National Seminars on WAC

National Seminars Photo

In the 1980s, the NEH dissemination projects led by Beaver College, brought together nationally known faculty members from English and from other disciplines to work in teams with local high school instructors. In addition, The NEH National Board of Consultants made experts available to lead the establishment of WAC programs across the country. Elaine Maimon, for example, served as an NEH consultant at El Centro Community College (Dallas, TX) and Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA). The Pacific Lutheran consultation led to the formation of a regional WAC organization, the Pacific Northwest Consortium.

In the 1990s, the University of Chicago, under the leadership of Carol Schneider, who later became the long-term President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), organized a series of national institutes on writing and critical thinking. These institutes had a powerful influence on making writing across the curriculum mainstream.

Similarly, Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh sponsored three WAC video teleconferences entitled Writing Across the Curriculum: Making It Work, featuring WAC leaders of all academic levels. These live teleconferences offered wider audiences of educators and administrators an opportunity to call in questions, hear leaders discuss the origins of their own programs, and see videos of WAC in action at various institutions. The last video teleconference (1994) was subtitled How Schools and Colleges—and Communities—Collaborate to Improve Learning. Many school districts and universities convened entire faculties or communities of educators to watch these sessions together and tapes of the teleconferences were used for subsequent professional development.