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Writing Course Placement for Undergraduate Students

(Effective for all undergraduate students entering Fall 2021 and beyond. For previous years, please contact the Director of the Humanities & Sciences Division.)

All incoming, undergraduate students are initially placed into either Writing 1 or English for Multilingual Artists & Designers (EMAD). Students who are placed into EMAD are required to take an ML version of one of their First Year Core Studio (FYCST) courses in their first semester and one in their second semester. If additional criteria are met, adjustments may be made to a student’s initial placement. The following information outlines the various criteria used for writing placement and related policies.


Courses

In the sections below, courses will be referred to by their name rather than course number. The course names and numbers are listed here for reference. Course names appended by “ML” refer to courses designed to support multilingual students who are Multilingual English Language Learners also sometimes referred to as ELL.

  • English for Multilingual Artists & Designers (WRLIT 0960)
  • Writing Skills Workshop (WRLIT 1005)
  • Writing 1 (WRLIT 1030)
  • Writing 1 - ML (WRLIT 1010)
  • Writing 2 (WRLIT 2030)
  • Writing 2 - ML (WRLIT 2010)
  • First Year Core Studio - Multilingual (FYCST-ML) (FYCST 1045, 1085, 1125)*
  • First Year Core Studio (FYCST 1000, 1040, 1080, 1120)*

* Students take four different First Year Core Studio (FYCST) courses during their first two semesters at CCA: Drawing Studio (100x), 2D Studio (104x), 3D Studio (108x), and 4D Studio 112x). Students with an ML placement will take two of their FYCST course as ML versions.


Initial Writing Placement

(effective for all undergraduate students entering Fall 2021 and beyond)

  • Incoming students who meet at least one of the following criteria are placed into Writing 1 for their first semester at CCA and take non-ML versions of the four First Year Core Studio courses:
    • Student has a minimum of three years’ attendance at, and a high school diploma from, a secondary school that uses English as the primary language of instruction for all courses (excluding non-English language courses).
    • Student has successfully completed at least three years of course-work at a 4-year college or university that uses English as the primary language of instruction for all courses (excluding non-English language courses).
    • Completion of U.S.-transferable coursework equivalent to English 1A (writing) with a grade of C or above.
    • Completion of ELS Language Center, Level 112.
    • Completion of The Language Company, Level 9.
  • All other students are placed into English for Multilingual Artists & Designers and take an ML-version of one of their FYCST courses in both their first and second semesters at CCA. This may require a student to take an adjusted schedule of courses.
  • Students with an initial placement of Writing 1 should refer to the section titled, Waiving the Writing 1 Requirement to see if they meet the requirements for an adjusted placement.
  • Students with an initial placement of English for Multilingual Artists & Designers should refer to the section titled, Multilingual English Language Learners to see if they meet the requirements for an adjusted placement.

Waiving the Writing 1 requirement

*This section applies to students who meet the initial criteria for a placement of Writing 1. Students who do not meet these criteria should refer to the section below titled, Multilingual English Language Learners.

Advanced Placement English Exams

AP English Language Scores

  • Students with a score of 3 - 5 on the AP exam in English Language will be eligible to register for Writing 2 and:
    • earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1,
    • ​​will need to fulfill the Writing 2 requirement by completing Writing 2 or Writing 2 - ML.

AP English Literature Scores

  • Students with a score of 3 - 5 on the AP exam in English Literature will be placed into Writing 1 and:
    • earn 3 units of transfer credit for LITPA 2000.
    • will still need to fulfill the Writing 1 and Writing 2 requirements by completing Writing 1 and Writing 2.
    • will be placed in Writing 1 their first semester.

International Baccalaureate (IB) English exam

  • Students with scores of 4 or higher on the Standard-Level IB English Exam or the Higher-Level IB English Exam will be eligible to register for Writing 2 and:
    • earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1,
    • ​​will need to fulfill the Writing 2 requirement by completing Writing 2 OR Writing 2 - ML.

Placement by Transfer Credit:

To waive the Writing 1 and 2 requirements, students must provide official transcripts showing equivalent coursework and/or official test scores. Information about transfer credit and current articulation agreements can be found on the Transfer Credit page.

Transfer students who do not have transferable Writing 1 or Writing 2 coursework, nor applicable test scores, will be required to take one of the following writing courses during their first semester at CCA: Writing 1, Writing 1 - ML, or English for Multilingual Artists & Designers, and will be placed using the initial writing placement criteria for undergraduate students.


Multilingual English Language Learners

Students who, based on the initial writing placement criteria, receive a writing placement of English for Multilingual Artists & Designers and FYCST-ML may receive an adjusted placement based upon the following criteria.

Students who meet the following criteria are placed into Writing 1 - ML and take non-ML versions of their FYCST course requirements.

