New Process for WPE Sign-Up to be Implemented

The Charger Bulletin

The University is moving to a new procedure for signing up for the Writing Proficiency Exam, or “WPE.”  The partially automated system will take effect for Spring 2012 pre-registration, beginning November 7th.

All BA/BS students must pass the WPE in order to graduate.  The WPE should be taken as soon as possible once the student has completed 57 credits.  The test is administered by the English Department every October and February, normally in Kaplan Hall.

Many students forget to sign up for the exam or do not understand the requirement.  Many others report that they did not see the announcements posted on campus of the dates and times for the exam.  In too many cases, students apply for graduation only to find that they had not completed the WPE and the semester’s administration of the exam had already passed.

Managing the record-keeping for the exam has been a paper-intensive and time-consuming process that has become overwhelming for the staff supporting the exam.  The change to an automated process is intended to ease the burden on staff and to help students avoid unwelcome surprises regarding an unmet requirement as graduation approaches.

To address these challenges, the University is shifting to a system where all eligible students will be automatically pre-enrolled for E300 before the registration period begins.  “Eligible students” are those who have completed at least 57 credits and  a) have not yet taken the WPE or b) have taken the exam but have not passed it.

When these eligible students log into Matrix to register for Spring 2012 courses, they should find that they are already enrolled in E300.  They will have been included randomly in one of the sections that represent one exam period on a Friday afternoon, Friday evening, or Saturday.

It will be permissible to switch sections so that the WPE does not interfere with other courses the student may need.  Drop/Add will be permitted up until the week prior to the exam.  Students should not drop E300 entirely unless their advisors explicitly instruct them to do so.  Those who need to take the exam in the office of Campus Access Services are permitted to drop the E300 course and make an appointment with CAS to take the exam.

Several weeks following the exam, results will appear as a grade on Matrix.  The staff are exploring the best methods for electronic notifications to the students, their advisors, and the Center for Learning Resources (CLR).  As always, those who do not pass the WPE are urged to visit the CLR to determine the reasons for unsatisfactory performance and to receive guidance on addressing their weaknesses through CLR workshops or tutoring.

Automatic re-registration will continue each term until the WPE is passed successfully.

An updated statement of the WPE policy and procedure can be found on the Registrar’s webpage for academic policies at  It remains the student’s responsibility to know about the WPE requirement and to ensure that they have passed the exam prior to graduation.

The new process is being piloted for Spring 2012 registration, but further improvements will be pursued in future terms.  The objective is to better support our students, faculty, and the staff we rely upon to guide our students toward success.