Placement and Test Out

Student Placement Policies for First-Year Composition

Revised (12/12)

  1. In order to fulfill the Communications Skills requirement for General Education, the Faculty Senate and the Chancellor approved (spring, 1993) a six-credit writing requirement. All students who register for first-year composition courses, other than those awarded transfer credit from other institutions, must take the English Placement exam. The English Department establishes EPT cutoff scores that change yearly and will be entered into the schema below.

    1. Students scoring below 360 must complete ENGL-090, Writing Workshop, with a C or better to be eligible for ENGL-101, Freshman Composition.

    2. Students scoring between 360-530 or successfully completing ENGL-090 will first take ENGL-101, Freshman Composition, followed by ENGL-102, Reading and Related Writing or, if receiving an A- or better in ENGL-101, ENGL-112, Honors II.

    3. Students scoring above 530 may take ENGL-111, Freshman English Honors, followed by ENGL-112, Honors II. Those not taking ENGL-112 or ENGL-113 will complete the requirement by taking ENGL-102. Students in the Academic Honors program must take ENGL-113 as the second course to complete the requirement.
  2. The English Department designates College Composition as the CLEP exam for which college credit will be given. Students who achieve a score of 50 shall receive 3 credits for ENGL-101/111. Students who achieve a score of 55 or above shall also receive 3 credits for ENGL-102/112.

  3. Students who receive marginal EPT scores of 330-359 may be exempted from ENGL-090.
  1. All ENGL-090 students will be asked to produce a writing sample to be evaluated within the first three class days of each semester.

  2. Papers of students who are within the marginal scores and produce a strong writing sample will be reviewed by two ENGL-090 instructors to decide if the writing is competent enough to exempt the student from remediation.

  3. The English Department office must receive a note listing those students exempted from ENGL-090. Registration and Records will then be notified to clear the University's first year remediation requirement.

  4. Exempted students will immediately be withdrawn from ENGL-090 and sent to the English Department Office for placement into ENGL-101.

Placement Policy for Degree-Seeking ESL International Students in First-Year Composition Courses

Revised (12/13,12/12)

International students who have submitted TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission to Stout will be placed according to their test scores:

  1. ENGL 101: Students who have composite TOEFL scores of 79 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based) or IELTS 6.5 or higher are eligible to enroll in ENGL 101. 

  2. ENGL 90: Students who have composite TOEFL scores between 69-78 (iBT) or 525-549 (paper-based) or IELTS 6.0 should enroll in a designated ESL section of ENGL 090; upon successful completion of ENGL 90 with a grade of "C" or better, students can enroll in ENGL 101 the following semester. 

  3. ENGL 80: Students who have composite IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL scores under 69 (iBT) or under 525 (paper-based) will enroll in ENGL 80; upon successful completion of ENGL 080 with a grade of "C" or better, students can enroll in a designated ESL section of ENGL 90 the following semester.  NOTE: ENGL 80 will no longer be offered beginning with the Spring 2015 semester.  

The following groups of international students, who do not have a TOEFL or IELTS requirement, will be placed according to the following:

  1. Graduates of other ESL programs

    Will be placed based on GPA in their ESL program:
    or higher will be placed in ENGL 101
       2.0-2.99 will be placed in ENGL 90

  2. Students from English-speaking countries including the United Kingdom , Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, English speaking Canada or Commonwealth Caribbean; and transfers from other universities, colleges or high schools in the U.S. or Canada

    Will take the English Placement Exam.

  3. Transfers who have already completed a course equivalent to ENGL 101 at another U.S. university.

    The English 101 requirement can be waived based on the Transfer Coordinator's recommendation.

