Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum Course Development Grant

Program Description
Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a pedagogical movement which holds that development of critical thinking skills, discipline specific knowledge, and formal academic communication are fostered by the frequent incorporation of writing in the classroom. WAC promotes the following principles:

  • Writing advances learning in any subject area.
  • Writing development requires continuous effort.
  • Writing cannot be separated from the discipline in which it is practiced.
  • Writing is best taught by someone who combines disciplinary expertise and writing experience.

Call for Applications:
Writing Across the Curriculum Course Development Grant

Proposals: Applications are due by Friday, March 15, 2019
Notification: Applicants will be notified by Friday, April 13
Faculty Workshop: May 9 and 10, 2019
Apply for Development Grant 
Writing Consultant Requests: Check email for the call in early April.

WAC pedagogy maintains that polished academic and professional writing comes from experience and advanced critical thinking, both of which can be achieved by using writing as a means of learning and by focusing on writing in the disciplines.

Description of Grant
The WAC program offers grants to support faculty who develop writing-intensive courses at the undergraduate level. To acquire a writing intensive distinction, a course must be at the undergraduate level, allow significant opportunity for revision of student work, and take at least 40% of the course grade from writing assignments (including assignments such as papers, reports, in-class drafts, journals, blogs, essay exams, etc.).

To receive the grant, faculty must take part in a faculty development program in the form of a two-day workshop, which helps faculty to develop and deliver a writing intensive course. This workshop emphasizes assignment development, effective responses to student writing, revision strategies for students, managing the workload of a writing-intensive class, and working with graduate writing consultants (optional). Faculty develop their course syllabi and writing assignments over the summer and submit materials for review by the program director at the end of the summer. This year’s faculty training workshop will be held on May 9 and 10, 2019.

As we consider this year’s proposals, the following applications will be given priority:

● Applications from first-time applicants
● Applications from departments that are under-represented in the WAC program, and
● Applications for courses that don’t traditionally use writing as part of their course goals.

The grant award includes a $2,000 summer stipend and support from WAC-affiliated faculty and staff. As conditions for receiving a grant, faculty must be able to do the following:

  • attend both days of the training workshop (May 9 and 10),
  • work independently on course development over the summer,
  • attend follow-up training sessions as necessary,
  • teach the course in the 2019-20 academic year, and
  • give a follow-up presentation for future WAC Workshops or report to other faculty members if requested.

Note: Faculty involved with the CTW initiative may apply for the WAC grant, but the course they develop can not be a CTW course. Full time instructors with faculty status are eligible to apply for the WAC Course Development Grant; graduate student teaching assistants are not eligible for the grant.

WAC Course Development Grant Application>

Ashley Holmes

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Coordinator

Contact Information

Phone: 404-413-5831

Email: aholmes@gsu.edu

Ashley J. Holmes is Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum. Her research and teaching interests include community-based writing and composition pedagogy, and her book Public Pedagogy in Composition Studies was published with the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series in 2016. Dr. Holmes’s research has appeared in Community Literacy Journal, Reflections, and English Journal, and she has chapters in the edited collections Mobile Technology and the Writing Classroom and Overcoming Writers’ Block: Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs. Contact her at aholmes@gsu.edu with questions about the WAC Program at GSU.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) describes a set of pedagogical practices grounded in the premise that writing plays an indispensable role in developing critical thinking skills and learning discipline-specific content, as well as understanding and building competence in the modes of inquiry and dissemination specific to various disciplines and professions. Research in Writing Studies confirms that writing is a way of enacting disciplinarity, that disciplinary identities are constructed through writing, and that learning to write effectively requires different kinds of practice, time, and effort (Adler-Kasner & Wardle, 2015)—all concepts that are explored in the WAC faculty workshop at GSU.

WAC pedagogy holds that if students are to lay claim to these learning benefits, they must have frequent and significant opportunities to write and revise writing in their classes–from their freshman year to graduation, whatever their major course of study. College-level WAC programs, therefore, advocate and support university and college-wide adoption of writing as a strong component of all classes in all disciplines, not merely in the composition courses run by English departments. Many WAC programs assist in the development and teaching of writing intensive (WI) courses. WI classes tend to use a variety of kinds of writing to help students build critical thinking skills, learn course material more effectively, and communicate their knowledge.

WAC approaches to learning can invigorate both teaching and student learning. Education research on the use of high-impact educational practices, to include Writing Intensive courses like those promoted by WAC, suggests that they result in increased retention rates and student engagement (Kuh, 2008). Teachers at GSU also report great benefits from training in and adopting WAC teaching methodology.

Ultimately, WAC, at GSU and elsewhere, aims to increase literacy and intellectual capacity across the board, improving the value of college education and paying dividends to society at large by training students in ways that can help them to become better academics, better professionals, and better citizens.

Adler-Kassner, L. & Wardle, E. (2015). Naming what we know: Threshold concepts of writing studies. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.

Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

>>$2,000 Summer Faculty Development Grants: WAC awards annual summer grants to faculty members for the development of writing intensive courses that incorporate writing-to-learn into their classes.
>>Graduate Writing Consultants: WAC works with departments to identify and train graduate student consultants to work with larger classes.
>>Faculty Workshops: WAC faculty workshops focus on the use of writing to teach in all disciplines. An interdisciplinary group participates in seminars on current writing theory and practice. Faculty have the opportunity to discuss assignments and student writing while reflecting on successful teaching practices.
>>Continuous practice with discipline-specific writing, supported by an instructor who combines disciplinary expertise and writing experience.
>>Focused revision and feedback from peers and instructor
>>In-class and informal writing opportunities that encourage writing as a tool for learning.