Faculty Writing-Intensive Courses

SF State’s WAC program offers professional development opportunities and services, to support the adoption, expansion and dissemination of effective writing pedagogy. Applicable resources have also been developed to assist faculty in meeting student learning outcomes through course design. 

Writing-Intensive courses are those where writing is taught rather than simply assigned. The Committee on Written English Proficiency (CWEP) recently developed recommended criteria for writing-intensive courses.

Committee on Written English Proficiency (CWEP) Criteria

Criteria for Writing-Intensive Courses

Students in a Writing-intensive (WI) course learn about and develop rhetorical awareness, the ability to analyze and respond to the purpose, genre, audience, and context of the situation in which they are writing.

A Writing-intensive (WI) course has multiple low stakes and formal writing assignments which are sequenced, scaffolded and distributed throughout the semester. 

Students in a Writing-intensive (WI) course have regular opportunities to engage with their peers and instructor in meaningful interactions about their writing and to reflect on their growth as critical readers and writers.

Students in a Writing-intensive (WI) course have the opportunity to engage in the writing process through pre-writing (brainstorming, generating ideas), drafting, revising based on feedback from peers and the instructor, editing and publishing or submission.

Writing-intensive (WI) courses must have a maximum enrollment of 18 students and, consistent with research on class size that ensures writing can be effectively taught, an ideal cap of 15 students.

Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

The Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is an upper division writing-intensive course within a student’s chosen major that will allow them to build upon what they have learned in their first-year composition (FYC) and second-year composition (2YC) to learn the types of writing used in their chosen discipline. 

Here are the Academic Senate Policy #S09-014 for GWAR course criteria revised

SF State and suggests student learning outcomes to help guide faculty who are developing a GWAR syllabus and curriculum. These student learning outcomes (SLOs) are meant to be contextualized within an academic field and can be adapted and tailored to the rhetorical aspects of specific kinds of writing within each discipline and more. 

 Click here to see the recommended GWAR learning outcomes report. 

Department Revise/New GWAR Course

For departments and programs seeking to substantially revise their existing GWAR course or create a new GWAR course. For the process of submitting a proposal help please contact the WAC team if you would like an individual consultation with WAC/WID staff as you begin to develop or revise a GWAR course. Please remember that all GWAR courses must meet the Academic Senate Policy #S09-014 for GWAR course criteria.


Submit a Proposal

Follow the steps “How to Propose a New Course Process” found under Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning web page.

Please keep in mind that SF State’s security system will kick users out after about 20 minutes if your work is not saved. You may decide to develop your proposal outside the system and past it into the form later.

Proposal Review by WAC Director and CWEP

When the course has been submitted and routed to the WAC Director, the course must be reviewed by the Committee on Written English Proficiency (CWEP). CWEP meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 10:10 to noon and, if time permits, the committee will review the proposal at its next meeting.

If revisions are requested, the Chair of CWEP will send an email to the faculty member detailing the suggested changes. The Chair or another member of CWEP is always willing to meet with and guide the faculty member proposing the course.

Take a Writing-Intensive Course

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​Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Writing PIE

WAC program offers faculty professional development opportunities and services to support the adoption, expansion and dissemination of effective writing pedagogy. 

The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Writing Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (PIE) Institute is a fully asynchronous, completely self-paced online course about teaching writing based on pedagogies for inclusive excellence. This institute is designed especially for faculty who teach writing across the curriculum and in their disciplines and provides a range of equitable, inclusive and anti-racist online teaching resources and strategies.