Information for Advisers

What Are We Planning to Do?

To implement this directive, SJSU will temporarily offer a Directed Self Placement alternative for students to help them select their 100A (3 units) or 100W (3 units) course for Fall, 2020.

What is the Difference Between 100A and 100W?
100A is an extra semester of writing instruction, available to students who need more practice in academic writing before enrolling in 100W. 100A prepares students for 100W through extensive practice in drafting, feedback, and revision to demonstrate writing competency. 

100W is an advanced, upper-division writing course designed to introduce students to writing in their disciplines. Students learn writing and appropriate contemporary research strategies and methodologies to communicate effectively to both specialized and general audiences.

What Should You Advise Students to Do?
You should advise students to first complete the WST Directed Self Placement exercise, which is available here. And then, once students have completed the exercise and made their choice, they should register for their classes as usual through MySJSU.

Remind students to register for the course they have chosen through the normal course registration process. This survey does NOT automatically sign students up for the course.

How Is This Different From What We Currently Advise Students To Do?
Currently, students must have a passing score on the WST (7 or higher) or a grade of C or better in 100A in order to register for 100W.

Now, the WST and 100A holds in MySJSU will be dropped. But students must still have earned 60 units and satisfy one of the following prerequisites in order to enroll in 100W:

- A grade of C- or better in an A3 General Education course.
- A grade of C- or better in English 1B, English 2, or Humanities 2B. 
- EC2 transfer credit (which means a student successfully passed a second-semester composition course at a community college).

Also, some majors have additional prerequisites for enrolling in 100W, so students should be sure to check the course catalogue.

What Will Students Do in the WST Directed Self Placement Exercise?
The WST Directed Self Placement exercise helps students do the following:

1. Reflect on their experiences, strengths, and weaknesses as a writer.
2. Learn about 100A and 100W courses at SJSU -- both the content of the courses and the expectations instructors have for students who choose to enroll in these courses.
3. Choose the course that is right for them.

Click here to see a PDF copy of the WST Directed Self Placement exercise.

What About Registering for Other SJSU Studies
Courses (Areas R, S, and V) That Require the WST?
After completing the WST Directed Self Placement, students may register for all other courses that require the WST, as long as they have earned at least 60 units total and satisfied one of the following writing prerequisites:

- A grade of C- or better in an A3 General Education course.
- A grade of C- or better in English 1B, English 2, or Humanities 2B.
- EC2 transfer credit (which means a student successfully passed a second-semester composition course at a community college).

How Will We Monitor and Assess the DSP System? How Will We Know If It's Working?
We will collect data on student choices and correlate that with their success in 100W and other upper-division courses. We will also measure progress toward graduation and other milestones over the next two years to see how the DSP process affected our students.

Like we said above, this DSP system will remain in place only for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. After that, we plan to return to the old WST system while we study our experience with the DSP.

If you would like to join us on the WST DSP study team, please contact Tom Moriarty at thomas.moriarty@sjsu.edu.