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About ESL 100 & Your FW Requirement

All UHM students need a Foundations in Written Communication course worth 3 credits to fulfill their FW. An FW course is an introduction to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and composing from sources. These courses also provide students with experiences in the library and on the Internet and enhances their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.

If you have Advanced Placement or transfer credit for ENG 100, ENG 200*, or ESL 100, the FW requirement is satisfied. No UHM course is needed.

  • Advanced Placement credit: A score of “4” or “5” on either of the two Advanced Placement English Exams (Language & Composition OR Literature & Composition) is equivalent to UHM’s ENG 100 course.Have your AP scores sent to the UHM Admissions Office for processing.
  • Transfer credit: If you passed a course at another college that is officially equivalent to UHM’s ENG 100, ENG 200*, or ESL 100, you have satisfied the FW requirement. Have an official transcript sent to the UHM Admissions Office for evaluation of transfer credit.

When you receive an email from Admissions saying that your AP/transfer credit evaluation is complete, check in STAR to confirm that you have credit for ENG 100, ENG 200, or ESL100.

Please note that credit for other types of English courses does not fulfill the FW requirement. Similarly, transfer students who had a writing-course requirement waived at their former school have not automatically fulfilled UHM’s FW requirement.

If you have questions, please talk to your School/College advisor or visit the Mānoa Transfer Coordination Center website.

* ENG 200 is not an FW course at UHM. However, students who transfer in with ENG 200 credit are considered to have fulfilled Mānoa’s FW requirement, because the course focuses on composition at a more advanced level. Students with ENG 200 credit should consult with a School/College advisor to confirm that they have been given FW credit for the course.

If you do not have credit for ENG 100, ENG 200*, or ESL 100, an FW course is required. Placement into an FW course is determined as follows:

  1. Native Speakers of English are given approval to take ENG 190 if they receive 25 or more transfer credits for their non-UHM courses. All other native English speakers take ENG 100 to fulfill the FW requirement.
  2. Non-Native Speakers of English are placed based on English Language Institute (ELI) exemption criteria (if exempt), or by taking the ELI’s writing placement test.
  • Those who are exempt from the ELI based on attending school for 6 years or more in the United States, American Samoa (effective Spring 2017), Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are placed as described in the “Native speakers of English” section, above. (Students who are exempt based on years of schooling but feel their writing is more “non-native” should contact the ELI.)
  • Those who are exempt from the ELI based on other exemption criteria are placed into ESL 100. (Visit the English Language Institute website for a list of ELI exemption criteria.)
  • Those who do not meet any ELI exemption criteria must take the ELI’s writing test. Writing courses will be determined by the results of the writing section of the placement test.

Non-native speakers of English who are automatically placed into ESL 100 and exempt from all other ELI requirements may be able to submit a collection of writing to try to earn credit for/exemption from ESL 100. Students in this category who feel that they already possess the ability to write proficiently in multiple genres for academic and other audiences may contact English Language Institute Director Kenton Harsch to see if submitting a collection of writing might be an option for them.

The information above was taken from the UHM General Education website, and is current as of January 21, 2020. For the most updated information, please be sure to double check their website on your undergraduate course requirements.