In order to provide for intercampus transfer of writing-intensive course designations, each campus that wishes to offer writing-intensive courses will submit to the University wide Writing Committee (UWC)* a detailed description of how its writing-intensive program addresses items in the guidelines listed below. Upon receipt of each description, the UWC will review, advise, and recommend approval for inter-campus articulation of writing- intensive courses.
Once a program is approved, its students’ writing-intensive course designations can be readily transferred within the UH system. Each campus offering writing-intensive courses will submit to UWC a yearly program update reflecting program changes and including pertinent evaluation data. So that campuses can profit from the best thinking of other programs, these descriptions and updates will be available through UWC members to each campus.
* The UWC consists of nine representatives from UH Manoa and one representative each from UH Hilo, West O‘ahu College, and each of the community colleges (including Hawai‘i CC). The Director of the Manoa Writing Program chairs UWC; MWP’s Academic Coordinator serves as secretary.1
Hallmarks of Writing-Intensive Courses:
- Writing is used to promote understanding of course materials.
- Students and instructors interact on writing throughout the course of the semester.
- Writing plays a major role in determining the grade for the course.
- Students complete the equivalent of 16 typed pages of writing.
- Class size is limited to 20 students.
A campus writing-intensive program will be identified by its (1) program support, (2) course designation process, (3) evaluation procedures, and (4) faculty training program, as described below.
1. Program Support
- The program is directed by a person who has been appointed and given appropriate release time to supervise the program.
- The director is assisted in supervising the program by a representative board or committee of faculty from across campus; its purpose is to guide policy development, review writing-intensive course designations, develop and carry out appropriate evaluation, and perform other duties as necessary to provide program integrity.
- The director and board members have adequate professional/secretarial/clerical assistance to support their work, and maintain records necessary for articulation of writing-intensive courses.
- There is a network of support for instructors of writing-intensive courses.
Overall teaching load and class size
- Classes that are designated as writing-intensive are limited to 20 students so that effective interaction between instructor and student can occur.
- Teaching loads of instructors are such that courses can be planned for and carried out in a way that is true to the spirit of the guidelines and that does not add unreasonably to the overall workload of the instructor.
- The teaching of writing-intensive courses is appropriately rewarded in review processes, including tenure and promotion.
- Program directors designate enough courses as writing-intensive so that students can meet the graduation requirement.
- Writing-intensive courses are clearly designated in class schedules. Students are advised about the availability of and purpose for writing-intensive courses through regular campus publications.
- Students who need help on writing problems can get help, either from instructors or from staff in a writing workshop or laboratory.
- Writing-intensive designations are recorded and explained on student transcripts.
- Adequate funds have been provided to support the program.
2. Course Designation Process
A designation process has been developed with includes publicizing the hallmarks of writing-intensive courses, soliciting proposals from individual faculty members, reviewing proposals, approving designation of courses as writing-intensive, and notifying appropriate personnel of such designations. This process is reasonable, explained to faculty, and followed regularly by program administrators.
3. Evaluation Procedures
- A program of evaluation assesses writing-intensive courses to see if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing–helping students improve their writing.
- Program supervisors follow the progress of students as they move through writing- intensive courses.
4. Faculty Training Program
- Training programs in writing-intensive course instruction are provided for faculty who want to participate in them.
- Orientation sessions are provided at the beginning of each semester for instructors new to writing-intensive course instruction.
- Faculty resource people are provided for instructors who want or need help in planning and teaching writing-intensive courses.
- The UWC was reformed into the Standing Committee on Written Communication in the early 1990s. The current Standing Committee on Written Communication consists of 5 UHM representatives and 1 representative from each of the other campuses.