Office of General Education

Common Curriculum changes to WiM Proficiency and Experience



November 7, 2022

Dear Members of the SMU Community:

We are writing to you with important information about changes to the Writing in the Major (WiM) Proficiency of the Common Curriculum (CC) that were made to make it easier to administer and fulfill.

  1. We will be tracking student completion of the WiM Proficiency through program assessment, rather than through DPR tracking.
  2. DPR change will go into effect on November 11 with program assessment change effective Fall 2023.
  3. This change will make it easier for departments to administer and assess this Proficiency and for students to fulfill it.

On September 9, 2022, the Council on General Education approved a proposal to change how the Common Curriculum’s Writing in the Major Proficiency and Experience is tracked on the Degree Progress Report and replace it with program-level Writing in the Major student learning outcome. Below we share the rationale for this forthcoming change, how it will impact CC students and academic programs moving forward, and support that will be offered through this process.

SMU faculty have consistently expressed concern about the challenges of isolating the teaching of Writing in the Major to a single course, since many programs distribute the teaching and practice of writing across a program. For the same reason, students on the Common Curriculum have struggled to find sufficient opportunities to satisfy the Writing in the Major requirement, even when they have spent several courses learning to write in accordance with the parameters of their discipline.  For this reason, effective Fall 2023, we will replace individual tracking of the Writing in the Major Proficiency through course-level tags, and we will instead track it through program learning outcomes and program-level assessment.

On October 21, 2022 the Council approved an implementation plan for this assessment and tracking change, and as a result of this plan, effective Fall 2023, the Writing in the Major Proficiency and Experience graduation requirement be removed from the Degree Progress Report for student-level tracking.

In lieu of DPR level-tracking each academic program will be required, via the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness program evaluation process, to write and assess one learning outcome that best represents the conventions of writing in their discipline. This will require each program to develop assessments and measures appropriate to their disciplines – many of which can be used from WiM-tagged courses. In this way, students will receive the instruction they need regarding discipline-specific writing, and departments will be able to deliver discipline-specific writing instruction without having to confine that instruction to a single course.  Academic programs that distribute the teaching of writing across the program sequence (which is best practice) would no longer need to place the proficiency tag on every course that delivers writing instruction to ensure students receive the tag.   Instead, they can concentrate on developing student proficiency in discipline-specific writing in the way that makes the most sense for their program.

This approved change and implementation plan honors the true intent of the Writing in the Major Proficiency and values the tremendous work done by faculty to develop WiM-tagged courses, learning outcomes, and assessments. During the transition to this new method of tracking and assessing Writing in the Major, the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness will work closely with faculty and programs to write discipline-specific learning outcomes for Writing in the Major and to develop appropriate measures to assess this writing.

Questions related to this change can be directed to the Office of General Education at


Sheri Kunovich 

Associate Provost for Student Academic Engagement & Success

Dayna Oscherwitz 

Associate Provost for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

Dustin Grabsch 

Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

Sprout Food Solutions Tackles Food Waste!

by Hannah Green ’26

2022 Big iDea pitch winner Ashwin Rajesh ‘23 is a senior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. Ashwin cofounded Sprout Food Solutions in May of this year as a SaaS startup primarily focused on the reduction of kitchen food waste. The company addresses the complex problem the food industry faces concerning how much perishable food truly needs to be bought in order to meet demand, seen as billions of dollars worth of food is lost every year in the U.S. due to overbuying.  

Using a machine learning data regression, Sprout Food Solutions operates as a dashboard that predicts sales data for the following week. This sales data is used to more accurately determine the amount of perishable food inventory that should be ordered, reducing food waste! 


“Waste Prevention at Heart, Machine Learning in Mind” 


To learn more about the company, visit Sprout Food Solutions  

University Testing Center

University Testing Center will be closed Wednesday, November 23

As classes will not be in session on Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, the University Testing Center will also be closed.

This closure will take place Wednesday, November 23, 2022, and the center will reopen the following Monday, November 28, 2022.

We wish students a happy holiday and give thanks for all the support we have received in the opening of the center this semester!

Office of General Education SMU in Four University Advising Center

Known issue with Schedule Builder in my.SMU Student Interface

SMU in Four, Office of General Education, and the Registrar want to raise awareness of a newly discovered bug in my.SMU student interface called Highpoint.

When adding a class with a related component (lecture/lab combos) in Schedule Builder, the required component is not being pulled into the shopping cart or the enrollment transaction when directly enrolling from Schedule Builder.

Other institutions have already reported this to HighPoint, the software vendor of the Schedule Builder tool, and SMU has also added a note to the published issue that we would like a patch to fix this as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, the Registrar has developed a workaround for SMU students to utilize:

Option 1: If the student manually adds the classes to their shopping cart from Class Search, it will work.

Option 2: Workaround steps to follow within Schedule Builder.


  1. Go to Advanced Class Search
  2. Search for the course with lecture/lab combos like SPAN 1402 for Spring 2023 in Class Search
  3. Select the section you want to enroll in by selecting the 3 dots
  4. Options will appear. Select Enroll from the dropdown list
  5. The related Class menu page will load. Select Required Laboratory Section. Once you select the required laboratory section, the continue button will no longer be greyed out. Select Continue

Confirm enrollment options for the waitlist and select save.

We apologize for the need for a workaround during the enrollment period. Our hope is to work with the vendor to address the software issue as soon as possible. Should you have any questions, please reach out to your academic advisor.