Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum Course Development Grant

New Leadership
Brennan Collins is stepping down from directing the WAC program. He will continue working for CETL on Atlanta Studies and Digital Pedagogy initiatives. Ashley Holmes, Assistant Professor of English, will be taking over as Director of the WAC Program.

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.

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.

Call for Applications:
Writing Across the Curriculum Course Development Grant

Proposals: Applications are due by Friday, March 30
Notification: Applicants will be notified by Friday, April 13
Faculty Workshop: May 3 and 4
Apply for Development Grant 
Writing Consultant Requests: We will send the call later in the spring.

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 in the core and/or major. 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.).

Also, to receive the grant, faculty must take part in a faculty development program. The faculty development program begins with 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, writing with new technologies, and other practices. The workshop also focuses on teaching concerns such as managing the workload of a writing-intensive class, working with graduate and undergraduate writing consultants (for larger classes), articulating and assessing learning outcomes, and reflecting on teaching practices. Faculty develop their course syllabi and writing assignments over the summer and submit materials for review by the program at the end of the summer. This year’s faculty training workshop will be held on May 3rd and 4th, 2018.

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
● Applications for courses that don’t traditionally use writing as part of their course goals

To submit a proposal for a new class, faculty should fill out the WAC course development grant application. Feel free to contact Ashley Holmes at aholmes@gsu.edu for more information.

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 attend the training workshop (May 3rd and 4th), to work independently on course development, to attend follow-up training sessions as necessary, to teach the course in the 2018-19 academic year, and to give a follow-up presentation or report to other faculty members if requested. Faculty involved with the CTW initiative may apply for the WAC grant, but the course they develop can not be a CTW course.

WAC Course Development Grant Application>

More on Writing Across the Curriculum

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, a well as understanding and building competence in the modes of inquiry and dissemination specific to various disciplines and professions.

Furthermore, WAC pedagogy holds that if students are to lay claim to these 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. See the WI Courses section of our website for more information on the nature of WI courses, examples of such courses at Georgia State University (GSU), and information on the GSU WI course-approval process.

WAC approaches to learning can invigorate both teaching and student learning. A recent study, for instance, finds that student engagement with the subject matter being taught increases significantly when they are more frequently asked to write about that subject, particularly in courses in their junior and senior years. 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.

>>$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.

Richard J. Light. “Writing and Students’ Engagement ” Peer Review 6.1 (Fall 2003): 28-31. Rpt. of “The Most Effective Classes” in Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard J. Light. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001. 54-62.