First Year Writing Program

About the Program

The central mission of the First Year Writing Program (FYWP) at UMass Lowell is to ensure the quality of teaching and learning in the College Writing sequence. The courses we offer realize a central goal of the General Education program: connecting critical thinking and communication skills to students’ understanding of their roles as members of an intellectual community.

The FYWP is home to the Common Text Program, the only University-wide, academic, first-year initiative. Designed to introduce first-year students to our vibrant learning community, it provides a shared reading experience in each semester of College Writing, along with co-curricular activities that make the text relevant to students from majors across the University.  

Our classrooms are workshop spaces in which students are challenged every day to improve their writing. Our faculty are committed to helping students develop their sense of themselves as scholars and thinkers, and to prepare them to communicate their knowledge and opinions to many different audiences. The College Writing sequence lays a foundation of critical analysis, expository writing, and research skills that will serve students as they write in their major disciplines and beyond.

We pride ourselves on a standard of excellence in teaching and scholarship. Our program encourages instructional innovation through ongoing professional development for UMass Lowell faculty, and advocates for the value of thoughtful pedagogy and assessment through collaborations with educational partners outside the University.

For more information about the tutorial or the First Year Writing Program, please contact Katherine Conlon, Coordinator FYWP, by email: or phone: 978-934-6403.