2018-2019 Catalog

Completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

California State University Executive Order 665 states that all students "must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper division level as a requirement for graduation." It further states that "certification of writing competency shall be made available to students as they enter their junior year [60 units]. Students should complete the requirement before the senior year [90 units]."
Undergraduate students must first complete their lower division English composition courses in Area A, General Education, before attempting to complete this upper division requirement. Fulfillment of GWAR should be undertaken at the beginning of the junior year (or 60 units), and satisfied by the time 72 units are completed.

The GWAR can be met through one of the following options:

Graduation Writing Examination (GWE)

The Graduation Writing Examination, a voluntary test for which a $35 fee is charged, is available to students five times per academic year, in September, November, February, April, and June or July. Students must earn a score of 8 or higher to satisfy the GWAR. Students may take the test a second time if necessary. The test may be taken only two times. After two attempts at the test, students must then take a certifying course. Information on test dates and registration procedures is available in each semester's Class Schedule, in the Testing Center, North Library 5705, (310) 243-3909, testing@csudh.edu, or at the Testing website http://www4.csudh.edu/testing-center/.

Provisions are made for students majoring in distance learning programs and other off-campus programs. Although students majoring in these programs can take the GWE on-campus, most students have the option of taking it via a proctor at a location of their choosing. There are three off-campus administrations per academic year, in the fall, spring, and summer. Students exercising this option must register directly with their Program Advisors, who will then provide them with any necessary information and materials.

A provision is made for students who are not native speakers of English. The GWE registration form asks students to indicate whether or not they are native speakers of English. Students who declare themselves non-native speakers may elect to write their essay in two hours instead of one, though this choice must be made at the time of registration. The essays are scored along with those of native speakers with respect to overall considerations of focus, critical understanding, content, organization, and grammar.
Provisions are made for students who are disabled. Arrangements are made on an individual basis by the Student disAbility Resource Center, Welch Hall 180, (310) 243-3660, in conjunction with the Testing Center. Students must contact the Student disAbility Resource Center at least 10 working days prior to the GWE test date and after registering for the GWE. Students should contact the Testing Center for details: (310) 243-3909, or <testing@csudh.edu>.

Provisions are made for students who, for religious or other compelling reasons, cannot be tested on Saturdays, the usual day of the test. If students can demonstrate a legitimate reason (e.g., religious belief or travel associated with CSUDH intercollegiate sports programs) for inability to take the GWE on Saturday, an alternative day will be found. They should contact the Testing Center, (310) 243-3909, or <testing@csudh.edu>.

Certifying Courses

  • Advanced Composition Course offered by the English Department. The English Department regularly offers an advanced composition course (ENG 350, 3 units, A-C/NC). A Composition Cooperative exam (a timed writing test similar to the GWE) is administered at the end of the course and counts for 25% of the grade. Students must earn a grade of C or higher (B or higher for graduate students) to satisfy the GWAR.
  • Upper Division Writing Adjunct offered by the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. The Writing Adjunct (IDS 397, 2 units, and IDS 398, 2 units, CR/NC), provides individualized instruction in composition that is adjunctive to writing for other courses. Students must complete both IDS 397 and IDS 398. A Composition Cooperative exam (a timed writing test similar to the GWE) is administered at the end of IDS 398 and counts for 50% of the grade. Students must earn a credit in both IDS 397 and IDS 398 to satisfy the GWAR.

Transfer Certification

Students who have satisfied the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) at another CSU campus in 1984 or later but prior to matriculation at CSU Dominguez Hills may petition for fulfillment of GWAR at CSUDH. Students must complete a Petition for Fulfillment of GWAR at the Testing Center, attaching a copy of the certifying test score or a copy of an official transcript and the catalog description of the pertinent coursework. CSU Dominguez Hills Testing Center North Library 5705 (310) 243-3909.