Continuous development as a writer is a central part of a liberal arts education. All first-year students and new transfer students are required to take a written placement examination during orientation. The majority of students are placed into and encouraged to enroll in English 101, English Composition. Some students will be invited to enroll in English 101H, the honors section of English Composition. English 101 and 101H serve as prerequisites for all other writing courses. Those students who are placed into English 100, Writing Essentials, must complete the class during their first full semester at Albion. A student placed into English 100 may drop or withdraw from the course only if diagnostic testing done the first week of class alters the student's placement. The class must be taken for a numerical grade. Each year, a few students place out of first-year writing classes. During the sophomore year, these students may enroll in English 203, Advanced Expository Writing; English 205, Introductory Creative Writing; or English 207, Contemporary Journalism.
In order to graduate from Albion, all students must pass a Writing Competence Examination.
The Writing Competence Examination (WCE) must be taken before the middle of the sophomore year. Students who do not pass on their first attempt must try the examination a second time before the end of their sophomore year. Upon a second failure, students must contact the director of writing and schedule a meeting to review their most recent WCE. After this initial consultation with the director of writing, students will be required to participate in appropriate writing practice and/or tutoring prior to attempting the examination a third time. See below for the steps required by the director of writing.
Students who have completed 14 units or more, but who have not fulfilled the writing competence requirement—or taken appropriate steps with the director of writing to prepare for this examination—will be required to register for subsequent semesters with the sophomore class. Transfer students who have completed 14 units or more (including transfer courses) will be expected to have taken and passed the WCE before the start of their third semester at Albion College. If the WCE is not successfully completed by the start of the third semester, the student will be required to register for subsequent semesters with the sophomore class.
Appropriate steps with the director of writing include all of the following:
No student may receive a degree from Albion College unless the writing competence requirement has been fulfilled. The WCE will be scheduled at least six times each academic year, and no special arrangements will be made for seniors who have not passed by the last examination, except for those students who have consulted with the director of writing and taken appropriate steps to improve their writing.