The Common Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum

Union College is committed to ensuring that all students become good writers. The College's Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program provides a systematic way of ensuring that students pay close attention to writing in courses throughout the curriculum. Underlying the program is the belief that writing can be made an integral part of learning in a wide range of disciplines and should not be restricted to those disciplines typically associated with "teaching writing."

Every student is required to complete Writing Across the Curriculum requirements.

  1. The First-Year Preceptorial and a Sophomore Research Seminar
  2. Five courses from at least two different divisions that have been specially certified as WAC courses
  3. A senior writing (WS) experience such as a senior thesis or a senior seminar paper

The First-Year Preceptorial is an interdisciplinary writing course required for all first-year students which serves as the foundation of Union's writing program. The Sophomore Research Seminar focuses on research as well as writing skills.

The WAC courses that fulfill the second requirement are within the normal disciplinary offerings and have writing built in as an important and clearly evaluated part of the coursework. Courses certified by the College Writing Board are offered each term in a variety of departments.

The form of the senior writing (WS) experience that fulfills the third requirement is determined by the Writing Board and the student's major department(s). In most departments, the WS requirement is fulfilled by completing a thesis, another research project, or a senior seminar. Courses that satisfy this requirement are designated as WS courses.

The WAC program became effective for the class entering in 1990 and brought together traditional elements of a Union education and new courses and methods in a systematic effort to promote improvement in student writing skills. The program was revised in 2000-2001.