Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at FAU

In April 2004, FAU’s administration mandated a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiative. The Ad Hoc Core Curriculum Taskforce initially proposed the WAC program to ensure consistent and extensive support for student writing across the University. Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) describes a broadly-based set of pedagogical practices that have grown out of a movement begun over 30 years ago in the United States . WAC asserts that writing plays an indispensable role in developing critical thinking skills, learning discipline-specific content, and understanding and building competence in the modes of inquiry and writing for various disciplines and professions. Furthermore, WAC pedagogy holds that if students are to lay claim to these benefits, they must have frequent and significant opportunities to write, revise, and discuss their writing in their classes--from their freshman year to their graduation, whatever their major course of study. College-level WAC programs, therefore, advocate and support university and college-wide adoption of writing as a strong component of all classes in all disciplines, not merely in the composition courses run by English departments.

What is WAC at FAU?

  • The Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Florida Atlantic University is realized in curricular requirements, teaching practices, and a variety of faculty development activities.
  • The most visible components of WAC are the writing-intensive guidelines in 2000-4000 level courses and guidelines for alternative courses to College Writing II --both of which affect almost all undergraduates.

Less visible, but no less important, are the teaching practices faculty across the disciplines employ to work with writers and writing in their courses. Good teaching practice is reinforced by faculty development workshops, regular pedagogical conversations , and the University Center for Excellence in Writing, which provides vital support for the use of writing in all of these venues. (Visit the UCEW website for student resources at our writing center.) WAC approaches to learning can invigorate both student learning and teaching. A recent study, for instance, finds that student engagement with the subject matter being taught increases significantly when they are more frequently asked to write about that subject, particularly in courses in their junior and senior years. Ultimately, WAC, at FAU and elsewhere, aims to increase literacy and intellectual capacity across the board, improving the value of college education and paying dividends to society at large by effectively training students in ways that can help them to become better academics, better professionals, and better citizens.