Writing Assessment

The Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) at AWC assumes that all undergraduate students will develop the intensive writing and critical inquiry skills essential to clearly reason and communicate through the medium of language. Arizona Western College believes writing provides a unique opportunity to learn disciplinary content while mastering writing skills. All English and Writing Intensive (WI) courses directly address these central institutional and cultural values.

Arizona Western College has taken multiple steps to approve student writing. In 2013, AWC stepped away from 'Writing Across the Curriculum' and to 'Writing Intensive (WI) Courses' to ensure that students have the basic academic writing skills necessary to meet the demands of a WI course. Then, in the spring of 2017, the Writing Curriculum Committee shifted the focus one more time from 'Writing Intensive' courses to 'Writing in the Discipline'. The English Department has also worked diligently to revise the developmental and composition English course curriculum to improve student writing.

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The steps Arizona Western College has taken to improve student writing:

Writing Intensive Timeline

Arizona Western College utilized three different assessment methods from 2003-2012. Each modification in the assessment process was designed to better assess student writing.

  • 2003 - 2011 - 500 word writing essay assessed through Testing Services.
  • 2007 - 2012 - Writing intensive assessed via embedded writing.
  • 2009 - 2012 - Assessed writing samples of students with 50 or more credit hours who successfully completed ENG 101.

In 2013, Arizona Western College determined the most appropriate assessment method was to assess student writing in designated writing courses.

  • 2013 - 2017 - Writing intensive assessed in 'Writing intensive' courses. In 2017 the focus was shifted from 'Writing Intensive' courses to 'Writing in the Discipline'.
  • 2017 - Present - Writing assessed in discipline specific writing courses.

English Department 10-Year Continuous Improvement Timeline

  • Spring 2009 - Every Program, course cluster, & certificate completes common assessment Matrix
    - English Department Self-Study Initiated
  • Fall 2010 - Writing Center Opens in Student Success Center
  • Spring 2011 - ENG 95+96 Assessed
  • Fall 2012 - ENG 95 + ENG 96 Revised and piloted to ENG 80/90
    - ENG 101 + ENG 102 Revised and Piloted based on CWPA recommendations
  • Fall 2013 - Revised ENG 101 + ENG 102 implemented
  • Spring 2018 - ENG 100 Assessed
  • Spring 2019 - ENG 101 Assessed


2015 - 2016 - Utilizing a scoring rubric from 1 to 3 with a score of 2 being considered proficient.

2015-2016 Writing Intensive (WI) Results

2016 (Fall only) - Utilizing a scoring rubric from 1 to 3 with a score of 2 being considered proficient.

Fall 2016 Writing Intensive (WI) Results

2018 (Fall only) - Artifacts scored using a 6-point rubric, condensed to three points: 5-6=Advanced; 3-4=Proficient; 1-2=Developing
*Inter-rater reliability ranged from 0.41 to 0.59. An acceptable inter-rater reliability score in the social sciences and humanities is .8 or above.
**Scores reported are unresolved.

Fall 2018 Writing Intensive (WI) Results