written composition in English. Proficiency must be demonstrated by passing an approved certification examination required by the major department or school or by passing the general University examination. The responsibility for developing the skills necessary to pass the examination is the student's.

2. Every baccalaureate candidate should take the examination during the first semester of the junior year. The examination may be retaken as many times as necessary, but no more than once a semester or three times a year (including the Summer Session.)

3. The University Committee on Writing Proficiency shall have the responsibility of approving examinations to be used to demonstrate writing proficiency, of overseeing the administration and grading of the examinations, and of certifying to the Records Office that a student has met this graduation requirement.

4. To cover the costs of administration and scoring, a fee of $10 will be charged each time a student takes the examination.

Implementing Procedure

1.  Establish a University Committee on Writing Proficiency (See Structure and Charge.)

2.  Schools, departments, and disciplines may align themselves for the purpose of selecting or developing writing proficiency examinations in English composition which are relevant to the subject matter and unique writing needs of their majors. In doing this, they should consult with members of the community, specifically those in occupations in which graduates may be employed, to determine needed writing skills. Disciplines may establish standards for their students which are in addition to the general university standards, but they may not detract from or lower them.

3.  Examinations used by the disciplines shall be graded by faculty members from those disciplines. Faculty members from all other disciplines shall be responsible for grading the general university examination. Grading of all examinations shall be under the supervision of University Committee on Writing Proficiency. Each School shall designate faculty members each semester for grading of the general university examination, the number to be determined by the University Committee.

4. Faculty members assigned to assist in grading examinations shall be selected by the school deans in consultation with the department chairs.

5. The disciplines shall counsel students about ways to develop the necessary writing skills, including:

a.  Enrolling in regular university courses in writing on a voluntary basis;

b.  enrolling in courses in his/her major field which develop writing skills;

c.  enrolling in special courses offered through Continuing Education .

d.  getting tutorial help from student organizations which provide assistance;

e.  securing tutorial help from the Learning Assistance Center;

f.  enrolling in writing courses in a community college

Effective:  Fall,1979

DEG:bjp 3/30/79

Structure and Charge: The University Committee on Writing Proficiency
Change to Addendum to Policy Statement 79-11 (recommended by the Academic Senate, 11/2/1978; approved by the President, 12/13/78)

1. To establish a university level of writing proficiency applicable for all disciplines.

2. To approve the training process of faculty from the respective disciplines in the scoring of essay examinations consistent with the established university level of writing proficiency.

3.  To certify to the Records Office that a student has met the writing proficiency requirement.

4. To determine the fee necessarily charged each student in order to cover the costs of administering and scoring, and to recommend the level of fees and the policy for waiving of fees.

5. To establish a waiver policy and to establish policies and procedures for accepting certification credit for students form colleges and universities outside the CSUC system.

The Committee shall consist of 17 members:
One representative from each College to be selected by the College
WPE Coordinator/Advisor
Director of the Learning Assistance Center
Coordinator of WPE Preparation and Review Program
Director of Disabled Student Services
Director of Center for International Education
Chair of the WPE Test Development Committee
PEP Council representative
Associated Students representative
Test and Evaluation Services Director
Admissions and Records representative

The WPE Coordinator shall serve as Chair. The Committee shall elect a secretary yearly.

The Committee shall meet as necessary upon the call of the Chair.


Reports to: Planning and Educational Policies Council, Vice President for Academic Affairs


All waiver petitions must be initiated at the Office of the School Dean.

Under very special circumstances, students who have not passed the WPE may apply for a waiver if they have met ALL of the following qualifications and completed ALL procedures.


1. The student must have successfully completed all applicable writing course requirements, with grades of C or better;

2. The student must have taken the WPE at least three times;

3. The student must present written explanation and documentation of special circumstances that warrant consideration of the petition;

4. The student must have a letter from the undergraduate or graduate advisor of the department recommending consideration of the petition;

5. The student must have scored at least 9 (previous score of 13) on the essay portion of the exanimation and 146 (equivalent to 87 % of the passing score) on the multiple choice portion.


1. The student must present to the Office of the Academic Affairs a packet of evidence including the following:
a. a completed petition.
b. Xerox copies of all WPE score reports
c. a current transcript
d. a letter from the undergraduate or graduate advisor
e. a written recommendation from the School Dean (or designee)
f. a written explanation of special circumstances that apply to the case (for example, documented illness, emigration, learning disability, etc.)
g. non-immigrant international students must supply a letter from International Student Services verifying their status

An appeals committee composed of three members of the WPE Advisory Committee will meet regularly to rule on petitions and (to advise the Office of Academic Affairs of their decision. The student will be notified of the disposition of the petition by the Office of Academic Affairs. The decision of the Office of Academic Affairs is final.

Effective: November 15, 1987

NOTE: School of Business Administration majors or pre-business majors are advised to consult  with an advisor at the SBA Admissions and Advising Center (SBA Room 8) prior to completing the attached from.