Writing Across the Curriculum
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Program Philosophy

The Writing Across the Curriculum Program is a Berry College initiative designed to enhance logical thought processes, foster mature decision making, and produce graduates who are confident, skilled communicators in both written and spoken media. To accomplish these aims, the program involves College leaders (President, Provost, and Deans), Faculty, Students and Staff in a program of instruction which spans all four years of education. Long-term WAC Program success can be measured by the contributions Berry graduates make as citizens in an environment characterized by complex ideas (head), competing values (heart), and changing systems (hands).

WAC at Berry College

At our institution, former president President Colley's original charge to Berry's WAC Committee was to foster “excellence in thinking and writing” within each graduate of Berry College. To accomplish this goal, the WAC program supports WI faculty from all disciplines to foster a “thinking in writing” model for all WI courses. First year writing students work to master analytical thinking skills and to apply those in writing about contemporary issues to academic, professional, and civic audiences. Faculty in the various disciplines attend workshops to understand the goals, standards, and methods of the First Year Writing Program and to understand how to apply those elements to help students think and write analytically/critically about specific subjects in all disciplines. Excellence among our graduates in “thinking and writing” results from common, cooperative effort of all faculty members in all disciplines.

A History of Writing Across the Curriculum  

During the 20th century, American universities began to experience a gradual (before W.W.II) and then dramatic (the baby boomers of the 1960s and 70s) demographic and democratic growth in numbers and curriculum. Writing as a discipline was initially tied to the classical models of rhetoric. Beginning in the 1920s at places like the University of Chicago under Robert Hutchison, “composition” was conceived of as a separate discipline with both intellectual and pragmatic uses. During the 1960s and 70s, the radical “abolitionist” movement saw many campuses abolishing required composition courses altogether. The modern WAC movement was, in many ways, a response to this vacuum. Writing specific to disciplines became a model to replace “general writing courses.” Throughout the 1980s and 90s, WAC evolved and many institutions reinstated discipline specific composition requirements.
  -Prepared by Dr. M. Cooley, Professor Emeritus 

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