  • SAT Scores will be accepted for SAT tests up to five years past the initial date of examination.
    • Using scores from the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing section of SATs taken March 2016 and later:
      • Students with a score of 26 or higher for BOTH the Writing and Language Test (WL) AND Reading test (R).
    • Using scores from SATs taken PRIOR to March 2016:
      • Students with a score of 450 or higher on BOTH the Critical Reading (CR) AND Writing (W) sections.
  • ACT
    • Students with a score of 18 or higher on BOTH the Reading AND English sections of the ACT.
  • TOEFL iBT
    • Students with a total TOEFL iBT score of 82 or higher AND a subscore of 21 higher in the TOEFL Writing sub-category.
  • IELTS
    • Students with a total Score of 6.5 or higher AND an IELTS Writing sub-category of 6 or higher.
  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
    • Students with a rating of C1 or higher.
  • Cambridge English: C1 Advanced (formerly known as CAE)
    • Students with a total Score of 180 or higher AND a Writing subscore of 180 or higher.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
    • Students with a total Score of 58 or higher AND a Writing subscore of 59 or higher.

For the following exams, students will be placed as follows:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) English exam
    • Students with scores of 3 on the Standard-Level IB English Exam or the Higher-Level IB English Exam are placed into Writing 1 - ML and take non-ML versions of their FYCST course requirements.
    • Students with scores of 4 or higher on the Standard-Level IB English Exam or the Higher-Level IB English Exam will be eligible to register for Writing 2 and:
      • earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1,
      • ​need to fulfill the Writing 2 requirement by completing Writing 2 OR Writing 2 - ML,
      • take non-ML versions of their FYCST course requirements.
  • Advanced Placement English Exams
    • AP English Language Scores
      • Students with scores of 3 - 5 on the AP exam in English Language will be eligible to register for Writing 2 and:
        • earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1,
        • ​need to fulfill the Writing 2 requirement by completing Writing 2 OR Writing 2 - ML,
        • take non-ML versions of their FYCST course requirements.
    • AP English Literature Scores
      • Students with scores of 3 - 5 on the AP exam in English Literature will be placed into Writing 1 - ML and:
        • earn 3 units of transfer credit for LITPA 2000.
        • need to fulfill the Writing 1 requirement by completing Writing 1 - ML,
        • take non-ML versions of their FYCST course requirements.

ML Course Sequence Progress Policy

  • Students placed into any of the ML writing courses will complete all required writing courses via the ML pathway, e.g. a student placed into EMAD, is required to take Writing 1 - ML to fulfill their Writing 1 requirement and Writing 2 - ML to fulfill their Writing 2 requirement; a student placed into Writing 1 - ML, is required to take Writing 2 - ML to fulfill their Writing 2 requirement.
  • Students placed into EMAD must receive a final grade of C or better in order to advance to Writing 1 - ML.
  • Students who do not receive a final grade of C or better in EMAD are required to take Writing Skills Workshop - ML the following academic period and will take an adjusted course sequence.
  • Students who are required to take Writing Skills Workshop - ML must receive a final grade of C or better in the course to progress to Writing 1 - ML the following academic period.
  • Students who do not receive a final grade of C or better in Writing Skills Workshop - ML must do one of the following to return to CCA the following Fall:
    • Repeat Writing Skills Workshop - ML over the summer (if offered) and receive a final grade of C or better.
    • Successfully complete an equivalent writing course at an approved institution over the summer and provide official documentation of the successful completion of the course prior to the start of the Fall Add/Drop period. Courses must be approved in advance, in writing, by the Writing & Literature program.
  • All FYCST courses, both ML and non-ML versions, require a grade of C or better in order to fulfill the degree requirement. Students who receive a grade lower than C in any FYCST courses must repeat the course and obtain a C or better in order to fulfill the degree requirement.

Writing Placement and Introduction to the Arts

Students enrolled in Introduction to the Arts must be concurrently enrolled in either Writing 1, Writing 1 - ML, or Writing Skills Workshop - ML; or have already successfully completed Writing 1, Writing 1 - ML, or Writing Skills Workshop - ML, with a grade of C or better; or had their Writing 1 requirement waived.


How EMAD, Writing Skills Workshop, and FYCST-ML Are Applied to Degree Requirements

(Interior Design and Architecture students, please see program specific information below):

  • EMAD may be counted toward 3-units of a student’s available H&S 2000-level elective requirements if all of the following conditions are met. The student must:
    • receive a final grade of C or better in EMAD,
    • have available (unfulfilled) H&S 2000-level elective requirements toward which to count these units.
  • Writing Skills Workshop may be counted toward 3-units of a student’s available H&S 2000-level elective requirements if all of the following conditions are met. The student must:
    • receive a final grade of C or better in Writing Skills Workshop,
    • not have received 3-units of EMAD towards any other degree requirements,
    • have available (unfulfilled) H&S 2000-level elective requirements toward which to count these units,
    • have taken Writing Skills Workshop as a required course.
  • Neither EMAD nor Writing SKills Workshop will be considered toward any H&S 3000-level requirements.
  • FYCST-ML: a student who completes a section of FYCST-ML with a grade of C or better, fulfils the requirement for that dimension of FYCST, e.g. a student who receives a C or better in the ML version of 3D Studio has fulfilled the FYCST 3D Studio requirement.

Interior Design: students in the Interior Design program do not have H&S 2000-level elective requirements. EMAD and Writing Skills Workshop will not be applied toward any degree requirements for students with a program of study of Interior Design.

Architecture: students in the Architecture program do not have H&S 2000-level elective requirements. Students with a program of study of Architecture who meet the requirements for EMAD or Writing Skills Workshop listed in this section above will have up-to 3-units applied toward their Architecture Open Elective requirements.