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Academic Affairs

Writing Across the Curriculum

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Overview

Wright State University's Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program has three goals:

  • To help students grow as writers,
  • To encourage students to use writing as a tool to discover and communicate ideas, and
  • To introduce students to discipline-specific ways of writing.

Requirements

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at Wright State University is a comprehensive program extending writing throughout each student's undergraduate career. The Writing Across the Curriculum program consists of two parts—Writing in the Wright State Core and Writing in the Major.

Learning Outcomes

Wright State students will be able to produce writing that

  • Demonstrates their understanding of course content.
  • Is appropriate for the audience and purpose of a particular writing task.
  • Demonstrates the degree of mastery of disciplinary writing conventions appropriate to the course (including documentation conventions).
  • Shows competency in standard edited American English.

Writing in the Wright State Core

  1. All undergraduate students who first enroll at the University Fall 2012 or thereafter must complete two designated integrated writing (IW) courses within the Wright State Core in addition to the two required first- and second-year writing courses in element 1 of the Wright State Core. Transfer students will complete the WAC/core requirement in proportion to the amount of the core they have completed when they enter the university.
  2. The IW designation for a course must be approved by the undergraduate curriculum committee. Each IW core course will include writing assignments totaling approximately 2000 words that are evaluated for content, form, style, correctness, and overall writing proficiency and give students the opportunity for revision and improvement. Assignments may take many forms and include a mix of formal writing (e.g., a number of short papers evaluated in both draft and final form, a long assignment broken into smaller parts, thus allowing for multiple drafts, feedback, and revisions,) and informal writing (e.g., journals, logs, short responses to lectures, essay examinations). All writing will count as part of students' performance in the course. Responsibility for ensuring that these course requirements are met rests with the colleges offering the courses and the undergraduate core oversight committee.
  3. Students must pass an IW course in order to fulfill the university requirement for the program. Students are encouraged to complete all four IW courses (as well as English 1100 and 2100) by the time they have attained junior status.
  4. Returning, transfer, transition, or other students who cannot successfully complete two IW courses in the Wright State Core (excluding the Wright State Core writing requirement) may satisfy the IW requirement in any of the following ways. The options are limited to meeting the IW requirement for the Wright State Core.
    • pass one IW course in the Wright State Core and earn a grade of C or better in an approved advanced writing course.
    • pass one IW course in the Wright State Core and prepare an acceptable portfolio that includes writing on demand.
    • earn a grade of C or better in an approved advanced writing course and prepare an acceptable portfolio that includes writing on demand.
    • complete an additional IW course in the major beyond the two required IW courses in the major.

The combination of two integrated writing courses in the Wright State Core and two integrated writing courses in the major means that the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Wright State requires each undergraduate student to complete a minimum of four integrated writing courses in addition to their required first- and second-year composition courses.

Writing in the Major

All students must successfully complete two integrated writing courses in their major field in order to graduate. Students pursuing a dual major may have the writing requirements for the second major waived at the discretion of the department or college.

Integrated Writing Courses in the Major

The IW designation for a course must be approved by the undergraduate curriculum committee. Courses will have at least 5000 words (20 double-spaced pages) of writing, which will be evaluated for content, form, style, correctness, and overall writing proficiency and give students the opportunity for revision and improvement. Assignments may take many forms and include a mix of formal writing (e.g., a number of short papers evaluated in both draft and final form, a long assignment broken into smaller parts, thus allowing for multiple drafts, feedback, and revisions,) and informal writing (e.g., journals, logs, short responses to lectures, essay examinations). All writing will count as part of students' performance in the course. Responsibility for ensuring that these course requirements are met rests with the colleges offering the courses. Assistance is provided by the University Writing Center.

Independent Writing Project

Under exceptional circumstances, a paper of at least 2500 words written under the direction of a faculty member in the student's major field will be accepted for integrated writing credit. This option may count as no more than one IW course and must be approved by the chair of the student's major department. Students are expected to fulfill the rest of the minimum requirement by completing one or more regular IW courses.

Assessment

Examples for assessing Writing in the Major are provided in the Writing Across the Curriculum faculty handbook.

Transfer and Returning Students Transition

Transfer Students—IW Requirements in Wright State Core

Transfer students can satisfy the IW requirements in the Wright State Core in the following ways:

  • Transfer students who have completed the Ohio Transfer Module will be considered as having met the IW requirement in the Wright State Core.
  • Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of the Wright State Core when they matriculate at Wright State will be considered as having met the IW requirement in the Wright State Core.
  • Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of less than 50 percent (less than 19 semester hours) of the Wright State Core when they matriculate at Wright State must complete two IW courses in the Wright State Core.
  • Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of 50–75 percent (19-28 semester hours) of the Wright State Core when they matriculate must complete one IW course within the Wright State Core.
  • Transfer students who have already completed the equivalent of 75 percent or more of the Wright State Core may satisfy the IW requirement by completing one IW course in the Wright State Core or by preparing an acceptable portfolio that includes writing on-demand or by completing an approved advanced writing course.

Transfer Students—IW Requirements in the Major

All transfer students must satisfy the IW requirement in the major either by completing two IW courses at Wright State or by completing one designated IW course in the major and an independent writing project or independent reading course as described below.

