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Course Certification

SpeakWrite™ Course Certification Process

Does your course already emphasize effective communication? Does at least 35% of the course grade assess your students' abilities to speak or write effectively?  Does your course also emphasize a process-based approach to learning where students have opportunities to receive feedback and revise their work?   If so, consider submitting your course for SpeakWrite™ certification.

Expect a response to your SpeakWrite course submission within 20 working days or less.  The SpeakWrite Advisory Board typically reviews courses once each month.  [ Note: Brand new courses will still need go through the usual Senate process for approval. Once a new course has Senate approval, departments can then apply for College-level designation as a SpeakWrite course.]

Step 1: Provide Brief Context in an Email to
  • SUBJECT LINE: The course name and number (e.g. ENGL 301 for SpeakWrite Certification)
  • QUESTION 1: Is the course intended for majors only or will it be available to students outside the major?
  • QUESTION 2: Who will teach the course?
  • QUESTION 3: What is the department-level plan for assuring all sections of the course will meet SpeakWrite expectations? (Please remember that the SpeakWrite designation is at the course level rather than at the individual section level.)
  • QUESTION 4: Do you want to provide any other context that may be helpful to the review?
Step 2. Attach a highlighted syllabus in Word. Please use the following checklist.
  1. Include at least one communication skills goal. (Please highlight the goal/s in yellow.)
  2. Use the yellow highlighter function in Word to draw attention to SpeakWrite activities.
  3. Highlight where/how students receive feedback and opportunities to improve.
  4. Highlight the grade percentages associated with SpeakWrite activities (totaling 35% or more of the final grade).
  5. Remind your students of support available to them through the Writing Studio.
  6. Please try to include one of the PACT graphics to create a visual reminder of the four key PACT questions related to purpose, audience, conventions, and trouble spots. We are hoping to develop PACT as a common language across the college. Either graphic can be resized to a one-inch height:
  7. Consider including an optional SpeakWrite syllabus statement.  You are welcome to use the following statement--or create your own version
  • [Course name and number ] has been designated as a SpeakWrite course by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. This class is committed to helping you communicate your knowledge effectively as you keep four key components in mind: purpose, audience, conventions, and trouble spots (or PACT for short). You can find resources at
  • Find additional options to use or adapt in this brief toolkit (which will open in a new window as a Word document): SpeakWrite Toolkit.