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Information for Advisors


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 Writing Commons, and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

Starting in fall 2013, “Writing Seminar” will no longer be the required first year writing courses. Instead, all students will be required to take “First Year Writing.”

  • The “Writing Placement Exam” with replace the “LAQE.”
  • “Basic Writing” will be renamed “Critical Reading and Writing
  • The Writing Center will move from the SAU to the Wallace Center, and will be called the “The Writing Commons.”
  • A “Writing Fellows” program will begin to provide class-based support for Writing Intensive (WI) courses.

Enrollment Restrictions 

Begining academic year 2014-2015, enrollment into fall term sections of First Year Writing (FYW) will be restricted to incoming, first year students. All students, regardless of year, will be able to enroll in spring and summer term sections of FYW.

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)

Starting AY2013-14, three units different alpha codes will offer first year writing: 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.”

General Education WI

General Education WI course 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 General Education Writing Intensive courses students:

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

Program WI

Program WI courses are located in disciplinary contexts and apprentice students in specific forms of writing. Program 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.