On Oct. 17 and 18, 2011, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College took yet another step toward implementing Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) as a significant measure to increase student success through engaged teaching and learning practices.
The Center for Teaching and Learning, along with the English department, served as co-hosts to Dr. Linda Best, Writing Across the Curriculum expert from Kean University. Two separate meetings, which occurred on North and South campuses, collected program heads from across the college to participate in numerous stations designed to demonstrate how WAC is intended to work. According to Ginger Fox, director of the Writing Center, “the activity stations were a good way to let the faculty know more about what WAC is through a hands-on approach. The participants found the activities to be both enjoyable and beneficial in increasing their understanding of WAC.”
Throughout the two-day training, Dr. Best noted that, through WAC initiatives, RCCC transfer students would become far more capable of meeting the writing-intensive course work awaiting them at four-year institutions. She also pointed out that WAC would better prepare RCCC’s graduating workforce to face their real-world writing experiences and, in turn, make them more competitive, productive employees.
Sherylle Smith, history instructor from the South Campus meeting, reported that she is grateful for the Kindle for several reasons – one of which is that she can now download texts directly to this device and take it anywhere to prep for lessons rather than hauling around huge textbooks. Mrs. Smith also added that her students are “often happy to have the choice of reading from tech devices rather than text [books], and the dictionary feature will hopefully encourage vocabulary building.”
In addition, Mrs. Smith spoke about the implementation of Writing Across the Curriculum at RCCC: “I started using WAC about a decade ago. Writing gives students the opportunity to express arguments, critical thinking, and ideas beyond material covered in exams. Portfolios allow students to showcase their work at the end of the semester.”
Betty Stack, who serves as the English department director, stated, “Writing Across the Curriculum is wonderful! There are many great things which will come to the college, with total implementation. I believe Dr. Linda Best’s presence has set the stage for this,” and as far as the Kindle is concerned — “I love it!”
Overall, the Writing Across the Curriculum meetings from October can be considered successful. The CTL met its goal of producing quality training opportunities for faculty by introducing (and in some cases, re-introducing) WAC to Rowan-Cabarrus program chairs and many interested faculty who attended. These training sessions also served to light the long pathway ahead by bringing WAC into a working reality for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. As Dr. Best has constantly reminded attendees, “Writing Across the Curriculum will not happen overnight. It will require much participation from all involved, especially instructors and students in every division and department.” The WAC benefits for RCCC’s students, both for transfers and for those who go immediately into the workforce, are definitely beyond measure, Ms. Kirby agrees: “With continued administrative support and faculty commitment, the benefits of WAC as a curriculum “add-on” are surely within our reach. We are looking forward to seeing positive results in our students’ learning outcomes, and we know part of that success begins with a strong WAC foundation.”
The Center for Teaching and Learning is eager and ready to support all faculty who are committed to increasing students’ learning outcomes through WAC. Additional WAC-related activities in collaboration with Writing Center Director, Ginger Fox, occurred in November 2011, and more are expected to follow. We encourage all faculty to participate in the building and reinforcement of WAC.
For information on how to get involved, contact Cassie Plott or Betty Stack, who presently co-chair the WAC Committee.
- Liberal Arts and General Education
- Academic Programs
- Academic Programs
For more information on Dr. Linda Best and the WAC initiative follow view her WAC brochure.