2023-2024 Catalog

College Writing Program


The College Writing Program seeks to equip students for academic success and postgraduate careers that require knowledge of advanced communication and writing skills. We provide instruction in composition theory and practice and in rhetoric across diverse traditions. Our courses teach students about the forms of writing they are likely to encounter, provide opportunities for students to rethink and refine their writing processes and habits, and teach students strategies or techniques for adapting their writing styles to specific audiences, disciplines, and genres. Our courses also span a range of genres in composition and rhetoric, including cultural rhetorics, visual rhetorics, creative nonfiction, civic writing, and journalism. Through our interdisciplinary curriculum, our courses ask students to examine writing and rhetoric as embedded in culture and to consider the relations among writing, rhetoric, identity, literacy, and power. Our program is committed to enacting the college's mission through our curricular focus on diversity and equity. 

Core and Writing Requirements

Many courses in the College Writing Program fulfill Core requirements in US Diversity, pre-1800, and Fine Arts. In addition, WRD 201 (The Art of Essay Writing) fulfills the First Stage Writing Requirement (a requirement for graduation) and in some cases the Second Stage Writing Requirement should students not pass this requirement in their major. 

Please see information on the college's Writing Requirements.

Interdisciplinary Writing Minor

Our program is the main contributor of courses to the Interdisciplinary Writing (IW) minor. Students can get information about the IW minor and receive signatures for declaring, graduation, and potential study abroad course equivalents by meeting with the Writing Programs Director. 

Click here for courses in the Interdisciplinary Writing Minor.

Transfer Credit Policies

The College Writing Program policy on transfer credit conforms to College policy. Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for details. For first-time first-year students, transfer courses may not substitute for WRD 201. For information on how transfer courses may apply to the two-stage writing requirement please see the Proficiency in Writing: Two-Stage Requirement section of this catalog.


College Writing Program Courses


Tenure and Tenure Track Faculty

Julie Prebel, Director of Writing Center and Programs

Associate Professor
B.A., University of California, Berkeley; M.A., California State University, San Francisco; Ph.D., University of Washington

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Ara Corbett

Resident Assistant Professor
B.A., Loyola Marymount University; M.F.A., Boston University; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Q. Ostendorf

Resident Assistant Professor
B.A., Northwestern University; M.F.A., Mills College; Ph.D. New York University

Charlyne Sarmiento

Resident Assistant Professor; Assistant Director, Writing Center and Programs

B.A., San Francisco State University; M.A., University of Illinois, Chicago; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Robert Sipchen

Visiting Professor
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

Anita Zachary

Visiting Assistant Professor
B.A., Pitzer College; M.F.A., San Diego State University