Insufficient academic preparation is a major barrier to student success in higher education in the United States, and a large percentage of students who require remedial education become mired in courses that are taught using the same deficit-based pedagogy that contributed to their failure to master the curriculum in high school. In 2011, declining state revenues in California and shrinking budgets for education prompted a review of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as a means to improve access to college. However, MOOCs are often designed for students who already possess the kinds of study skills and habits that many remedial students lack. Could a MOOC be designed to serve remedial students without strong study skills and habits? Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools for the Trade (CEW) was designed to create a noncredit option for remedial students to help build their skills before they enter college and thus reduce the remedial instruction needed.