In coursework and personal relations each student is steadily encouraged to develop the capacity to communicate effectively in written and spoken English. That capacity must also be demonstrated through satisfactory performance on an English proficiency examination, required of every student. The examination consists of an essay on a topic chosen from a group of topics of current interest or assigned by the English 120 instructor in connection with the student's research on a topic for debate. The essay is evaluated by two or more members of the English faculty, who consider its organization, grammatical correctness, clarity, and overall quality.
The examination is given at the end of English 120. Transfer students who have passed English 120 or the equivalent must take the examination during the first semester of enrollment. All students must pass the exam before enrolling in Senior Study, the culmination of work in the major field. Students who fail the examination must attend a workshop, which meets once a week for seven weeks during either the fall or spring semesters. At the end of the workshop students are retested. Those passing the examination at that time satisfy that prerequisite for Senior Study and may enroll in the 351 portion the following semester if other prerequisites have been met.