UCSC Online Directed Self-Placement (DSP) 

index_icon_sky_rnd.png Students entering 2020 and after

The UCSC Online Directed Self-Placement (DSP)

UC Santa Cruz students entering in Fall 2020 and after will take the UCSC Online Directed Self-Placement as a part of the UC Santa Cruz Online Slug Orientation Course Part 2 - July

Students will subsequently place into a sequence of writing courses through the Directed Self-Placement process. 

As a part of the Online Slug Orientation Course Part 2 (July 6-16), students will access the Directed Self-Placement (DSP) tool via Canvas. 

Every student should complete DSP, though the steps afterward will vary depending on your ELWR status, as shown in the flowchart below.


Flowchart of the Directed Self-Placement process


The DSP process is made up of 3 main parts: Introduction, survey, and recommendation. 

  • Introduction: Students will learn what DSP is, why we are using it, the steps of the process, and basic Writing Program course information. 
  • Survey: Students will be asked to review authentic Writing Program course materials and answer questions about their readiness for and needs around that material. 
  • Recommendation: Within a few weeks of completing the survey, each student will receive a course recommendation along with detailed information about the day-to-day expectations and support structures of each course. Students will weigh this information and respond with their course selection.

ELWR satisfaction will be determined by the course students self-select based on their DSP recommendation.

NOTE: UCSC will accept ELWR satisfaction scores (AWPE scores 8+) from the June 2020 or May 2021 systemwide AWPE for students, if they opt to take it. Scores of 6 or below will not be used for placement.