Transition and Returning Students—IW Requirements in Wright State Core

Transition and returning students can satisfy the IW requirements in the Wright State Core in the following ways:

  • Transition and returning students who have completed the General Education requirements in effect when they matriculated will be considered as having met the IW requirement in the Wright State Core.
  • Transition and returning students who have completed three or more WI courses in the current General Education program will be considered to have completed the IW requirement for the Wright State Core.
  • Students who have completed two WI courses in the current General Education program must complete at least one IW course in the Wright State Core.
  • Students who have completed one WI course in the current General Education program must complete at least two IW courses in the Wright State Core.

Returning, transfer, transition, or other students who cannot successfully complete two IW courses in the Wright State Core (excluding the Wright State Core writing requirement) may satisfy the IW requirement in any of the following ways:

  • pass one IW course in the Wright State Core and earn a grade of C or better in an approved advanced writing course.
  • pass one IW course in the Wright State Core and prepare an acceptable portfolio that includes writing on demand.
  • earn a grade of C or better in an approved advanced writing course and prepare an acceptable portfolio that includes writing on demand.
  • complete an additional IW course in the major beyond the two required IW courses in the major.

The above options are limited to meeting the IW requirement for the Wright State Core.

Transition and Returning Students—IW Requirements in the Major

All students must complete at least two courses designated either WI (quarter courses) or IW (semester courses) in the major. Any combination of WI and IW courses will satisfy this requirement. Returning, transfer, transition, or other students who cannot successfully complete two IW or WI courses in the major may satisfy this requirement by completing an independent writing project within the program or by taking a designated IW independent reading course. Each department will designate the appropriate course needed to complete the requirement. Students may use an independent writing project or designated IW independent reading course to fulfill only one of the two-course requirement. This option is limited to fulfilling the IW requirement in the major. Whenever changes to the curriculum result in a redistribution of IW courses in the major, departments should ensure that the individual advising plans for transition students address the IW requirement in the major.

Oversight and Faculty Development

  1. The undergraduate curriculum committee approves all courses requesting to have the Integrated Writing (IW) attribute or requesting to modify a course that currently has the IW attribute. Undergraduate curriculum committee membership consists of one faculty representative from each degree-granting undergraduate college, including the Lake Campus. A faculty representative may designate an alternate faculty representative who has voting privileges when the regular member is absent. The university provost or designee, the university registrar or designee, and one undergraduate student representative (selected by Student Government) will serve as ex-officio, non-voting members.
  2. Oversight of Integrated Writing within the Wright State Core is provided by members of the undergraduate core oversight committee as part of their annual ore assessment cycle. Membership consists of one faculty representative from each degree-granting undergraduate college, including the Lake Campus. Colleges may name an alternate faculty representative who has voting privileges when the regular member is absent. The program director or designated faculty representative associated with any Faculty Senate-approved course attribute, the university provost or designee the CTL faculty director or faculty-ranked designee, and one undergraduate student representative (selected by Student Government) will serve as ex-officio, non-voting members. Past chairs of UCRC may be asked to represent the Faculty Senate on the University Assurance of Learning Committee.

WAC Portfolios in the Wright State Core

The writing in the portfolio will be evaluated for content, form, style, and correctness by a panel of readers drawn. Students seeking to meet the WAC requirements by this means may submit only one portfolio.

Procedures

  1. Once the student and the student's adviser have determined that the student needs to submit a portfolio, the student should complete the application form for the portfolio. The form must be signed by the student and the student's adviser and submitted with the portfolio. Any portfolio without it will not be processed.
  2. The student should assemble the portfolio described below and include all necessary documentation.
  3. When the portfolio is submitted, the student and WAC Coordinator will schedule the supervised "writing on demand" portion of the portfolio (described below).
  4. After the student has completed the supervised writing, the portfolio will be read by three members of the Writing Across the Curriculum Oversight Committee. If two of the three readers find the portfolio acceptable, portfolio credit will be awarded.

The WAC Coordinator will notify both the student and the student's adviser in writing of the committee's decision.

Portfolio Contents

The portfolio must include the following items:

  1. The portfolio assessment application form signed by the student and the student's adviser. Included in this form is a statement attesting that all work included in the portfolio is the student's own. Any student who submits work other than his or her own will fail the portfolio assessment and be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for disciplinary action.
  2. It must be at least 15-25 pages (3750-6250 words) of writing, roughly 3/4 of which must have been written for at least two different courses at Wright State. Papers from first-year composition courses may not be included in the portfolio. All pieces should be the copies originally submitted in the courses, with comments and grades; clean copies must be certified by the course instructor to have been turned in for the course.
  3. There must be a 3-5 page introductory essay that describes the circumstances under which each portfolio piece was written (the nature of the assignment, the course for which it was written, the instructor's name, department, and campus phone number); describes each piece's strengths; describes each piece's shortcomings and what the writer would do to improve the piece.
  4. There should be a piece of expository writing produced during a two-hour session supervised by the WAC Coordinator's office, on a topic to be given at the start of the session. (Readings for the candidate to study may be given out ahead of time, however.)

Send comments to Carl Brun, Ph.D.


Faculty Guidebook

This handbook describes the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program. Also included are general suggestions about making writing assignments and responding to student papers, as well as a list of resources for faculty and students. 2015-16 WAC Faculty Handbook (PDF)