Writing Standards Recommendation

 

May 23-24, 2002

 

The Sub-Committee is aware of efforts around the Montana University System to develop exit standards for college and university graduates--notably, the work on 'gating exams' at the University of Montana.  We believe that this approach is preferable to mandating a single approach for the Montana University System--hence, our final recommendation.

 

Recommendation:  Given the differences in the campuses, their programs and missions, the Sub-committee believes that a single approach to assessing writing proficiency for graduation would not be appropriate.  Instead, the Sub-committee recommends that the design and implementation of writing proficiency graduation standards be left to each MUS campus, with implementation to be established within the next two years. 

 

This means that campuses would form appropriate faculty committees to:

 

·        Generate criteria in Writing that students will need to meet to graduate;

·        Establish performance standards delineating the characteristics or skills that students should be able to display for a proficiency rating;

·        Prepare for wide dissemination models of acceptable Writing;

·        Identify means by which students will be allowed to demonstrate proficiency in Writing such as written exit exams, scores on the verbal portion of the GRE or other standardized tests, completion of "W" courses, capstone projects, senior seminars with substantial writing assignments.

·        Define a process for regular  review of criteria, standards and activities by which student proficiency in Writing is to be documented for graduation; and

·        Determine how students who fail to demonstrate proficiency in Writing will be assisted to achieve this standard and graduate.