Coe's Writing Program is a constellation of three interrelated writing programs:

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The creative writing program, administered and taught by the English Department, focuses on poetry and fiction.
The writing program in the Rhetoric Department offers classes in academic prose, journalism, creative non-fiction, professional writing, and rhetorical theory.
The Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) p
rogram involves faculty from all departments.

Writing Emphasis Classes

The key element of the WAC program would be the Writing Emphasis (WE) classes. To graduate, a student must complete a minimum of five WE courses with a grade of "C" or higher. Writing Emphasis classes are defined as follows:

Students must write during the term a minimum of 2000 words of "finished" prose (approximately eight pages of typed, double spaced writing).

Students must have the opportunity either to revise their papers (minimum of 1200 words) or to write two or more papers following a similar type of assignment (minimum of 2000 words).

The definition suggests several important characteristics of Coe's WAC program:

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The faculty member is not required to set aside any class time for teaching writing.
The program relies on providing students diverse writing experiences in many courses rather than intense, concentrated work in a few classes.
Each department has the responsibility for ensuring that students master writing competencies within their discipline.
The program is constructed so that faculty can include writing assignments within courses without absorbing substantial class time or eliminating important content.

To designate a course for WE credit, the instructor simply notifies the Registrar's Office. Faculty are not required to submit syllabi and verify that a course meets the WE criteria.

In the first year of the WAC program (1986), 90 out of 1000 courses were designated Writing Emphasis. In recent years, the college has averaged 200-225 WE courses, with over 80% of the faculty teaching at least one WE course per year. Approximately 20% of Coe's courses are designated WE.

Of the students who entered Coe in the fall of '96 and graduated with a B.A. in the spring of 2000, the following statistics may provide some insights into how they completed their WE requirements:

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12% graduated with the minimum of 5 satisfactorily completed WE courses.
62% of graduates departed with 9 or more WE credits on their transcript (11% of the seniors graduated with 15 or more WE credits).
47% of the class had completed their WE requirement by the end of their sophomore year.


This website created and maintained by the Coe Writing Center. Copyright 2001.
Email Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.