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, and academic support workshops intended to ensure optimal educational opportunities for diverse student populations. The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) for upper-division and graduate students, including the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE), are managed and administered by this office.


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

Office 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
Miguel Lua-Reyes, EAP Coordinator 805.756.6031   35-202A
Tyler Gardner, Tutor Coordinator 805.756.6036 tdgardne@calpoly.edu 35-111C
VACANT, STEM Tutor Coordinator     35-111C
Stacy Neely, Administrative Assistant 805.756.6032 slneely@calpoly.edu 35-111C

Related Content

Fall Quarter Updates

Writing and Learning Online Support 

September 14 - December 2

*Tutoring is virtual for fall 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.

Writing and Learning Center

The university's Writing and Learning Center intends to ensure optimal educational opportunities for diverse student populations through peer-to-peer support in reading comprehension, writing, test preparation, and various courses and subjects. Tutoring is free for all Cal Poly students and available online until further notice. 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.