Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Communication Skills Lab

Professor Florence Wellons
2024 Harris Hall

Mission of the Communication Skills Laboratory

  • To encourage students to become interested and enthusiastic about writing and to learn to write simply for the sake of writing. 
  • To encourage students to become critical thinkers.
  • To help students with their understanding of grammar.
  • To give students a positive experience with writing.
  • To provide a place where students can get additional assistance with their writing. 
  • To encourage students to believe that everyone is a writer and has something to express through writing.
  • To help secondary education majors gain proficiency in writing.
  • To prepare students for the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Information about the Communication Skills Laboratory

  • The CSL is located on the second floor of Harris Hall, Room 2024. Lab hours are posted on the door each semester. 
  • The CSL provides a quiet environment where students receive tutoring in basic writing and grammar skills.
  • The CSL is open for operation from the first day of class to the last day of class. 
  • The CSL is frequented by those students who are preparing for the Writing Proficiency Examination and those who require help beyond classroom instruction.
  • The CSL personnel do not proofread papers for students as this hinders students from becoming better writers. 
  • The CSL is not designed to replace extended classroom consultations with instructors. 
  • The CSL provides handouts on a variety of writing-related topics.

Information about the Writing Proficiency Examination

The Writing Proficiency Examination is a Southern University graduation requirement.  The examination consists of a five-paragraph essay designed to measure the basic writing skills of Southern University students.  The University mandates that the test be taken at the completion of the freshman English requirements.

Administration of the WPE   

All students who intend to take the Writing Proficiency Examination must register through the prescribed university process. The Writing Proficiency Examination is offered twice per semester, including the summer session.  The second administration of the exam is given after the first test scores have been reported to the various colleges.  However, students who do not take the first test are ineligible for the retake.  Students are given ninety (90) minutes in which to plan and write a multi-paragraph essay on one of three assigned topics.

Scoring Criteria of the WPE

Each test is read and scored by two raters using a scale of 1 to 6. A score of  '1'represents the lowest possible score and "6" represents the highest possible score.  A score of 4, 5, or 6 represents a passing score.  The sum of the two raters' scores must equal "7" or higher in order for the essay to pass.

Reporting the WPE Scores

The Writing Proficiency Examination scores are reported to college deans approximately three weeks after the test has been administered.

Administration Sites of the WPE

The sites below apply to fall and spring semesters only.  For the summer session, all students report to Stewart Hall Auditorium. Please note that site locations may change. Students should always check with the department for correct locations.

A-E School of Nursing Auditorium

F-L Lee Hall Auditorium

M-P Harris Hall Classrooms

Q-Z Stewart Hall Auditorium