Writing and Learning Initiatives

Optimizing academic support and achievement

Academic Support Programs

At Cal Poly, we believe you are already equipped to succeed, but we want to be sure you know that you are not expected to do so alone. From your first quarter at Cal Poly until your final degree requirement is met, you have access to a network of academic support that will help you to attain the foundational knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary to achieve your potential in academic, civic, career, intellectual, and social pursuits.

As the primary academic support unit on campus, the Office of Writing and Learning Initiatives serves all undergraduates and graduates through two centers with three academic support programs facilitated by nearly 200 peer learning specialists with discipline-specific expertise. 


The Academic Skills Center offers academic enrichment resources and programs, including an online Study Strategies Library, Supplemental Workshops in Math and Science, and Study Session groups. The goal of Supplemental Workshops and Study Session groups is to provide a peer-to-peer collaborative learning environment whereby students engage in activities designed to foster deep knowledge and understanding in foundational courses. The Academic Skills Center is committed to empowering students to take an active approach to their learning and attain their academic goals. 


The Writing and Learning Center supports academic achievement by offering free peer-to-peer tutoring in a welcoming environment. Undergraduate and graduate tutors are available for one-to-one or small-group consultations on any activity, assignment, or exam for over 250 courses and subjects across all six colleges; drop-in learning support is also available through subject-specific Help Hubs. The Center’s free, collaborative tutoring sessions are student-driven, which means that the learning experience is propelled by the specific questions and individual needs the student brings to the session. As a result, the center provides a unique space on campus dedicated to student-centered learning. 

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Spring Quarter At-a-Glance


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. More information is available on the Academic Preparation and Placement webpage

Academic Support

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. More information is available on the Academic Support Programs webpage

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. More information is available on the GWR webpage