Writing Across the Curriculum
Writing Across the Curriculum at Jacksonville State University
Writing is a means to communicate information, to clarify thinking, and to learn new concepts and information. Students must practice writing to be able to meet these demands within their professional world, requiring an undergraduate curriculum rich with writing opportunities. Writing Across the Curriculum at Jacksonville State University is a program that seeks to embed significant writing experiences in each academic major. Created to reinforce writing skills in classes outside of English composition, this academic movement engages students directly in the subject matter of the course through a variety of activities that focus on writing as a means of learning. Students completing a degree program will be able to demonstrate effective communication in the academic discipline through successful completion of Writing Intensive courses within their required curriculum.
3 Helpful Hints for Completing the WI Course Application
- Make sure that the application and supporting documentation make clear the percentage the writing assignments will count in the overall course grade.
- Make sure that the application and supporting documentation make clear how the writing process will be implemented for all students on certain writing assignments: students draft, receive instructor feedback, revise, then resubmit the assignment.
- Make sure that the application and supporting documentation make clear that students will be assigned multiple writing assignments in the course.
Writing Across the Curriculum Mission Statement
Jacksonville State University’s Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program employs a philosophy and teaching methodology that seeks to reinforce writing skills across all levels and disciplines in undergraduate education, understanding that writing engages students directly in the subject matter of the course through critical and creative thinking.
What is a Writing Intensive Course?
A Writing Intensive course builds on the foundation of the First Year Writing experience established in English Composition courses (EH 101/102). A Writing Intensive course may be attempted following successful completion of EH 102, and will be immersed within the curriculum of a student’s academic major. Class projects in a WI course use writing as a means of engaging the mind, body, and spirit of students in the activity of learning a particular subject matter. Within a WI course, the forms of writing are entirely dependent upon the kinds of writing current and useful in the specific discipline and the goals of the specific course. We ask students to write often, submitting numerous writing assignments over the course of an academic semester. Some of these assignments may be informal, ungraded class exercises that teach critical thinking, organization and synthesis of diverse elements, summarizing skills, and awareness among students of their own learning processes. Other assignments, formal and graded, teach these same skills through careful revision and rethinking, peer evaluation, and reformulation into a finished product.
Writing Across the Curriculum Program Outcomes
Students will demonstrate
- effective written communication abilities, particularly skills relevant to the demands of their profession.
- critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation.
- reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas.
- awareness of themselves as writers, including the ability to critique and discuss their own writing.
Writing Intensive Course Learning Outcomes
Faculty teaching WI courses may consider these outcome statements in developing course assignments that create high-impact writing experiences while achieving disciplinary outcomes, as well.
Students in a Writing Intensive course will
- Use frequent writing assignments, both formal and informal, to explore and articulate content knowledge specific to the discipline, to demonstrate critical thinking, and to analyze and solve problems.
- Produce writing that reflects an awareness of context, purpose, and audience, particularly within the written genres of their major disciplines and/or career fields.
- Demonstrate that they understand writing as a process that can be made more effective through completing multiple aspects of writing, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading.
- Receive regular feedback on their writing from faculty knowledgeable in the discipline.
For Faculty Teaching WI Courses
Among the benefits for faculty teaching WI courses is the participation in a unique community. Comprised of individuals from many different disciplines with diverse pedagogical styles and strategies, the WAC faculty community shares the common goal of improving student learning in the classroom. As faculty engage in the process of self-examination and evaluation of classroom strategies and practices, it is important to understand that such a process cannot be carried on in isolation but requires group discussion, sharing commonalities and techniques, reexamining assumptions, working in partnership with other faculty to foster a collaborative spirit. The WAC program at JSU provides a forum where faculty can regularly discuss pedagogy, bridging the gaps among disciplinary boundaries. Through this network, Writing Across the Curriculum engages faculty in introspective analysis of teaching, which automatically facilitates a stronger and more self-aware classroom practice.
WAC Committee Members
Dr. Andrea Porter, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Ms. Katelyn Williams, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Dr. Mark Scuichetti, College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Chemistry and Geoscience
Dr. Serena Gramling, College of Health Professions and Wellness, Department of Nursing
Dr. Wendy Stephens, College of Education and Professional Studies, Department of Counseling & Educational Support
Dr. Jody Long, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Social Work
Dr. Louise Clark, College of Business & Industry, Departments of Finance, Economics, & Accounting
Dr. Harry Nuttall, Houston Cole Library
Ms. Pamela White, Learning Services
English Competency Exam (ECE) Information
Beginning Summer 2020, the English Competency Exam (ECE) will no longer be given at JSU, nor will the ECE be a graduation requirement for any student in Summer 2020 and beyond, no matter the year of the catalog for that student’s academic program. Students in ECE remediation are not required to retake the ECE.
Jacksonville State University recognizes that writing is an integral part of a college education, preparing students for the future through their ability to think critically, analyze and solve problems, and express themselves to an audience in various writing situations. Therefore, in place of the ECE, the university has implemented the Writing Across the Curriculum approach to help students improve writing skills. JSU’s new approach to writing instruction will better equip students with the writing skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.