Writing Programs

Writing Across the Curriculum

At Union, we believe that students learn best when they write across a wide variety of courses and contexts. Union’s Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program is committed to the development of student writers through writing-rich coursework within the disciplines and across the curriculum—through all four years of college.

All Union students are required to complete the following WAC requirements as they move through their undergraduate experience:

Tier 1: The First-Year Inquiry Seminar

Tier 2: Five courses from at least two different academic divisions that have been certified as WAC courses, at least one of which must be designated WAC-R

Tier 3: A Senior Writing Experience (WS) such as a senior thesis, research project, or designated departmental WS course.

The three “tier” structure of Union’s WAC program assures that students practice writing in a wide range of contexts from the moment they first step foot on campus to the moment they graduate from college.

Union’s WAC program became effective for the class entering in 1990. The program was revised in 2000-2001 and continues to undergo revision.

Tier One

In the First-Year Inquiry Seminar, students are introduced to core academic writing, reading, argumentation, and research practices—ways of knowing and inquiry—that cut across the major disciplines, departments, and programs at the college. First-Year Seminars focus on a range of different questions and topics, but all seminars help students enter into conversation about ideas—and develop their perspectives in dialogue with others.

Tier Two

In the second “tier” of WAC, students continue the foundational work of the First-Year Inquiry Seminar and gain broader understanding of discipline-specific writing conventions, research practices, ways of inquiry and argumentation. Students take at least five WAC courses, at least one of which must be designated WAC-R. WAC and WAC-R courses are offered by different departments and programs across campus. In all designated WAC and WAC-R courses, students revise their writing based on feedback from their instructor and/or peers.

Courses designated WAC-R integrate both research and writing instruction as a substantial and clearly evaluated part of the coursework.

Courses currently certified by the College Writing Board as meeting WAC and WAC-R requirements are listed in the course schedule posted on-line each term. As courses and course syllabi frequently change, additional courses are certified each year by the College Writing Board and the roster of WAC courses changes over time.

Tier Three — Senior Writing

The third “tier” of the WAC Program is a fully discipline-specific capstone requirement organized by individual departments and programs. In the Senior Writing Experience (WS), Union students demonstrate writing proficiency as defined by their chosen major field(s). In most departments, the WS requirement is fulfilled by completing a thesis, research project, or senior seminar. Courses that satisfy this requirement are approved by the Writing Board and designated as “WS” courses by the registrar.

Learn More

To learn more about the rationale of our program, and Writing Across the Curriculum pedagogy more generally, see our WAC Principles page.