Background of the Mānoa Writing Program

In 1987, writing-intensive courses became part of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa General Education Core Requirements. While we were phasing in the writing-intensive (WI) requirement, first-year students were required to take three WI courses in order to graduate. Today, students entering the University must take five WI courses and can choose from more than 400 WI classes each semester, in more than 70 departments. Courses designated as writing-intensive are labeled "WI" in the Schedule of Classes.

The Mānoa Writing Program oversees the designation of courses as writing-intensive and supports WI instruction. The Mānoa Writing Program has a Faculty Board--nine professors from different departments--that reviews professors’ requests for the WI designation. However, individual departments administer and evaluate the WI classes offered by their faculties.

WI instructors are invited to participate in a workshop on teaching with writing scheduled at the beginning of every semester. In addition, shorter customized workshops have been offered in individual departments, and for faculty members who teach sections of large courses. All instructors who will teach a WI class for the first time receive extensive support materials that describe writing assignments and teaching strategies that professors of WI courses at the University of Hawai‘i have found effective.