WIC by the Numbers

By Mohana Das, WIC GTA (MFA Creative Writing)

Because every OSU student must take a Writing Intensive course in their major, the WIC program has a large impact on the university curriculum. 2445 students took a WIC Course in 2016-17. With CORE data now easily available, we thought it was time to take a look at WIC by the numbers. We are looking at classes capped at 25, classes in the 26-29 gray area, and classes over 29. These numbers are of interest because it is mandatory that WIC courses have no more than 25 students. This cap is congruent with national standards for class size in writing classes so that students can receive frequent, in-depth feedback on their writing from the instructor. Courses that exceed 29 students risk WIC decertification unless additional personnel are trained and assigned to the section to assist with responding to student writing.

In 2016-17, there were 366 sections of WIC courses taught at Oregon State University. The College of Liberal Arts offered 108 sections, which is 29.5% of the total WIC sections. One hundred of them were capped at less than 26 students. Actual enrollment in only 3 out of 100 sections exceeded 29 students.

College of Sciences had 51 WIC sections in 2016-17. Of 51 sections, 45 had actual enrollments below 25 students and 5 sections over 29.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences had 43 sections with 83.7% of those sections being in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Actual enrollment in 9 sections exceeded the 25-student limit but were limited to less than 29 students.

College of Business offered 33 WIC sections,  and College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences offered 16 WIC sections. Actual enrollment in all sections was below 25 students.

Actual enrollment in all 10 sections of WIC courses in the College of Forestry was less than 26 students but in the College of Education, all 3 sections had more than 29 students.

In 2016-17, College of Engineering offered 58 sections of WIC classes, with 65.5% of the sections capped at over 29 students and actual enrollment exceeding the 29 students maximum limit in 25 sections. In fact, class size in the College of Engineering was typically between 50 and 100. 

The College of Agriculture offered 44 sections of which 36 sections have less than 26 students, 4 sections have between 26 and 29 students, 4 sections have over 29 students.

Overall, most units are doing a good job of keeping WIC class sizes small in order to give students optimum opportunity to improve as writers in their major.

The following chart shows the modes of delivery of WIC classes. Most WIC classes are delivered as lectures or online. In 2016-17 and 2017-18, 219 classes are delivered as lectures and 69 classes are online. Together they comprise over 70% of all WIC classes. The next common mode of delivery is Thesis, followed by Recitation. In 2016-17, we also had 12 WIC classes that were designated as Seminars (66% of which were in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion) and 1 course in Wood Science and Engineering was taught as a Discussion.

Of the 69 online sections, 18 sections (25.4%) are in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, and 11 sections (15.5%) are in the School of Public Policy.

The following charts show Online WIC Sections by unit. Please note that some units have a mode of delivery known as Streaming Media which means that the course uses video or other streaming media to facilitate the class, and access to broadband Internet is a must to complete course requirements. School of History, Philosophy, and Religion have the greatest number of online sections with 18 sections.

Department No. of Online Sections
Agricultural Education 4
Applied Economics 3
Business Administration 3
Environmental Sciences 3
Fisheries & Wildlife 5
Geosciences 2
Horticulture 2
Integrative Biology 1
Microbiology 1
School Social & Behavioral Sciences (SSBS) 6
School of Electrical & Computer Science (SECS) 3
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion (SHPR) 18
School of Language, Culture and Society (SLCS) 5
School of Psychological Sciences (SPS) 4
School of Public Policy (SPP) 11


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