Written English Requirement

Statement of Policy

  • Associate Degree students must complete one expository writing course or examination (minimum three credit hours or four quarter hour credits) with a minimum of C grade. This must be completed within the first thirteen (13) Excelsior College credits attempted.
  • Bachelor’s degrees students must complete:
    • two expository writing courses or examinations (minimum six credit hours or eight quarter hour credits) with a minimum of C grade
    • OR

    • one expository writing course or examination (minimum three credit hours or four quarter hour credits) AND one applied writing or disciplinary writing course that meets the criteria provided below. (minimum three credit hours or four quarter hour credits). In some cases, with the approval of the FPD for Writing, a writing-intensive (or similarly named) courses may also be used meet the second half of the written English requirement if it meets the criteria outlined below. The expository writing course must be completed within the first thirteen (13) Excelsior College credits attempted. 

For students enrolled in the ¡Adelante! Program, the expository writing requirement must be completed within the first thirteen (13) Excelsior College credits, excluding courses with the SP and ESL designation.

Criteria

To be eligible to count toward Excelsior’s Written English Requirement, a course must meet the following criteria:

  • The primary focus of the course must be instruction in expository, applied, or disciplinary writing (see definitions below).
  • Course work must be from an English-speaking institution.
  • The course must be college-level, not developmental. English as a Second Language courses will be assumed to be developmental unless otherwise stated in the course description.
  • Basic skills such as grammar, sentence-level writing, and formatting may be included, but they should not be the primary focus of the course.
  • For non-collegiate sources of credit or writing intensive courses, the Transcript Analysis Center will confirm that writing assignments comprise at least 60 percent of the course grade (as opposed to other forms of assessment, such as multiple choice, oral presentations, etc.).

Definitions

Expository Writing: Expository writing conveys information, explains or describes something, or makes an argument. The “traditional” thesis-based research paper is a form of expository writing. Other common expository genres include the five-paragraph essay, cause and effect essay, problem and solution essay, comparison and contrast essay, definition essay, and process essay.

Applied Writing: Applied writing is writing for the workplace or a profession. Applied writing courses focus on a range of documents used in the workplace to transact business in a variety of communication situations. While some applied writing courses may require more advanced forms of academic writing, such as researching and writing journal articles for publication, courses typically cover non-academic genres of business, technical, professional, or medical/scientific writing.  

Disciplinary Writing: Disciplinary writing is writing within the genres and using the writing conventions of a specific academic discipline or group of related disciplines, such as history, literature, the social sciences, or sciences. Creative writing falls within this category.

Writing-Intensive: There is no universally agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a writing-intensive course (sometimes called writing-enhanced, writing-enriched, etc.). The meaning of this term differs between institutions. With the approval of the FPD for Writing, a writing-intensive course may potentially be allowed to meet the second half of the Written English Requirement. In order to be approved, a primary focus of the course must be on teaching expository, applied, or disciplinary writing.

Methods of Satisfying the Written English Requirement

1. Examination:
a. Excelsior College® Examination, ENGX111 English Composition (fulfills the requirement for associate and bachelor’s degrees)
b. UEXCEL® examination, ENGX110 College Writing (fulfills the requirement for the associate degrees; partially fulfills the requirement for the bachelor’s degrees)
c. Advanced Placement (AP) English Examinations (fulfills the requirement for associate and bachelor’s degrees)
NOTE: Excelsior College does not accept the CLEP General Examination in English Composition with Essay toward this requirement.

2. College course work:
See statement of policy and definitions above.

3. Statement of Equivalency: Submission of an official statement from an accredited institution, from which transfer credit is being accepted, verifying satisfactory completion of the student’s writing requirement, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

4. Noncollegiate-sponsored instruction: Successful completion of a noncollegiate-sponsored instructional writing course or program that has been evaluated by either the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) or the American Council on Education (ACE) and contains a recommendation of at least three semester-hour credits for the course; this course must contain a direct assessment of expository written work completed by the student.      
   
A maximum of two courses that are 3-4 semester-hour or three courses that are quarter hours in English composition/freshman English courses will apply toward degree requirements. Courses or examinations used to fulfill the Written English Requirement may not be used to satisfy the Humanities requirement.