Apply for W or C Course Approval

Words of Wisdom

Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.

— E. M. Forster

Proposed W and C courses are reviewed by the W & C Course Advisory Committee. This committee recommends action to the Faculty Senate, which in turn submits its decision to the university president for final approval.

Courses are approved for a period of four years. For example, courses approved in Fall 2018 should be reviewed again no later than Fall 2021 for inclusion in the Fall 2022 Schedule of Classes. Courses that have expired will not be given a W or C section number.

While it is assumed that some variation may occur in courses during the years of approval, it is also assumed that the proposed title generally describes the course being taught as W or C. Courses taught under variable titles such as "Seminar" or "Research" (including 281, 481, 491, and 489) will be approved by title as well as number.

The W & C Course Advisory Committee is responsible for the clarification of approval parameters when necessary. Should the committee decide to reject a proposed course, they must provide appropriate recommendations to the proposer and invite re-submission

Note: The full approval process takes between 2 and 4 months, depending upon the number of proposals received, the speed at which you respond to questions, and the date submitted. The W & C Course Advisory Committee and the Faculty Senate meet once a month. The Faculty Senate often does not meet in December or in August.    


Submitting a Proposal for a W or C Course

  1. Review the Checklist of W Course Requirements or the Checklist of C Course Requirements.
  2. You may find the Rubric for W Courses or the Rubric for C Courses helpful in preparing your request.
  3. Optional: Contact your representative on the W & C Course Advisory Committee to review the course or answer questions.
  4. Review what the form will ask and get a syllabus ready to attach. The questions on the form for a new or re-certified course include:
    • typical enrollment per section and number of sections taught per year
    • appropriateness to the major
    • cross listings
    • type and number of assistants (such as graduate teaching assistants or undergraduate peer educators) and how they are monitored and supervised. These all count, in addition to the instructor(s), towards the instructor-to-student ratio. In cases where a ratio above 1 instructor to 25 students may be proposed, the committee will ask for compelling evidence that it will not adversely affect the quality of feedback.
    • a list of all finished, graded writing (and, if applicable, speaking) assignments and a list of required, with their number of words or minutes of speaking. For drafts list zero for number of words since they do not count in the required words.   
    • percentage of the final grade represented by the finished work (writing and/or speaking) and drafts
    • indication of which assignments listed are collaborative
    • a description of the formative feedback required
    • a description of the instruction provided in writing (and speaking, if a C course) 
  5. The submitted syllabus must support how you answer the questions in CARS. The syllabus should conform to the minimum syllabus requirements. It is assumed that course syllabi approved as W or C will be representative of all sections of that course taught to fulfill the W or C graduation requirement in regards to assignments related to the W or C component; instruction for the W or C components; and percentage of the grade related to the W or C components.
  6. Submit a request for a W or C course through the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS) located in Howdy under the Employee tab. You will be asked to answer questions related to the course and required to attach the syllabus. If it is an existing course, find the course and begin the proposal process. If you need assistance with CARS, consult this handout or call  the University Writing Center at 458-1455.
  7. Select the Core, ICD, or W & C form. When you submit the form, it will be routed through the correct channels, from the department head to the Dean, to the Chair of the W & C Course Advisory Committee, Dr. Valerie Balester (
  8. If you have questions, consult the chair of the W & C Course Advisory Committee, Dr. Valerie Balester ( or 862-6422) or consult your college representative on the committee.
  9. Once your proposal is submitted, the W & C Course Advisory Committee Chair will bring it before the W & C Course Advisory Committee. A sub-committee of the W & C Course Advisory Committee will review your proposal. Any questions will be routed to you through the Chair. The sub-committee will make a recommendation to place the course on the W & C Course Advisory Committee consent agenda for approval by the whole committee. If you prefer meeting with the committee in person, request a spot on the agenda from the Chair. In the event that your proposal is rejected, the committee will provide a timely explanation and suggestions for revision and re-submission.
See Teaching Writing and Speaking on this website for advice and tips on planning and teaching a W or C course, including information on creating a syllabus, writing learning outcomes, creating writing and speaking assignments, providing formative feedback and instruction, and grading.
Sitemap Login