Mission: In preparing students to produce coherent, focused, purposeful prose arguments and written communications, Hartwick College’s 21st-Century Writing Competency Program is the means through which students fulfill GEO1 (“Communicate competently using oral and written skills”).


The 21st-Century Writing Competency Program applies to students with a matriculation year of Fall 2020, first-time freshman.

21st-Century Writing Competency Program Component Parts At-A-Glance:

  • Writing Placement Exam
  • ENGL-101 or ENGL-110
  • ENGL-111 (conditional)
  • Two “Writing-Designated” (“WD”) courses.

Descriptions of the component parts of Hartwick College’s 21st-Century Writing Competency Program sequence of requirements is as follows:

Writing Placement Exam, administered at point of matriculation in order to place students appropriately within the sequence of writing courses comprising the Writing Competency Program.

Level 1: ENGL-101
Level 2: ENGL-110
Level 3: ENGL-110 credit
Two “Writing-Designated” (“WD”), as indicated (below).

Policy: Barring extraordinary circumstance, students whose writing competency exam places them in ENGL-110 must complete ENGL-110 by the end of their first year of college study.

Transfer policy: Transfer students who have earned a C or better in a college-level composition course from an accredited collegiate institution will not need to complete the Writing Placement Exam.

Hartwick College Transfer Credit Policy: Transfer credit from nationally and regionally accredited colleges is given for courses substantially similar to those offered at Hartwick College. For the purposes of Hartwick College’s Writing Competency Program, students who before matriculation have attained a grade of C or better in a college-level composition course offered at an accredited collegiate institution will receive college credit for ENGL-110 (“College Writing”). College-level composition courses taken as part of a dual-enrollment program qualify for this allowance. “AP” credit high school courses do not qualify for this allowance.

ENGL-101 (“Writing Essentials”): for students who place at writing placement exam Level 1. ENGL-110 provides individual/workshop-style instruction that outfits students with the skills that will help them to succeed in ENGL-110.

ENGL-110 (“College Writing”): for students who place at writing placement exam Level 2. ENGL-110 introduces the core features of and strategies for producing written texts defined by college-level writing competencies.

ENGL-111 (“Writing Workshop”): for students who earn less than a C – in ENGL110 and therefore require intensive one-on-one workshop instruction.

Note: Students who fail ENGL-110 will be placed in ENGL-111 only if the failure results from an inability to master necessary material. Students who fail ENGL-110 because of chronic absenteeism and failure to complete assignments will be required to retake ENGL-110.

200-level WD course offered within academic departments: for students

  • who place the writing placement exam Level 3; or,
  • who have passed ENGL110 with a grade of C – or higher.
    200-level WD courses introduce students to research techniques, stylistic conventions, and (as the instructor deems warranted) to formatting protocols appropriate for and to a specific discipline. This course will additionally reinforce the learning outcome addressing information literacy that students would have encountered in their FYS. These 200-level writing-designated courses may also be useful for those students exploring different majors or changing majors.

300-level WD course offered within academic departments: intended to refine and sophisticate a student’s analytical and/or argumentative writing practice, moving it from competent (ie., “coherent,” “purpose-driven”) to effective according to disciplinary practice.

In selected instances, departments may not in fact currently offer WD courses. Students whose majors offer no writing-designated courses may fulfill the writing requirement by taking any two 200-level writing-designated courses or, if the student wishes, a 200- and 300-level sequence of writing-designated courses.

Students with matriculation years prior to 2020 are still governed by the LAiP Writing Competency Program, with its three-part writing sequence leading to Writing Level 4 (“WL4”) competency. “WL4” competency indicates college-level writing competence, as defined in Writing Competency: A Handbook. Beginning in fall 2020, students who have matriculated prior to 2020 may achieve WL4—the final requirement in the LAiP Writing Competency Program sequence—in one of the following ways:

  • by achieving a grade of A- or higher in ENGL-110;
  • by enrolling in a 200- or 300-level “Writing-Designated” (“WD”) course, either in their major or as offered through another academic department/major

Meet the Writing Center Director

James Cochran

Director of the 21st-Century Writing Competency Program and Writing Center