Writing and Learning Initiatives

Optimizing academic support and achievement

About Us

The Office of Writing and Learning Initiatives, a unit of Academic Programs and Planning, supports Cal Poly student learning and achievement by coordinating a variety of programs, services, and resources: the CSU Early Assessment Program, the CSU-mandated Early Start English program for first-time first-year students, academic placement in English, free individual and group tutoring in any subject, course embedded learning assistance, supplemental instruction workshops and study sessions intended to ensure optimal educational opportunities for diverse student populations. The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) for upper-division and graduate students, including the GWR Portfolio Program, is coordinated by this office.


Our mission is to provide a comprehensive menu of academic resources to support the diverse needs of Cal Poly students.

Department Contact Information

Location: Building 35, Room 202A
Telephone: 805.756.2067
E-mail Address: writingandlearning@calpoly.edu

Department Directory

Name                                                      phone email office 
Dawn Janke, Executive Director 805.756.2066 djanke@calpoly.edu 35-202A
Michele Cowen, Office Coordinator 805.756.2067 mdcowen@calpoly.edu 35-202A
Stacy Neely, Administrative Assistant 805.756.6032 slneely@calpoly.edu 35-111C
Miguel Lua-Reyes, EAP Coordinator 805.756.1041 maluarey@calpoly.edu 35-202A
VACANT, Tutor Coordinator     35-111C
Jennifer von Reis Saari, STEM Tutor Coordinator 805.756.7663 jvonreis@calpoly.edu 35-111C
Trevor Forzetting, ASC Coordinator 805.756.7660 tforzett@calpoly.edu 35-112
Lydia Keema, SI Workshop Coordinator 805.756.5784 lkeema@calpoly.edu 35-112
VACANT, Study Session Coordinator     35-112

Related Content

Spring Quarter Updates

Writing and Learning Online Support 

March 29 - June 09

*Study Sessions, supplemental workshops, and tutoring are virtual for spring quarter; for more information, click here.

Graduation Writing Requirement

*A GWR Portfolio has replaced the WPE; for more information, click here

Academic Preparation and Placement

Cal Poly adheres to the CSU's placement practice, which evaluates multiple measures of pre-college academic performance to determine placement in first-year English and math courses. Cal Poly also offers summer support courses in compliance with the CSU's Early Start Program to help incoming first-year students prepare for a successful college experience. For more information, click here.

Academic Resources

The Writing and Learning Initiatives Office offers a comprehensive menu of academic resources designed to ensure optimal educational opportunities for diverse student populations: peer consultants offer free tutoring in any course or subject, peer-led supplemental workshops and study sessions provide support for STEM-specific courses, and the online Study Strategies Library offers a collection of resources to help you achieve your learning goals. For more information, click here.

Graduation Writing Requirement

All degree-seeking Cal Poly students, including a Master's degree or teaching credential, must fulfill the GWR.  Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can attempt to fulfill the requirement and should do so before the senior year. The two pathways to GWR completion are 1) in an approved upper-division course and 2) via the GWR Portfolio. For more information, click here.