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International Student Academic Support


Required Courses for International Students


Beginning Fall Term 2013, all incoming international students at WOU will be required to enroll in the following courses. The only exceptions are 3+1 arrangement students and, in rare cases, students who have fulfilled equivalent requirements at other US colleges or universities.


ICS 110: First Year Experience (FYE) for International Students*

2 credits. FYE courses at WOU are designed to help students transition from high school to university. We have reserved sections of FYE for international students in order to best help them transition from their previous school systems abroad to WOU. International students who come from a high school or college in their home country and/or an English language program or community college in the US will find that the US university system and academic culture is very different from what they are used to. The objectives of the international student sections of FYE are:

  • to explore the purpose, value and expectations of higher education
  • to learn about campus resources and involvement opportunities
  • to strengthen students' connection to WOU, faculty, staff, and fellow students
  • to develop strong study and critical thinking skills for success in college classes
  • to help students create long and short term goals for college, career, and life after college
  • to learn about the different challenges they will face inside and outside of the classroom and how to go about tackling those challenges

Writing 115: College Writing I for International Students**

4 credits. About 35% of all incoming freshmen at WOU enroll in WR115 based on their entrance tests or instructor recommendations. At WOU we have found that international students perform better in higher level writing courses if they take WR115 and they do even better if they enroll in sections of WR115 that are reserved for international students. The objectives of WR115 for international students are:

  • to create personal writing process goals: identify, evaluate, & revise strategies of prewriting, drafting, revising and editing to increase personal success
  • to demonstrate rhetorical awareness: knowledge of the roles that context, purpose, and audience play in directing a writer’s choices
  • to develop the ability to critically read and respond as a writer on global and local levels
  • to engage in personal writing: write to learn and write to communicate
  • to identify individual writing strengths and challenges on global and local levels, and show improvement and increased confidence for continued growth and development
  • to find, integrate, and appropriately document outside sources for use in your writing
  • to develop a working set of vocabulary to describe writing and what writers do
  • to discuss the discourse conventions related to grammar and mechanics in context and the conventions of academic writing and Standard Written English
  • to create a community of writers who are responsible for sharing information and reviewing each other’s written contributions to the class


Writing 135: College Writing II for International Students

4 credits. WR135 is required of all WOU students to graduate. International students should enroll in this course in the term after taking WR115. Students who pass WR115 with a 'B' or better are allowed to choose any section of WR135 (with domestic students or reserved for international students). However, students who receive a 'B-' or lower in WR115 will be required to enroll in an international section of WR135 so that we can best meet their writing needs. Prerequisite: Writing 115 for International Students The objectives of WR135 are:

  • to demonstrate the ability to engage in all stages of the writing process from focusing topics to supporting ideas to reviewing (revising and editing)
  • to develop proficiency in arguing different types of claims as well as using writing as a means of discovery and for the reinforcement of learning
  • to discuss the discourse conventions related to choosing an appropriate structure for a given rhetorical situation, utilizing and documenting a variety of sources as evidence and support, and understanding grammar and mechanics as elements of the writer’s craft
  • to engage in critical thinking and writing about a range of topics and reading from a variety of academic and popular texts
  • to identify personal writing strengths and challenges in order to increase confidence and ensure continued growth and development
  • to create a community of writers who are responsible for sharing information and reviewing each other’s written contributions to the class


Linguistics 136: Academic Discourse for International Students

4 credits. LING 136 is a new course that will begin Winter term 2014. International students who arrive beginning Fall 2013, and every term after that will enroll in this course along with WR135 during their second term. This class will focus on analysis of academic language in order to understand the language demands of college level reading and writing tasks within each student's chosen major. Prerequisite: Writing 115 for International Students. The objective for LING 136 are:

  • to analyze a variety of texts written about a topic related to individuals' majors in different genres (e.g., newspaper articles, websites, academic journal articles)
  • to compare and contrast the global organization, sentence structure, lexical choices, and use of outside sources in different genres on topics related to the student’s major
  • to practice formal and informal writing in different genres with emphasis on topics related to the student’s major
  • to become proficient in using basic grammatical/linguistic terms to describe the sentence structure of others’ writing and students' own work
  • to observe an introductory or upper-division course in students' major
  • to collect and analyze assigned readings for the course being observed
  • to use multiple strategies including sentence analysis skills and vocabulary resources to understand, summarize, and paraphrase complex texts in students' majors
  • to collect and analyze example student work for the course being observed
  • to practice self-analysis of one’s own strengths and weaknesses as a language learner and to formulate of a plan for future language growth


*FYE for international students has been a requirement for several years.

**In the past, WR115 for international students was not a requirement, but all students were strongly encouraged to enroll in it. Given the importance of building strong writing skills, WR115 is now required during international students' first term.


International Student Academic Support 503-838-9123 | or e-mail:
Location: APSC 414

MissionWestern Oregon University | 345 N. Monmouth Ave. | Monmouth OR 97361 | 503-838-8000(V/TTY) | Admissions 1-877-877-1593 | Text only
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