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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

Enrollment Restrictions 

Enrollment into fall-term sections of First Year Writing (FYW) will be restricted to incoming, first year students. That enrollment restruction is not in effect for online sections of FYW, or spring- and summer-term sections of FYW.

Institute Writing Policy

The revised Institute Writing Policy (D01.5), requires that every RIT student complete three "writing Intensive" (WI) courses:

  • one in their first year, which introduces students to the expectations of effective academic writing,
  • a second, in their major program of study, where students gain mastery of written forms specific to their major in a program-specific course, and
  • a third, which can be either a second program-specific WI course, or a WI course in General Education.

This revised policy is intended to offer RIT students a writing-enriched curriculum that helps prepare them for the written communication demands of their coursework, co-op experiences, and future workplaces.

First Year Writing (FYW)

First Year Writing (FYW) is a General Education 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)

Three units, using different alpha codes, offer first year writing: UWRT 150, ENGL 150, and ISTE 110. Regardless of the unit offering the course, every section of FYW satisfies the First Year Writing requirement.

General Education WI

General Education WI courses are located throughout the “Perspective” and “Immersion” and elective 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.

Approved WI Courses & Course Attributes

When a course is approved by the Institute Writing Committee to be Writing Intensive, or WI, the registrar adds the “WI” course attribute to the course in SIS. SIS allows for searching according to course attribute. Additionally a list of Approved WI courses will be available online at the IWC website.  Courses are newly approved each year.