WORD Program

About the program

WORD (Writing Originating from Reading and Dialogue) is our five week reading program that takes place the summer before your freshman year at UC Santa Cruz. The institute is taken in two parts. The first two weeks of the class are in person at one of our regional locations and the last three weeks are based online. The course work focuses on reading, thinking, and writing to improve academic success.


Our goal is to support students who haven’t satisfied Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). During the five week intensive seminar we provide students with the opportunity to explore academic texts before arriving at UCSC. Students will receive a taste of university life while learning and practicing critical reading skills central to their work as writers at the university.

Who’s eligible?

You may be eligible for WORD summer program if you’re an undergraduate:

  • who is a first-time freshman

  • have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) score requirement

  • have an Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) score of 8 or lower OR

  • have an SAT Writing less than or equal to 570 (no AWPE score)

  • live in one of the three program summer location regions: San Francisco (including  San Mateo), Los Angeles, and Oakland (including Alameda and Contra Costa)

What you’ll experience

At WORD our institute you will have the distinct advantage of experiencing university level reading and writing before you begin your first class on campus. The two part program offers the convenience of experiencing the institute close to home at one of our regional locations and online, giving you the flexibility to continue your summer commitments before starting at UC Santa Cruz in the fall.  


At the institute you will:

  • Read, explore and write about two in-depth, rigours texts within the themes of race, gender and identity

  • Work to find your writing style

  • Have access to an instructional advisor helping to guide your progress

  • Engage in group discussions in person and on Google HangOuts

  • Learn the demands of university learning in comparison to a high school setting


Past participants have said they enjoyed meeting like minded peers, making friends and the institute better prepared them for their academic journey overall.

Interested? Contact Us!

We love to hear from students interested in our programs. For information about how to participate in WORD Summer Writing Institute please contact:


Mr. René Moreno

HSI Program Coordinator

Division of Student Success

831.502.7033 | rmoreno@ucsc.edu