In 2014, the University Center for Excellence in Writing initiated conversations with department faculty, students, and administration from across the university, about the need for more support in developing good discipline-specific writing practices for students working within their respective majors. While the UCEW’s Writing Across the Curriculum program has focused primarily on developing a solid foundation of general writing skills for lower-division students, we are eager to assist departments to ensure that students write effectively in their courses for the major and help departments bridge any curricular gaps that inhi bit student success in upper division writing. The UCEW recognizes that experts in discipline-specific writing are departmental faculty themselves. Therefore, we have initiated a multi-year, departmentally- specific WEC process.

The WEC initiative leads departments, schools, and colleges through the processes of integrating writing systematically throughout their majors and concentrations (e.g. facilitating department-wide discussions to identify desired student outcomes, mapping departmental curricula, creating assessment plans, and designing departmental proposals for revising curricula in majors and concentrations). A paid faculty liaison is appointed to facilitate a year of self-study and department-wide discussion, which results in a departmental writing plan. This plan (see template) is submitted at the end of the self-study year with a request for funding.  This plan  is implemented and revised two times in the course of the duration of each department's participation.  

The original Writing Across Curriculum program, initiated in 2007, was designed to enhance Gordon Rule classes across the curriculum, primarily in the lower division. The WEC initiative provides a more integrated approach to writing in the majors by distributing the support for writing across courses rather than certifying writing-intensive classes.    

The WEC Team 

  • Director: Sipai Klein - Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, Director of the University Center for Excellence in Writing 
  • Assistant Director of Writing Across the Curriculum: Julianne Zvolensky 


WEC Department Proposals 

Languages Linguistics and Comparative Literatures  Initial Proposal   Revised Proposal


 Final Revision    

Ocean and Mechanical Engineering 

 Initial Proposal  

  Revised Proposal    

 Final Revision 


 Initial Proposal   Revised Proposal   Final Revision

Urban and Regional Planning

 Initial Proposal    Revised Proposal   Final Revision
Political Science


 Initial Proposal   

  Revised Proposal   Final Revision

Initial Proposal

Revised Proposal Final Revision


If you are interested in participating in the WEC initiative please contact  Sipai Klein

Advantages of Participating in WEC Initiative 

Advantages  include:     

  • There are four faculty discussions during the planning year that are facilitated by a WAC administrator.
  • These discussions are extremely productive and rewarding no matter the discipline.  
  • Departments develop a more strategic and systematic inclusion of writing across majors. 
  • Not all faculty will need to buy in, but all are expected to participate in the planning process.
  • Using survey data from students, faculty, and external affiliates (those hiring or admitting students to grad school), departments develop their own comprehensive set of criteria for writing outcomes for students in their majors.
  • No one will tell faculty what to do or how to do it.
  • Faculty identify existing writing assignments and requirements within their department’s curriculum that support the outcomes and identify gaps in their curriculum that need to be addressed.  
  • Time commitment from faculty is minimal. 
  • This process can help identify needs of students in the major, particularly transfer students who often need more support than they are provided. 
  • Each department develops an assessment process involving upper division courses, using the rubric they create based on the abilities they define. (WAC administrators will help facilitate the assessment process) 
  • Departments will apply for financial support to implement this process during the implementation phase. 
  • The key to this initiative is that it is built to be sustainable, which is why there is a multi-year implementation and revision process.

WEC Stages and Process

WEC uses a three-phased, multi-semester recursive process to help academic units incorporate writing:

The Role of the Liaison 

The WEC liaison is chosen by the department chair to serve as the conduit between the department and the WEC executive team leadership (WAC Director and Assistant Director).   

WEC Recognition Ceremony 

Departments and liaisons who are participating in the WEC initiative were recognized at the 2019 WEC Recognition Ceremony held in conjunction with the Student Publication Ceremony.