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WAC Contact Information

Jessica Jorgenson Borchert
Director x4717

Janet Zepernick
Assistant Director  x6539

WAC Center
Grubbs Hall 423

The General Education writing requirement at Pittsburg State University consists of four courses:  two required courses taught by the English Department (ENGL 101 and ENGL 299) and two courses chosen from the menu of courses designated Writing to Learn (WL).

ENGL 101 Freshman Composition is the foundational course in college-level writing.  In this course, students will be challenged to develop a higher level of academic literacy through reading and responding to challenging texts and developing written works that explore the complex connections between assigned texts, students’ own experience, and the larger world.  ENGL 101 is designed for incoming students with no prior college writing experience.

ENGL 299 Introduction to Research Writing is designed to extend students’ academic literacy and reinforce students’ skills in writing from sources and doing independent research.  Introduction to Research Writing serves as preparation for the writing required by upper-division courses in students’ majors and should be taken within the first 60 credit hours.

Writing to Learn courses are writing intensive courses offered in a wide variety of departments and subject areas.  In addition to teaching course content, Writing to Learn courses are designed to enhance students’ ability to formulate and articulate complex ideas and to convey those ideas in writing to a professional and/or academic audience.

If you have an ACT English subscore of 26 or below and no transferable college writing courses, you should enroll in ENGL 101 English Composition.

If you have  an ACT English subscore of 27 or above and no transferable college writing courses, you have the option of earning test-out credit for ENGL 101 by earning a grade of C or better in your first WL course. To choose that option, enroll in a Writing to Learn course and ENGL 101.40. ENGL 101.40 is the test-out section of ENGL 101. ENGL 101.40 does not hold class meetings and includes no required assignments.   NOTE:  If your ACT English subscore is 28 or above, you have the additional option of taking ENGL 190 Honors English Composition instead of ENGL 299 after completing at least one Writing to Learn course.

If you are transferring credit for a college writing  course (ENGL 101) from a community college, a dual-enrollment high school writing course, or another four-year institution, and you have fewer than 55 total transfer credits (for all transferred courses), you should enroll in a Writing to Learn course or ENGL 299.

If you are transferring 55 or more credits, including credit for one college writing course (ENGL 101), you should enroll in ENGL 299. Students transferring 55 or more credits are exempt from the Writing to Learn requirement.

If you are transferring 55 or more credits, including credit for two college writing courses (ENGL 101 and ENGL 299), you have completed the General Education requirement and are not required to enroll in any writing or Writing to Learn courses.

Writing to Learn course offerings are listed in the schedule of classes for each semester and are designated WL.  You can see a list of all WL courses by clicking on the Writing to Learn option at the top of the schedule of classes.

The amount of writing varies by course. However, most 100- and 200-level WL courses are designed to require at least 10 pages of polished, finished draft (usually in the form of multiple short papers), along with informal writing done in class or in online discussion forums. Most 300- to 500-level WL courses are designed to include at least 15 pages of polished, finished draft along with informal writing.

Students are encouraged to use the services provided by the Writing Center. The Writing Center offers face-to-face and online consultations at any stage of the writing process for any type of writing, as well as workshops for students and faculty. The Writing Center is located in 112 Axe Library and online at Appointments can be made online ( or in person. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday during Fall and Spring semesters. See the website for Summer hours. All service are provided free of charge.

The Writing Center regularly employs graduate and undergraduate students from any major who have demonstrated success with academic or workplace writing. The application for employment is available on our website and should be submitted by e-mail to or in person at the Writing Center or the English Department office (434 Grubbs Hall).

For more information about the WL program or the Writing Center's services or employment, or to ask questions about your specific situation, contact Don Judd at (620-235-4697) or Janet Zepernick at (620-235-6539).

All students seeking a baccalaureate (four-year) degree from PSU, except transfer students who have earned 55 or more credit hours prior to transferring to PSU, must complete two WL courses.

Students who transfer to PSU with 55 credit hours or more are not required to take WL courses. Graduate students and students earning associates degrees or other non-baccalaureate degrees are not required to take WL courses.

In selecting WL courses, students should look first for WL courses offered in their major. In some majors, students will be able to earn all of their WL credits taking only WL courses that are required for the major.  If WL courses are not included in the major, students should look for WL sections of general education courses that fulfill degree requirements. Students should begin planning what courses to take as WL during their first semester in order to be sure to complete both WL courses using courses that fulfill degree requirements.

WL courses are listed in the on-line course schedule each semester.  They are coded WL. There is also a separate list of WL courses off the on-line course schedule page.

Completed or attempted WL courses are  marked "WL" on the grade report and on the transcript. Only WL courses for which the student has earned a passing grade count toward fulfilling the WL requirement. The GUS degree audit shows how many WL courses the student still needs.

If you have writing problems you can visit The Writing Center, 112 Axe Library. It is available to all students free of charge.  To schedule an appointment, go to