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Writing programs receive national award

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s writing programs have received the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s (CCCC) Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

The award recognizes Appalachian’s Writing Across the Curriculum directed by Dr. Georgia Rhoades, University Writing Center directed by Dr. Beth Carroll and composition program directed by Dr. Kim Gunter for their substantial professional development and vertical writing model.  The vertical writing model is designed to support students in their coursework with writing experience from freshman to senior years.

“This award confirms our accomplishment in creating an innovative writing curriculum, which is supported by committed faculty in the composition program and the disciplines that talk to each other about writing pedagogy,” said Rhoades. “It recognizes the investment of writing program administrators, the General Education Task Force who supported reform of the writing curriculum, of WAC and Writing in the Discipline consultants, and the University Writing Center.”

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) provides support for faculty who teach writing or who use writing as a learning tool in the classroom at all levels of education.  The University Writing Center is a free service for students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community designed to help writers with a variety of projects ranging from academic research papers, theses, job applications and course syllabi.  The composition program provides students with the first two English courses in Appalachian’s vertical writing model: Expository Writing and Introduction to Writing Across the Curriculum.

“Winning the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence places Appalachian in great company. We join N.C. State and Duke University as the third writing program in North Carolina to win the award,” said Carroll. “I’m honored about our program’s recognition for accommodating students, and I’m thrilled that the programs that support Appalachian’s new vertical writing curriculum are meeting the writing needs of students.”

Since 2004, approximately 30 schools have received the Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

“Appalachian’s Writing Across the Curriculum program began in spring 2008 and has established connections with most programs on campus and works extensively with the University Writing Center and the composition program,” said Rhoades.

The three units collaborate with each other in support of the vertical writing model, and also the Celebration of Student Writing designed to showcase students’ writing from  the first two years of Appalachian’s vertical writing model, the adoption of ePortfolios for student writers, and professional development events for writing teachers and consultants.

“Our goal is to make students lifelong writers,” said Rhoades. “We want students to have an understanding of the writing curriculum as it begins in composition and extends through their entry and capstone writing experiences in the disciplines, and into their future careers and education.”

Programs nominated for the Writing Program Certificate of Excellence must demonstrate that they address the needs of their students, instructors, institutions and locale; offer ongoing professional development for faculty; use current best practices in the field of writing; and models diversity and/or serves diverse communities.