Phone: 616-331-8655
vandkrys@gvsu.edu

Brooks College Dean's Office
224 Lake Ontario Hall
Allendale, MI 49401

SWS Program Requirements

Because the ability to write clearly is a means for critical thinking, exploration of values, and self-discovery--goals of the general education program--the university requires that all students take two Supplemental Writing Skills courses. These courses, which have Writing 150 with a grade of C (not C-) or better as a prerequisite, are designated SWS in each semester's course schedule. Please read the schedule carefully since not all sections of a multi-section course are necessarily SWS sections. Only those that are designated SWS result in SWS credit. The SWS courses need not add to a student's education or the major.

The two SWS courses may not be taken from the same department or school. One must be from outside the student's major unit. The first SWS course is normally part of the general education requirement; the second course is normally taken in the student's major and normally at the 300 or 400 level.  Transfer students with a MACRAO associate's degree must take one SWS course (normally in the student's major).

Courses that have received the SWS designation are not merely courses that require written assignments; they adhere to certain guidelines. Students turn in a total of at least 3,000 words of writing during the term. Part of that total may be essay exams, but a substantial amount of it is made up of finished essays or reports or research papers. The instructor works with the students on revising drafts of their papers, rather than simply grading the finished piece of writing. At least four hours of class time are devoted to writing instruction. For a three-credit course at least one third of the final grade is based upon the writing assignments.    

Students must pass the writing skills courses (Writing 150 and the two SWS courses) with a grade of C or better in each course. Students with a grade of C- or lower in an SWS course may repeat the course or pass another SWS course with a grade of C or better before graduation. Transfer students with the MACRAO associate's degree must pass one SWS course with a grade of C or better.

Please direct questions regarding the SWS program to:
vandkrys@gvsu.edu

  Last Modified Date: June 24, 2014
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