Welcome to CSUCI! As you prepare for your first year at CSU Channel Islands, we ask you to consider your options for first year writing. We call this process Directed Self-Placement because it is up to you which path you choose. Please review the information below before selecting your English course(s).

What are my options for first year writing at CSUCI?

Students have two options for completing their first year writing requirement at CSUCI. In making your choice, please reflect on the statements below. Which statements most closely describe your readiness for college writing and research?

Column AColumn B
I’m an average reader and writer.I’m a strong reader and writer.
I prefer beginning with narrative writing.I am ready to begin with a documented research paper.
I want to learn more about revising.I know how to use feedback to revise.
I am not very confident giving advice to other writers.I feel comfortable giving feedback to other writers.
I would prefer a steady pace with time to work on my writing skills.I feel ready to take on a quicker pace.
I could use help using the library to do research.I have solid library and research skills.

If you find nearly all the statements in Column A fit you, then you will likely feel more comfortable enrolling in our popular English 102 course in the fall. About two-thirds of incoming students pursue this option.

If Column B more closely describes you, then you may wish to enroll in our English 105 course (offered in both fall and spring).

English 102: Strategies for Successful College Writers

English 102 helps students bridge the gap from high school to college writing. This 3-unit General Education course fulfills the requirement for Lifelong Learning and Self Development (GE Area E).

English 102 focuses on helping students develop habits of mind and strategies for success in writing at the college-level. Students will learn to make use of campus resources and academic technologies throughout the writing process (invention, prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and peer review).

Successful completion of English 102 in the fall prepares students to enroll in English 105 in the spring to fulfill the General Education Requirement for Written Communication (A-2). Students who pass English 102 in the fall will be given priority enrollment for a spring English 105 course with their same instructor and classmates. English 102 is only offered in summer and fall.

English 105: Composition & Rhetoric

English 105 moves immediately into college level writing and research. This 3-unit General Education course fulfills the requirement for Written Communication (A-2).

English 105 focuses on integrating sources into argumentative and persuasive writing. This is an intensive, fast-paced course, and students must complete it with a grade of C- or higher to meet graduation requirements. English 105 is offered in both fall and spring. Taking the class in their second semester at CSUCI is a great option for students.

Which option should I choose?

That’s entirely up to you.

English 102 will probably be the best place to start if you could use more time to develop an effective writing and research process, become accustomed to sharing your writing with others, gain confidence giving feedback to your peers, and learn to use feedback to revise and improve your writing. English 102 will also help you develop habits and strategies and draw upon campus resources to support your success at the university and beyond.

If, on the other hand, you feel ready to take on college level writing and research, are comfortable sharing your writing with others, are confident with giving feedback to your peers, and know how to use feedback to revise and improve your writing, you are likely ready to move immediately into English 105.

What if I have already completed my first year writing requirement?

Some students may have fulfilled their General Education Requirement for English Writing (A-2) via Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam credit or a college course. Please check CSUCI's Transfer Credit page for details on how transfer credit works. If you have fulfilled your A-2 requirement, please indicate that when you submit your online form. Students who indicate they have fulfilled their writing requirement will not be placed in ENGL 102 or ENGL 105.

Where can I get more information?

For questions about your options for first year writing at CSUCI, please email Dr. Stacey Anderson, Composition Director, at stacey.anderson@csuci.edu.

Whichever option you choose, you will benefit from a dedicated and experienced faculty team who are experts in the challenges facing first year college writers; you will receive ample, ongoing feedback on your writing in a small class of no more than 20 students; and you will earn credit towards your degree (either 3 or 6 units) as you become more confident and capable as a writer, researcher, and college student.

First Year Writing @ CSUCI: The Choice is Yours!

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