By Jordan Terriere, WIC Intern

On Friday, February 13, the WIC Advisory Board met. Faculty from departments across the university were in attendance, along with the Writing Intensive Curriculum team. Topics covered in the board meeting included the Baccalaureate Core review of the College of Engineering’s writing intensive courses, writing intensive class sizes, and thesis as WIC.

The Baccalaureate Core review of Engineering WIC courses is underway. The WIC team is reviewing the submissions before they go to the Baccalaureate Core Committee for review in order to assure all WIC courses meet category requirements. The Board discussed ways in which the Engineering WIC courses can be strengthened, including by reducing class size and improving opportunities for feedback on writing for students. Additionally, the board discussed a course in the Engineering department that is using an innovative approach to teaching WIC in a large class. The course utilizes undergraduate mentors to help assess straight forward formatting requirements and conventions. The engineering content and style of the writing is evaluated by the instructor.

WIC guidelines specify a class size maximum of twenty, but due to enrollment growth, the Baccalaureate Core Committee currently gives leeway to the upper twenties. Course sizes going far over the required range is a current problem. As class sizes get larger, the benefits of the WIC course are jeopardized. The Board discussed ways this could be improved, including supporting the Baccalaureate Core Committee in restricting class size.

Finally, the Board discussed the thesis option for WIC that is used by Physics, Biology Resource Research, the International degree, and the Honors College. This option can be very successful. The Honors College has a new thesis WIC model for biology, and is open to helping other departments as they consider a WIC thesis course designed for their Honors majors.

Board members in attendance: Kevin Boston, Kate Lajtha, Phil Harding, Karen Hooker, Ken Winograd, Tracy Ann Robinson, Jonathan Katz, Dan Edge, Eugene Young, Janet Tate, Andrea Marks, and WIC Director Vicki Tolar Burton. Absent members: James Foster, Stefanie Buck, Tara Williams, Rebecca Warner, Anthony Wilcox, and Jon Dorbolo. Members of the WIC team include Jacob Day, GTA; August Baunach, SWLF Faculty Volunteer; Jordan Terriere, Intern; and Julie Howard, Office Specialist.