Academic Literacy Curriculum

The Academic Literacy Curriculum (ALC) is an articulated sequence of courses jointly administered by the colleges and the Writing Program. This curriculum is designed to help first-year students cultivate the foundational proficiencies in critical reading, writing, critical thinking, and research they will need throughout their university career. 

All first-year students begin the ALC by taking College 1, Academic Literacy and Ethos, in fall quarter. College 1 course learning outcomes are organized through the acronym ACMES: Analysis, Critical thinking, Metacognition and Engagement with others. This course teaches students strategies for critical reading and critical thinking important to the study of academic discourse through themes that are unique to each college. 

After the successful completion of College 1, students who have completed the Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) will enroll in WRIT 2, Rhetoric and Inquiry, to satisfy the campus’s Composition (C) General Education Requirement. This course provides students with conceptual and procedural knowledge about writing, with a special focus on writing from research, composing in multiple genres, and transferring knowledge about writing to new contexts. College 1 is a prerequisite for WRIT 2

The Writing Program also offers sections of WRIT 2 Honors for students in the College Scholars Program or who scored 10-12 on the Analytical Writing Placement Exam. This course carries the same outcomes as Writing 2 but provides an in-depth focus on conducting sustained scholarly inquiry about one topic throughout the quarter. 

Academic Literacy Curriculum Core Course Sequence
AWPE Score Fall  Winter
8-12 College 1  WRIT 2 
10-12 or College Scholars Program College 1  WRIT 2 or WRITE 2H 

Together, College 1 and WRIT 2 help students transition to university-level discourse and develop confidence and competency in the basic skills necessary to success in any discipline on campus. As a linked sequence of classes, with articulation of academic vocabulary and pedagogical practices between the Colleges and the Writing Program, the ALC is the foundation of the First-Year Experience, with the higher aim of fostering a sense of belonging and the ability to think, at a metacognitive level, about the education students will receive at the university.

Pathways for ELWR-Required Students

Students who have not satisfied ELWR before matriculation have various pathways for satisfying ELWR and completing the ALC requirements. These pathways, outlined in the table below, are based on students’ Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) scores and placement in the Multilingual Curriculum (AWPE-MLS).

ELWR Student Pathways for the Academic Literacy Curriculum
AWPE Score Fall  Winter Spring  Fall 2 
2-6, 6 MLS College 1  WRIT 1  WRIT 2  
4 or 5 MLS
College 1
WRIT 26*
WRIT 2   
2 or 3 MLS
College 1

*Indicates courses in the Multilingual Curriculum. 

For more information regarding undergraduate writing requirements for ELWR students, please visit this website.

For a full list of Writing Program course descriptions, please visit this page