University Studies Advisory Committee



This document provides a description of the Composition component of University Studies. In so doing, it differentiates between common component-level student learning outcomes and discipline-specific course-level learning outcomes, offering examples of both types. The goal is to encourage the development of challenging and varied University Studies courses that share common assessable student learning outcomes, and to outline a clear procedure by which these courses may be proposed and approved.


This component of the University Studies program is designed to foster students' abilities to read critically and express their ideas clearly in written work. Courses in this component should encourage students to develop their own recursive writing processes that incorporate collecting, analyzing and evaluating information; planning; drafting; substantive revision; and peer review. The analytical reading, research, and writing skills learned in courses from this component provide the basis for students to succeed in a significant number of other courses throughout their university careers, in their communities, and beyond.


The following are the Common Student Learning Outcomes for Composition courses. These are aligned with the UNCW Learning Goals. Each course in this category must address all of the Common Student Learning Outcomes for the category, and list these Common SLOs along with course-specific SLOs in the course syllabus. Proposals for inclusion in the category will describe the opportunities which will be provided for students to learn the outcome (readings, class discussion and/or activities, applied projects) and list the specific sources of evidence (papers, projects, quizzes, exams, etc.) that will be used to determine the level of student understanding.

The student will:

  • CMP 1. Identify the structural components, including thesis, supporting evidence, and various rhetorical strategies, for all essays read and written. [Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression]
  • CMP 2. Through a variety of writing and speaking opportunities, demonstrate how multiple assigned readings are related, thereby furthering their own learning processes and developing their own information literacies. [Information Literacy; Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression]
  • CMP 3. Conduct research based upon the questions that develop through their own analyses of assigned texts, familiarizing themselves with appropriate sources.  Students will summarize perspectives acquired through research, and synthesize these viewpoints. Students will analyze these viewpoints in order to assess how and where their own views and experiences relate to those they've encountered in their reading and research. [Inquiry; Information Literacy; Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression]
  • CMP 4. Students will demonstrate a familiarity with the stages of the composing process. Students will engage in rubric-guided peer review. Students will demonstrate through proofreading and editing an awareness of the difference between a working draft and a polished version of an essay. Students will enact a revision of their writing, and demonstrate an awareness of te ongoing nature of the writing process. [Inquiry; Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression; Teamwork]
  • CMP 5. Students will articulate in a variety of venues, both public and scholarly, how audience expectation shapes purpose and genre in their own writing and reading.[Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression]


Students must complete ENG 100 or ENG 101, and ENG 200 or ENG 201, or must complete ENG 103. Placement is determined by an English placement test or by scores on the Advanced Placement or the CLEP test. ENG 103 is a 3-credit course, but successful completion of the course satisfies the university studies composition requirement. Waiver may apply.


  • USAC recommends course enrollment be kept low, ideally
    below 26
  • USAC recommends less reliance on part-time instruction in this important part of University Studies.
  • USAC recommends the removal of 100/200 sections from LGS.
  • USAC recommends adding formal IL or some IL components to 101 in the future.