Welcome to the GCC WAC website! As many of you know, our WAC program has been around since 2001, and those of us on the WAC Committee continue to be impressed by faculty commitment to the idea that writing can enhance students’ success generally, as well as reinforce their learning of specific course content. Although this website is a work in progress, we hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for and that you will contact Sarah or Mark with any suggestions for additional features you think might be helpful (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Most faculty members use some form of writing assignments in their classes and are aware that, as one GCC instructor puts it, “writing is one of the most, if not the most, active ways a student can become engaged with the curriculum. It is creative, expressive, and analytical – not passive” (Gina Thornburg, geography teacher). However, many instructors express dismay at the results they get from their students’ writing. Some faculty note that students have difficulties ranging from reading, textual analysis, and critical thinking, to basic writing skills, such as paragraph and essay structure. Other faculty express frustration at the increasing instances of plagiarism. In short, faculty often feel overwhelmed, both by the task of designing and implementing writing assignments that are clear and meaningful and by giving constructive, individualized feedback, while student responses to writing challenges range from dropping to failing the class.
What are the benefits to students and faculty of using writing in courses outside English? How much difference can instructors trained to teach content-driven courses make to students’ writing anyway? And how can teachers committed to covering a wealth of material in an impossibly limited space of time add writing instruction to their already overloaded syllabi?
These and other questions are asked and addressed by GCC’s WAC program in semester- long workshops, brown bag lunches, teaching seminars, and this website, which provides links to extant research on WAC and writing pedagogy.
WAC Committee 2007-2009