In its list of Essential Learning Outcomes, Midwestern State University expresses a commitment to preparing students for successful futures.The Writing Proficiency Requirement demonstrates the University's commitment to nurturing critical thinking and effective writing. Consequently, as a condition of graduation, Midwestern State University expects all students to demonstrate
All students seeking baccalaureate degrees must fulfill this requirement between the completion of their 60th and 90th semester credit hour; therefore, students who transfer in 90 credit hours or more must fulfill this requirement during their second long (fall or spring) semester enrolled in MSU either by enrolling in and passing English 2113: Composition Skills, or by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam. Each student's academic advisor and major program are responsible for making the student aware of the Writing Proficiency Requirement and the ways in which it can be fulfilled.
Ultimately, the Writing Proficiency Exam measures students' maturity and flexibility as writers. Through coursework, students have opportunities to write papers over an extended period of time; such written work certainly attests to students' proficiency when given space and time to plan, draft, and revise. But not all writing situations allow for such luxuries--often, we are asked to think critically and creatively on demand and to articulate our views efficiently and effectively within rather severe time constraints and under considerable pressure. The Writing Proficiency Exam, therefore, covers a specific kind of writing, arguably the most common writing task most college graduates will face. It is no small feat to craft a solid, clear, and grammatically correct persuasive essay in two hours, yet all University graduates should be able to do so.
As a significant assessment tool, the Writing Proficiency Exam presents the University with a unique opportunity to determine whether students have the necessary skills to achieve success, to provide timely instruction when they don't, and to ensure that the University community is providing the kind of liberal arts education MSU promises. This commitment to critical thinking and writing not only benefits MSU students but enhances the value of a Midwestern State University degree.
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