2020–2021 Walden University Student Handbook (March 2021) 
    
    Aug 16, 2022  
2020–2021 Walden University Student Handbook (March 2021) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctoral Writing Assessment


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Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. As part of this change the admissions essay will no longer be required. All students acknowledge the required doctoral writing assessment through the confirmation checkbox on their admissions application. Exemptions are permitted only for doctoral students who admit or readmit at the proposal stage, who change between equivalent degree programs (e.g., from PhD in Psychology with specialization in Clinical Psychology to PhD in Clinical Psychology), who already have earned a completed doctoral degree from Walden University or another accredited institution, or who already are contributing faculty or core faculty teaching courses at Walden University. For the doctoral writing assessment, the proposal stage is defined as students having completed academic coursework, including the research sequence of courses, leading up to the dissertation course in their program.

Steps to Complete Assessment

For students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog in or after academic year 2017 and before August 2019: Walden’s doctoral writing assessment consists of the following steps:

1. Students complete DRWA 8000G/8001G Doctoral Writing Assessment during the second term of their doctoral program. DRWA 8000G is a free, 0-credit, 4-week course. Students will be automatically enrolled in this course according to the following schedule:

  • Students who begin their doctoral program on a full-term quarter start will complete DRWA 8000G during their next full-term start.
  • Students who begin their doctoral program on a full-term semester start will be enrolled in DRWA 8001G during their next midterm start.
  • Students who begin their doctoral program on a midterm semester start will be enrolled in DRWA 8001G during their next full-term start.

2. Students write and submit their assessment essay in DRWA 8000G/8001G. The assessment essay must be an original paper written in response to the essay prompt in DRWA 8000G/8001G and uploaded using the academic integrity software in the course to help ensure the essay’s originality. The assessment essay is due by the end of Week 2 and is the only assignment in the course.

Students receive their assessment scores in the DRWA 8000G/8001G Gradebook by the end of Week 4. Assessors on the university’s writing assessment team assign each assessment essay a score based on the writing skills expected of incoming doctoral students at Walden University.

For students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University on or after August 2019: Walden’s doctoral writing assessment consists of the following steps:

1. Students are automatically registered into DRWA 8880G/8881G Doctoral Writing Assessment during the first term of their doctoral program, whether on a main, midterm, or incremental start. DRWA 8880G/8881G is a free, 0-credit, 4-week course. Submission must occur within the deadline designated in the classroom.

2. Students write and submit their assessment essay in DRWA 8880G/8881G. The assessment essay must be an original paper written in response to the essay prompt in DRWA 8880G/8881G and uploaded using the academic integrity software in the course to help ensure the essay’s originality. The assessment essay is due by the end of Week 2 and is the only assignment in the course.

Students receive their assessment scores in the DRWA 8880G/8881G Gradebook by the end of Week 4. Assessors on the university’s writing assessment team assign each assessment essay a score based on the writing skills expected of incoming doctoral students at Walden University.

Writing Assessment Outcomes

Any students who are required to take the writing assessment will receive an assessment essay score. Based on their assessment essay score, students will complete zero, one, or two required writing support courses. Scores are on a scale of 0–5, with 5 indicating the highest possible score. Essay scores determine whether students will complete required writing courses as follows:

Students who do not submit an assessment essay for review will receive a score of 0. Students who submit an assessment essay with evidence of plagiarism as indicated by academic integrity software will receive a score of 99. Students who receive a score of 0 or 99 will complete two required writing courses in sequential order:

Students who receive an assessment essay score of 1 or 2 will complete two required writing courses in sequential order:

Students who receive an assessment essay score of 3 will complete one required writing course:

Students who receive an assessment essay score of 4 or 5 will be recommended (not required) to review instructional materials about scholarly writing on the Walden Writing Center website and may complete CAEX 6070 / CAEX 6071 Graduate Writing III at no cost.

Writing Courses

All required writing courses are designed for students to complete alongside program courses. If students are required to take one or two required writing courses, then:

  • Students will be automatically enrolled in their first required writing course at the next available course offering after completion of DRWA 8000G/8001G/8880G/8881G. Students will be automatically enrolled in any subsequent required writing courses at the next available course offering immediately following.
  • Students will be enrolled in required writing courses at no charge for the first attempt. Failure to participate in any required doctoral writing course will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade. Students who receive an Unsatisfactory (U) grade during their first attempt in a required writing course must pay to enroll in the same required writing course again. Students will be automatically enrolled in any necessary course retakes at the next available course offering.
  • Students may petition once to delay completion of one required writing course by one term only. If students are required to complete two writing courses, they may not petition to delay both writing courses. Students will be automatically enrolled in the necessary course the following term after the term of the postponement approval. Students are not permitted to drop or withdraw from a required writing course after they have had one postponement unless they are on a leave of absence, are not registered for program courses, or are withdrawing from the university altogether. A failure to login or failure to complete the course satisfactorily will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade.

All required writing courses must be satisfactorily completed within 1 year of the end of the term in which students complete DRWA 8000G/8001G/8880G/8881G. Students who do not satisfactorily complete all required writing courses within this time will be dismissed from the university. The doctoral writing assessment also follows the Walden policies on Repeating a Course , leading to dismissal if a student receives two U grades in the Graduate Writing courses.

Upon satisfactory completion of the doctoral writing assessment requirement, students have the option to complete CAEX 6070 / CAEX 6071 Graduate Writing III at no cost. For information about this option or other aspects of the assessment, please contact writingassessment@mail.waldenu.edu.