WAC / WID
Union’s WAC program continues to undergo revision, like every good piece of writing, especially as we work to reinforce the program’s three-tier structure, so that students see clearly how they are developing as writers and thinkers from course to course, and context to context, both within and outside of their chosen major field(s). To this end, we are working to develop a Writing in the Disciplines Initiative, which will take place on the level of individual academic departments and programs. Together, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) encourage students to negotiate — and reflect upon — the various departmental writing conventions and disciplinary “ways of knowing” that confront them in different courses throughout their Union liberal arts experience.
The INWAC Statement of WAC Goals
Our work is guided by the Statement of WAC Principles released in the spring of 2014 by the International Network of Writing Across the Curriculum Programs (INWAC). This statement includes a list of goals shared by successful Writing Across the Curriculum programs in the United States and abroad:
- To sustain the writing of students across their academic careers. While likely not the only objective, the desire to increase the amount and frequency of student writing, as well as offer students more sustained instruction in writing, in more courses, spread out over their academic careers, is foundational to WAC programs.
- To increase student engagement with learning. Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement show significant correlation between extensive writing and both higher order thinking and integrative learning (NSSE 2005 Results), affirming a long-held tenet of WAC that increased attention and support for student writing lead to further engagement with course content and increased retention.
- To increase student writing proficiency. Writers become more proficient as they write across a wide range of rhetorical situations, genres, purposes, and discourse communities, and compose using a range of media. WAC programs strive to create opportunities for this range of writing experiences across a student’s academic career.
- To create a campus culture that supports writing. WAC programs often seek to promote a cultural shift on campus in how writing is perceived and valued, and thus may sponsor speaker series, faculty writing retreats, and platforms that highlight student writing such as writing awards, student conferences, or venues for publishing student work.
- To create a community of faculty around teaching and student writing. WAC seeks to break down the silos that can divide disciplines by creating common ground through its focus on teaching and learning, often accomplished through cross-disciplinary faculty development programming.
Union’s Writing Across the Curriculum program was first implemented in 1990 and revised in 2001. During the next phase of the program, we will work to align our local WAC goals at Union with the INWAC list of research-proven goals articulated above. Read the full INWAC Statement here.