Writing assessment is an important part of writing across the
curriculum at Southeast Missouri State University. Through
assessment, the university is able to place the student in the
composition course best suited to his or her needs, monitor the
effectiveness of the writing experience at Southeast, and ensure
that all students who graduate from Southeast Missouri State
University have basic writing competencies.
It is important to remember that the purpose of the Writing Assessment
Program is not just to certify the student's individual competency.
The State of Missouri is increasingly concerned that its institutions of
higher learning conduct extensive assessment to determine the effect of
curriculum and instruction on levels of performance in key areas. In
order to respond to this concern, the university cannot rely merely upon
student grades to draw conclusions about performance levels. The
writing assessment component of writing across the curriculum collects and
analyzes supplementary data which can be used to improve curriculum and
instruction and assess the effectiveness of instructional programs.
university administers three major assessments of writing proficiency:
(1) the Writing Placement Essay (WP001),
(2) the Written Expression Exit Exam (WP002),
and (3) the Writing Proficiency Exam (WP003).
entering first-year students with an ACT English subscore below 22 must
take the placement test. All students completing a course in Written
Expression (usually EN140) must take the Exit Exam. And all
students, regardless of whether they have taken the previous two tests,
must take the Writing Proficiency Examination.
strongly recommended that students acquaint themselves with these tests
and the manner in which they are scored. A handbook, Writing
Proficiency Exam: Student Essays Evaluated and Annotated (1997), is
available at the Southeast Missouri State University bookstore for this
purpose. This Web site also provides information on the writing
proficiency tests, information adapted from that handbook.