To help Mason's Writing Across the Curriculum program continue to serve students and faculty in our rapidly growing university, the Provost recently allocated additional funding to support faculty in their efforts to teach effectively with writing. To best provide this support, we needed to understand what types of writing are currently being assigned and what kinds of assistance faculty need, especially those teaching writing-intensive courses, to help them accomplish their goals for student writing in the course. We began by conducting interviews with undergraduate coordinators, chairs, and associate chairs.
Our aim is to produce profiles of the writing students are doing in the various majors in the colleges, including formal writing as well as writing-to-learn, and the learning outcomes that motivate this writing. Our hope is that the writing profiles we develop from our interviews will illustrate the diverse array of writing opportunities students encounter in their major and also highlight the learning outcomes that motivate this writing. We think that the profiles will be useful to faculty and departments for course and curriculum development and program review, and also will prove interesting to external audiences who will see the variety of writing experiences our students are being given in their majors.