College of Business & Technology

Fall 2013 Freshman photo

Summer Orientation & Registration (SOAR)

The Summer Orientation & Registration (SOAR) program is one of the first steps students take in their transition to the University. During Summer Orientation and Registration, you will meet with an academic advisor from your intended major in the College of Business and Technology, register for classes, and interact with other students. You will also learn academic requirements and services that will be invaluable your first semester. In addition to being a great transition for you as a new student, the program is also beneficial to parent and family members as well by providing family orientation session and information about campus resources and services.

View the SOAR schedule

Math Placement

Math Placement Testing and Competency Information

The Department of Mathematics will do an initial placement into math courses using a student's math ACT score and the math courses completed in high school as guidelines. The department may recommend that a student take the math placement test (called COMPASS) to improve the placement level. A math placement information letter is sent to incoming freshmen giving a detailed description of placement as well as the placement grid.

Writing Placement - Incoming Freshman

You will be initially placed into your freshman composition course based on your ACT or SAT scores. Your advisor will discuss your placement with you at SOAR. If you have updated ACT or SAT scores OR evidence of having completed a transfer course or dual credit course equivalent to ENG 180, you should bring those accrediting documents with you to SOAR.

Placement in ENG 180

Students placed into ENG 180 who believe they would benefit from taking ENG 100 may choose to register for ENG 100 before taking ENG 180.

Benefits of ENG 100

ENG 100 is a course designed to help students gain confidence as college-level writers. Students who take ENG 100 benefit from a lower course cap (20 students rather than the 22 in ENG 180) and increased attention from experienced writing faculty (teaching assistants are not assigned to teach ENG 100). At the conclusion of ENG 100, students leave as confident writers who are familiar with the campus resources available to them as they continue to develop as college-level writers.

Placement in ENG 100

Students placed into ENG 100 who believe they are ready to take ENG 180 may choose to submit a portfolio for review. Please see the portfolio guidelines (pdf) for details.


Writing Placement - Transfer Students

New transfer students who have not completed ENG 180 or its equivalent (see catalog information on course equivalencies) must make an appointment with their academic advisor. You will need to provide your academic advisor with the following PRIOR to your advising appointment:

  • ACT or SAT scores: They may be unofficial, but must show the score broken down into components (for ACT, both the English and Reading subscores must be visible; for SAT, both the Writing and Critical Reading subscores must be visible)

If you have never taken the ACT or SAT, or if your scores from those tests are before 2002 for ACT or 2008 for SAT, you should plan to provide 8-10 pages of writing that you have done for coursework at a previous institution (such as a high school or community college) or professionally (memos, emails sent to superiors, reports, etc.) to the Writing Program Director PRIOR to the meeting with your academic advisor.

Please ensure that you include with your writing sample:

  1. Your legal name
  2. Your WIU email address
  3. Your WIU ID number

Submission Options

  1. Submit writing in hard copy, and mail to the address below.
  2. Submit writing in person at the above address. Monday - Friday, 8am to noon, 1 to 4:30
  3. Submit writing electronically following these guidelines:
    • Files must be Word files (.doc or .docx) or Portable Document Files (.pdf)
    • Label files according to the content and include your last name. (example: WritingSample1Name.doc)
    • Email files to: Dr. Magdelyn Helwig @
    • Files may be attached separately, or you may put all files into a single folder, compress the folder, and attach the compressed folder.
Submit to:

Dr. Magdelyn Helwig, Writing Program Director
Western Illinois University
Department of English & Journalism
1 University Circle, Simpkins Hall 122
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2136