Policies and Procedures

Policies for the University Writing Requirement

(Approved Dec 4, 2015; effective Fall 2016)

All students at Stetson University must satisfy the Writing Requirement, which consists of four (4) approved courses, at least two of which must be from General Education.

Courses eligible to meet the Writing Requirement include:
        o WE/WI designated courses
        o FSEMs
        o JSEMs
        o Writing courses (Courses whose focus is on the theory and practice of writing)       

Students who expect to receive transfer, dual enrollment, AP, IB, or AICE credit for writing courses may transfer up to two (2) writing courses. The remaining courses must be completed at Stetson.

(Approved April 8, 2010; effective as of fall 2011)

  1. All students must fulfill the writing requirement with a course taken at Stetson University.
  2. ENGL 101, taken at Stetson University, fulfills the writing requirement for most students. Students entering without credit equivalent to ENGL 101 will be placed in ENGL 100 or ENGL 101 by the director of the Writing Program.
  3. Students entering with credit equivalent to ENGL 101 (e.g., equivalency of credit through AP, IB or transfer credit, as evaluated and approved by the Office of the Registrar)  complete an informational and selection process. Go here for additional information. 
  4. Students with credit for ENGL 101 (or approved equivalent credit) will fulfill the writing requirement in one of two ways:
  5. Students who choose ENGL 109 should register for ENGL 109 in the subsequent semester. Students who choose a writing-intensive course should work with their faculty advisor to determine the appropriate course to take.
  6. Students may take a writing course and a first year seminar in the same semester.
  7. Students placed in ENGL 100 must take it during their first semester at Stetson University and may not drop it. Students enrolled in ENGL 100 must achieve essential competency in this developmental course, demonstrated by earning a minimum grade of C. Upon completion of ENGL 100, students must enroll in ENGL 101 and maintain such enrollment until the writing requirement is satisfied. ENGL 100 does not satisfy the writing requirement.
  8. The writing requirement must be fulfilled no later than the end of the first year at Stetson University. Students must maintain enrollment in the appropriate course until the requirement is satisfied. Students may not drop ENGL 100, 101 or 109.
  9. To fulfill the writing requirement, students enrolled in ENGL 101 or ENGL 109 must achieve essential competency in each course, demonstrated by earning a minimum grade of C. Students who complete ENGL 101 or ENGL 109 with the minimum grade of C will have fulfilled the writing requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many writing courses do I need to take?

Under the current requirement, Stetson University requires one writing course to meet the writing requirement. That course must be taken at Stetson University. Most Stetson University students take ENGL 101 - Writing and Rhetoric, to satisfy the writing requirement. Some students, based on entering skill level and initial test scores, will be enrolled in ENGL 100 first, and they will go on to take ENGL 101 in the next semester. Students who bring external credit (AP, IB or transfer) equivalent to ENGL 101 may choose one of two options for their requirements. See here for additional information. Stetson University policy states that students who do not meet minimum competencies in ENGL 101 must remain continually enrolled in the course until they have fulfilled the requirement.

Effective Fall 2016, Stetson requires that students earn credit for four (4) WE courses. Up to two of those courses may be transferred in via exam or course credit; however, two (2) WE courses must be taken at Stetson University. Students who are placed into ENGL 100 College Writing must take that course in their first semester at Stetson. ENGL 100 will count as one of the four required WE courses.

Can I choose to take ENGL 100?

ENGL 100 is a placement-only course. Students are placed in ENGL 100 when incoming test scores or other information that indicate a student's essential skills need additional support. For example, SAT-V scores of 420 or less, or ACT English scores of 16 or less, typically mean a student needs a preparatory course to ensure success at Stetson.  If you feel you should take a preparatory course before taking on the demands of University level writing, contact the director of the Writing Program at writingprogram@stetson.edu.

What are the standards and expectations for college level writing?

Stetson University welcomes students with strong thinking, speaking, and writing skills. "High quality" here means that students are capable of creating the following:

  • Sentences and paragraphs that are well-constructed, accurately formed, and expressive of ideas and significant insight
  • Essays, reports, and other text-based documents that demonstrate the ability to analyze, evaluate, form arguments, synthesize ideas, respond to readings, and perform effective research in peer-reviewed, academic journals.
  • Revisions that shape and reshape ideas and their presentation in response to instructor and peer feedback; revision that goes beyond correcting grammar or "fixing" elements that a professor has noted.

Many first-year and transfer students are not prepared for the rigor with which academic writing is graded; while many have consistently earned A's in their previous writing courses, first-year students are often shocked to see that those writing skills are considered average by Stetson University faculty.

We offer a great deal of assistance for students. Contact the Writing Center, located in the DuPont-Ball Library, and seek out professors in their office hours.

University policy states that a student must earn a grade of C or above in the writing course in order to fulfill the writing requirement. Students earning less than a C must retake the course immediately.

Can I drop ENGL 100, ENGL 101, or ENGL 109?

No. Dropping any of the foundation writing courses is not allowed. In some extreme situations (e.g., a withdrawal for health reasons from the university), enrollment in a writing course can be changed. The university places a high priority on writing skills, and it is expected that you will complete the requirements for writing in your first year at Stetson University.

Can I bring credit for ENGL 101 (e.g., AP or IB scores)?

Students can bring in AP or IB scores, and they will receive credit for those scores through the Office of the Registrar. However, all students are required to complete a writing course at Stetson University to fulfill the writing requirement. Students bringing credit equivalent to ENGL 101 may complete a survey to determine their proper placement in either ENGL 109 or an approved writing-intensive course.

Can I challenge my placement in ENGL 100 or ENGL 101?

Yes. If you believe that you have been placed in the wrong writing course can appeal that placement by submitting a writing portfolio for evaluation.

I got a D in my ENGL 101 course. Why do I have to retake it if a D is a passing grade?

At Stetson University, a D indicates performance that is below expectations. Because writing  is so important to your success at Stetson University, we have set the bar a little higher: a D, while technically passing, does not demonstrate essential competency and will not satisfy the writing requirement. Only course grades of C or above will fulfill this requirement.

If I have to retake ENGL 101, does that count as my course retake option?

Students at Stetson University have one opportunity to choose to retake a course. Because a student who retakes ENGL 101 is required to do so, the retake does not count as your official course retake option.

If I don't like my grade in ENGL 101, even if it fulfills the writing requirement, can I use my course exclusion option?

You have one opportunity to use the course exclusion option, and you may certainly choose to use it for your grade in ENGL 101. However, since you took ENGL 101 to fulfill the writing requirement, excluding it means that the writing requirement will no longer be fulfilled. You should consult the director of the Writing Program or the associate dean of your college or school regarding your options.

I didn't earn the minimum grade in my ENGL 101 course. Can I take ENGL 201, or a writing-intensive course, to meet the writing requirement, or do I have to take ENGL 101 again?

You need to take ENGL 101 again. The skills taught there are different than those in a writing-intensive course, so the expectations would be different. If you were placed in ENGL 101, you must show essential competency in ENGL 101.

I am bringing credit for ENGL 101. Can I pick a writing-intensive course to fulfill the writing requirement?

Yes.  Students bringing credit for ENGL 101 will be eligible for the writing-intensive option. That determination is made by learning about the curriculum options and then completing a survey to recommend your placement. Following that decision,  you should work with your faculty advisor to plan your schedules. You must complete the Writing requirement within two semesters of joining Stetson.