Miami Dade Homepage > Academic and Student Affairs> Gordon Rule

Gordon Rule

Policies for Implementation of the writing portion of Florida Administrative Rule 6A-10.030 2a (GORDON RULE) adobe reader

MDC logo

November 14, 2006

In November 2005, the State Board of Education and the Florida Board of Governors adopted revisions to Administrative Rule 6A-10.030 (Gordon Rule), which eliminated the word count component of the policy. According to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) the revisions “…provide institutions with greater flexibility in determining their Gordon Rule curriculum rather than relying on a prescriptive word count. …the 24,000 word count requirement for communications has been replaced with a requirement for multiple assignments” and requires:

  • "Six (6) semester hours of English coursework and six (6) semester hours of additional coursework in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level English skills through multiple assignments. …An institution to which a student transfers shall accept courses so designated by the sending institution as meeting the writing requirements…";
  • "For the purposes of this rule, a grade of “C” or higher shall be considered successful completion".

For the purposes of establishing Miami Dade College’s Gordon Rule writing requirement, a Task Force, appointed by the Provost for Academic and Student Affairs, and composed of faculty, staff, and administrators, convened to define the criteria for “multiple college-level writing assignments” and to draft a writing rubric and guidelines for faculty discussion. A faculty-centered process of discussion culminated with the Miami Dade College (MDC) College Academic and Student Support Council (CASSC) approval of the following criteria (implementation date of Spring 2007):


  1. Multiple “college-level writing assignments” per course will be used to assess college-level writing. “Multiple” will be defined as a minimum of three (3) writing assignments per course.

  2. The following descriptors will be used as the MDC criteria for “college-level writing”. The writing will:
    1. have a clearly defined central idea or thesis;
    2. provide adequate support for that idea;
    3. be organized clearly and logically;
    4. utilize the conventions of standard edited American English;
    5. be presented in a format appropriate to the assignment.

  3. Assignments that provide evidence of college-level writing may include, but are not limited to:
    Essays Project Plans Written examinations
    Interviews Case Studies Evaluated drafts
    Process Papers Lab Reports Research papers
    Reviews Feasibility Studies Discussion questions responses
    Reports Business Plans Portfolios
    Journals Manuals  

  4. Writing assignments that would normally NOT fulfill this requirement would include the following:
    Resumes Creative Writing
    E-mails (short/informal) Annotations
    Freewriting PowerPoint presentation
    Brainstorming One-minute (very short) papers

Assessment Process:

  1. A Gordon Rule Writing Committee will be appointed annually by the Provost for Academic and Student Affairs to assure that the State-mandated Gordon Rule Writing requirements are met and that the related MDC guidelines are followed.

  2. Faculty teaching Gordon Rule writing courses will include in their syllabi appropriate writing assignments that fully demonstrate students’ college-level writing skills.
  3. Faculty teaching Gordon Rule writing courses will use the Miami Dade College writing rubric (attached) or a discipline-specific rubric to evaluate students’ writing skills.
    • Discipline-specific rubrics will be prepared by the discipline committee, will be reviewed by the Gordon Rule Writing Committee, and will be uniformly applied as an assessment instrument in all Gordon Rule courses in that discipline.
    • Faculty will share the MDC or discipline-specific rubric with students.
  4. The Gordon Rule Writing Committee, in concert with Institutional Research and the discipline conveners, will develop an assessment process and will prepare a Gordon Rule Writing Institutional Effectiveness report.

  5. Based upon the assessment process and definition provided by the discipline committee, faculty teaching Gordon Rule Writing courses in that discipline will award a course grade that takes into account student proficiency in college-level writing. A course grade of “C” or higher will be awarded only if students have demonstrated college-level writing skills as measured by the MDC or discipline-specific writing rubric in addition to the course grade requirements established for the course. The course syllabus will clearly state that a course grade of “C” or higher will be awarded only if students have demonstrated college-level writing skills.

Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran´s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.