Academic Literacy Curriculum

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 (Core Course), Academic Literacy and Ethos, in the fall quarter. College 1 course learning outcomes are organized through the acronym ACMES: Analysis, Critical Thinking, Metacognition, Engagement with Others, and Self-Efficacy. 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. For specific descriptions of College 1 (Core Course) by residential college, please visit the individual program statements for the colleges.

After the successful completion of College 1, students will take a course to satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) and/or 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 and WRIT 1 and corequisite for WRIT 25 and/or WRIT 26.. 

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

Academic Literacy Curriculum Course Sequence
ELWR Status Fall Winter
ELWR Satisfaction via Directed Self-Placement
or accepted standardized test scores
College 1 WRIT 2
ELWR Satisfaction and College Scholars Program
or ELWR Satisfaction and AWPE score of 10-12 or equivalent
College 1 WRIT 2 or WRIT 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 succeed 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 via accepted standardized test scores or Directed Self-Placement have various pathways for satisfying ELWR and completing the ALC requirements. These pathways, outlined in the table below, are based on the course sequence selected via the Directed Self-Placement process.

ELWR Student Pathways for the Academic Literacy Curriculum
Fall Winter Spring Fall 2
College 1 WRIT 1 WRIT 2  
College 1
WRIT 26*
WRIT 1 or WRIT 1E WRIT 2  
College 1
WRIT 25*

*Indicates courses in the Multilingual Curriculum. 

For more information, please visit the ELWR satisfaction website.

For more information about the Directed Self-Placement process, please visit the Directed Self-Placement website.

For a full list of Writing Program course descriptions, please visit the courses page on our website