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Information for Advisors

Recent Communications from the UWP

Writing Intensive (WI) Requirements: Guidelines for Advising - This document was sent to Advisors' Council and Dean's Delegates for Advising on 10/1/2014

Institute Writing Policy: Impact of Recent Changes - This document was sent to Deans, Associate Deans, Program & Department Chairs on 10/1/2014


Names & Name Changes

The University Writing Program (UWP) consists of First Year Writing (FYW), the University Writing Commons, and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

Starting in fall 2013, “Writing Seminar” will no longer be the only course that will satisfy the first year writing requirement. Instead, students will be required to take “First Year Writing” from the one of the following:

  • UWRT 150 “FYW: Writing Seminar”
  • ENGL 150 “FYW: The Future of Writing”
  • ISTE 110 “FYW: Ethics in Computing”

Enrollment Restrictions for 2013-2014

First year students will again be given first priority in AY2013-14. You are strongly urged to help student in your programs to find a way to stay enrolled. Our message: Once enrolled, stay enrolled. In our planning, we expect to offer enough section to accommodate all incoming (true) freshmen. We cannot guarantee that there will be seats “left over” for students not in their first year.

Students enrolling prior to 2012, and have a Comp Scores of “2” or “3,” have the following choices for fulfilling their Liberal Arts Core Requirement for “Writing Seminar”:

  • Take any of the courses listed as an Approved Substitution for Writing Seminar course – Recommended
  • Take a summer section of “Writing Seminar” (2013)
  • Complete a Credit by Exam
  • Take English Composition (First Year Writing) at another institution and have the credit transferred to RIT

Institute Writing Policy

The revised Institute Writing Policy (D01.5), requires that every RIT student will be introduced to academic writing in their first year, complete at least one writing-intensive General Education course, and then gain mastery of written forms specific to their major areas of study in a program-specific course, normally completed in their later years of study at RIT. This revised policy is intended to prepare our students for the written communication demands of their coursework, co-op experiences, and future workplace.

First Year Writing (FYW)

First Year Writing (FYW) is a General Education “Foundations” course that plays an essential role in students’ academic transition to the university. In FYW, students will learn about the social and intellectual aspects of university writing, and develop critical literacy practices required for academic success. For example, students completing first year writing will achieve the following General Education Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Revise and improve their writing
  • Express themselves effectively in common college-level written forms using standard American English
  • Use relevant evidence gathered through accepted scholarly methods and properly acknowledge sources of information (General Education Framework)

During AY2013-14, three courses will satisfy the first year writing requirement: UWRT 150, ENGL 150, and ISTE 110. Regardless of the unit offering the course, every section of FYW will satisfy the general education student learning outcomes for First Year Writing and enrollment will be limited to 21 students.

General Education WI

General Education Writing Intensive (GE-WI) courses are located throughout the “Perspective” and “Immersion” curriculum and use writing to engage students in course content. General Education WI courses reinforce the knowledge and practices introduced in FYW. In GE-WI courses students:

  • are introduced to and practice reading, writing, and revising written forms common to the various disciplinary contexts of the General Education curriculum.

Program WI

Program Writing Intensive (PR-WI) courses are located in disciplinary contexts and apprentice students in specific forms of writing. PR-WI courses reinforce the knowledge and practices introduced in First Year Writing. In Program WI courses students:

  • gain mastery of written forms specific to the students major area of study at RIT.

Course Attributes

When a course is approved by the Institute Writing Committee to be either General Education WI or Program WI, the registrar enters in a “WI” course attribute into SIS. If the course is approved to be a FYW course, the registrar enters in both a “WI” and a “FYW” course attribute.

Approved WI Courses

SIS allows for searching according to course attribute. Additionally a list of Approved WI courses will be available online at the IWC website.  The number of approved WI courses is growing, but is not yet complete. As of 3.25.2013, there are more than 60 approved WI courses.


  • For question about First Year Writing, the WPE, or “Writing Seminar” Credit by Exam, contact Dianna Winslow.
  • For questions about English Language Center and FYW articulation, contact Josh Snyder.
  • For questions about “Writing Seminar” substitutions contact the COLA Student Services.
  • For questions about WAC, WI courses, or “Writing Fellows,” contact David Martins or Angela Brodie.
  • See also the Institute Writing Committee.