The majority of US university students studying foreign languages are enrolled in introductory courses that are typically part of a coordinated curriculum. Such courses conventionally include the assessment of second language (L2) writing skills. However, given that these assessments can be broadly conceived and vary by program, their design and implementation are subject to differing opinions and beliefs from the stakeholders involved. In an effort to better understand how their views of L2 writing assessments overlap and/ or diverge, the present study examined instructor (N = 28) and student (N = 183) beliefs in Spanish language programs at three public US universities using an online Likert‐scale and ranked‐choice questionnaire. Results revealed that although there was misalignment regarding the pedagogical purpose of such assignments, in general there was broad agreement among the two groups, including the use of a writing‐to‐learn approach to develop both specific and broad linguistic skills.