Austin College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), titled AC Writes, is designed to enhance the writing skills of students across the disciplines. Guided by best practices and grounded in rhetorical and composition theory, the QEP will promote a culture of writing at Austin College by increasing opportunities for students to practice and reinforce their writing skills in different disciplinary and rhetorical contexts, improving pedagogical support for faculty, and creating new resources for integrating writing and writing instruction into the Austin College mission.
Meeting the challenge of the strategic plan to develop signature opportunities to enhance writing and other communication skills through curricular and co-curricular activities, the QEP consists of three major interrelated components:
- Writing Curriculum: The College’s old requirement of just one credit or two half-credits is replaced by a new, more integrated, and more effectively supported three-credit writing curriculum. Students will take a Foundation Writing (FW) course no later than the first semester of the sophomore year. Students will also take two Advanced Writing (AW) courses in two different disciplines. Advanced Writing courses will allow students to reinforce and build on their writing skills in discipline- and/or rhetorically-specific contexts. This integrated curriculum will create intentional opportunities for students to practice, reinforce, and diversify their skills as writers. The new curriculum ensures all Austin College students gain key writing knowledge and practices that will allow them to grow as writers and build the communication skills needed to lead fulfilling personal and professional lives.
- Scarbrough Center for Writing: The newly created Scarbrough Center for Writing supports students and faculty in the teaching and learning of writing skills. By developing a strong community around the teaching and learning of writing, the Writing Center provides support in multiple areas. For students, the Writing Center offers one-to-one tutoring, workshops on writing, a communal space to work on writing projects, resources, as well as significant educational and professional experiences for peer writing assistants (PWAs). For faculty, a key mission of the Writing Center is to support faculty development in all aspects of the writing curriculum. The Writing Center also works with campus programs to provide writing resources for the extracurricular and professional endeavors of students, staff, and faculty.
- Pedagogical Support and Professional Development: Key resources have been developed to support students and faculty in all aspects of the QEP. A Director/Assistant Professor of Writing has been hired to provide pedagogical and scholarly expertise. Writing has been established as a new academic program, and a new academic course has been created to train and support peer writing assistants. A new standing academic committee for writing skills has been created to oversee the writing curriculum and writing center.
You are welcome to provide feedback or ask any question related to the QEP by emailing the QEP Task Force.
Contact: Greg Kinzer, Chair and Associate Professor of English