Credit for Prior Learning Policy: Professional and Technical Communication

Revised (11/93; 3/91 12/11; 12/14; 2/17)

With regard to the Credit for Prior Learning Assessment (CPLA)campus initiative, defined as “the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training, military training, or open source learning from the web,” the English and Philosophy Department outlines the following procedure for non-traditional students with significant professional writing experience who would like to attempt to earn credit for ENGL 320: Professional and Technical Communication: 

1. Initiating the Process: Within the first two weeks of an academic semester (no evaluation will be conducted during Summer or Winterm sessions),
the student, who cannot be currently enrolled in ENGL 320, must email the chair of the English Department requesting to be considered for Credit for Prior Learning. It is expected that the student has already closely reviewed the ENGL 320 Learning Objectives and is aware of
the genres acceptable for evaluation (see below).

a.   ENGL 320 Learning Objectives   

I. Rhetorical Awareness: Students will employ rhetorical awareness (purpose, audience, context, and genre) to complete outcomes in every communication situation, whether in person or online.                                         
Discovery: Students will research and evaluate information from professional, academic, and government sources that are appropriate for workplace genres and rhetorical situations. Plagiarism will be recognized and avoided.                                       
Analysis: Students will analyze and evaluate information for quality and validity that effectively responds to the purpose, audience, context, and genre.                                      
Planning: Students will develop rhetorical strategies for generating content and organizing it into a logical structure that is appropriate for workplace communication situations. They will collaborate in the writing, peer review, revision, and production of a variety of genres.                                        
Production: Students will use a variety of communication methods, from written to oral, to ethically and responsibly develop documents and presentations that exhibit an overall design that enhances readability and illustrates professionalism. Communication and presentation of genres should respond to the audience's needs, considering any intercultural factors as appropriate, and demonstrate effective application of course.

b.   Common ENGL 320 Genres

I. Cover letters and Resumes                                        
Technical Descriptions                                        
Correspondence (memos, emails, letters)                                     

2. Assigning a Supervisor: The student’s request is then relayed to the chair of the Advanced Writing Committee who will become the initial contact person. Depending on student materials and individual expertise, the chair may then assign a committee member to supervise the remainder of the process. 

3. Initial Evaluation: Either via email or in an on-campus meeting with the assigned Advanced Writing Committee member, the student will explain
his/her professional writing experience and describe how the documents he/she might compile in a portfolio of five or more documents from a variety of genres that meet the expectations outlined in the learning objectives. If from more than one professional experience, he/she should also provide the job descriptions for which these documents were created.(NOTE: Material that has been written to meet requirements in a
UW-Stout or any other university, college, or technical school course cannot be submitted for Credit for Prior Learning.)

4.  Submitting a Portfolio: If the evidence does merit an attempt to earn Credit for Prior Learning, the following portfolio creation procedures will be shared. The student will either email or print out the selected works and deliver them to the appointed Advanced Writing Committee member:

a.    For each document in the portfolio, create a separate cover sheet in Word (with a file name similar to the document it explains) that addresses the following prompts:    

i.    List the appropriate course outcome(s). Identify which of the ENGL 320 learning outcomes you believe the document demonstrates. (See rubric). You may list more than one learning outcome for each document.                                        
Connect the document to the selected course outcome(s.) Describe how the document demonstrates your ability achieve the
learning outcome(s) that you have identified.
Explain how the document illustrates your knowledge of technical writing. Describe the context within which the document was
created, the choice/limitations of genre, the intended audience/purpose, etc.
Describe how you would revise the finished product.

5.  Application and Fees: In addition to assembling the portfolio, the student must review the University’s procedures at, fill out a Credit by Exam form, and pay the fee at the Cashier's Office.

6.  Committee Evaluation: When the English Department receives evidence that the fee has been paid, the Advanced Writing Committee member calls on two other members of the advanced writing staff to evaluate the student's materials. A third member may be called in for consultation. The involved Advanced Writing Committee members have four weeks to review the work, communicate with one another, and/or meet to decide either to deny credit or to award credit. 

7.  Notification: The student is notified in writing of the results. A decision of credit or no credit is reported on the Credit by Exam form, which is then signed and returned to the Registrar’s Office.