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California State University, Long Beach
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
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GWAR Guidelines for Faculty

Classroom full of students listening to instructor

GWAR Pathways

Exciting changes in the GWAR program are being implemented to help students develop their academic writing skills. Beginning in Fall 2016, the GWAR pathways include completion of a General Education Writing Intensive (WI) capstone course to satisfy the GWAR. This new step in the GWAR appears in students' Academic Requirements Report along with the other steps in the GWAR pathways. You will find detailed information about the requirements for students who enrolled or reenrolled either before or after Fall 2016 on the Students page. For information about GWAR courses, go to GWAR Courses.

Also beginning in Fall 2016, the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) replaces the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). All students, regardless of their enrollment 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 took the test 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. Students are permitted to take the GPE only once. Students' can view their GPE scores by logging in to the MyCSULB homepage, and then opening the Test Score Summary link. For information about the writing placement test go to the Testing website or contact


GWAR Course Sections for International & Returning Students

Designated sections of English 301B and ENGR 310 are offered through the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) for international students and returning non-matriculated students. These sections cost less for international students and ensure that students with special GWAR needs have access to appropriate writing instruction. The schedule for these special sections is available at GWAR Courses. International students register for these sections by phone at 562-985-5561 or in person at the registration window at the Foundation Building. Returning students should contact the GWAR advisor for permits and registration instructions.

The GWAR Advisor is located in the University Center for Undergraduate Advising in the Horn Center room 103. To schedule an appointment with the GWAR Advisor, students can click on the CSULB Student Success Collaborative (SSC) icon above or call 562-985-7978.


Improving Students' Writing

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing-in-the-Disciplines (WID) are theoretical and pedagogical movements that began in the 1970s as a response to writing instruction approaches focusing on grammatical correctness and form as good writing. To the contrary, WAC approaches believe that the act of composing (writing, for example) is associated with thinking, and that content and language exist together. While WAC's pedagogies stress a variety of writing activities to encourage sustained learning of courses' content (e.g., their concepts, skills, approaches), WID stresses a focus on disciplinary genres and styles.

For suggestions, articles, or guidance in creating classes with informed writing pedagogies, please visit the WAC website. You may also view the following resources which demonstrate how you can incorporate writing-to-learn activities in your classes.


Writing to Learn Activities

Writing to Learn Resources

Designing Writing to Learn Activities

What are WI Capstones?

WI Capstone Approval Process

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