Stretch Composition


Welcome to the Stretch Composition webpage. The purpose of this page is to place at your fingertips resources that will help you formulate a basic overview of Stretch as well as navigate some specific Stretch programs.

The link below will take you to a bibliography from the Council of Writing Program Administrators. In this bibliography Gregory R. Glau annotates several articles and books in the field to provide an overview of research.

The next four items, presented in a numbered list, are links to PDFs of specific articles, most of which are annotated in Glau’s bibliography. For those not annotated by Glau, we have provided only a brief annotation below.

The final items are links to CSU, San Bernardino’s websites. The San Bernardino site will let you visit their DSP page and log on as a guest—so that you can see first hand how a DSP protocol can guide a student in choosing a writing course that addresses his or her specific needs. It also contains a PowerPoint with lots of information about stretch composition programs in the CSU.

We have provided this list so that you may choose what you are most interested in reading. If you can read only one thing, we recommend the bibliography. If you have time for a full article, but only one, we recommend Glau’s “Stretch at 10,” a study of Arizona State University’s Stretch program 10 years after its inception.



The WPA bibliography:



Links to Several Articles:

1. Glau, Gregory R.  “Stretch at 10: Ten Years of Data on Arizona State University's Stretch Program.” Journal of Basic Writing 26.2 (2007), 30-48.

This review of the ASU program offers a great starting point for understanding how stretch composition works.

Read the article here:


2. Blakesley, David. Directed Self-Placment in the University. WPA: Writing Program Administration 25.3 (Spring 2002): 9-40.

The data presented here, from a study of the efficacy of DSP at Southern Illinois University, offers a really comprehensive and concrete window into how directed self-placement works. (See annotation by Glau in bibliography above.)

Read the article here:


3. Royer, Daniel J. and Roger Gilles. “Directed Self-Placement: An Attitude of Orientation.”
 College Composition and Communication  50.1 (Sep 1998): 54-70.

This article defines the rationale for directed self-placement, tracing it to John Dewey’s pragmatist and democratic theories of education.

Read the article here:


4. Beaufort, Anne. “The Question of University Writing Instruction” and “New Directions for University Writing Instruction.” In College Writing and Beyond: A New Framework for University Writing Instruction. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2007.

Beaufort studies one student writer through his four years at university, majoring in both history and engineering, and two years into his professional career as an engineer. During this time she documents his writing: from his freshman writing course to upper-division history courses, to upper-division engineering courses. Her purpose is to track the transfer of skills from a general writing course to writing course in both of this student's majors. From this case study Beaufort extrapolates both a conceptual model of writing expertise and some principles for curricular development that will improve the transfer of skills from course to course as a student develops writing expertise over a four-year university program.

Read two chapters here: College Writing and Beyond (PDF) 



Links to CSU, San Bernardino’s Freshman Writing Program Website:


CSU, San Bernardino: First Year Composition Homepage 

There is a link to information about “Stretch Composition” on the First Year Composition homepage. 


CSU, San Bernardino: DSP Homepage 

This is a link to San Bernardino’s DSP homepage. You can enter as GUEST GUEST and type in 9 zeroes (000000000) as the password, to navigate the DSP survey as a student. Please, sign in using this mock info so that the DSP data can sort you out from the student data.


CSU, San Bernardino, DSP Information for Faculty and Advisors

This link will take you to information for advisors and faculty, including a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes data from their DSP and Stretch FYC program so far.