Writing Across the Curriculum at the Community Colleges: Beating the Odds

Guest editor: Clint Gardner, Salt Lake Community College

Writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines (WAC/WID) programs in community colleges have been the focus of only sporadic scholarship over the years. While there are a smattering of articles, a handful of doctoral dissertations, and a few books devoted to the subject (mostly from the late 80's and mid-90's), substantial research on WAC/WID from a community college perspective seems seriously lacking in comparison to research that has been conducted in other postsecondary settings. Given the pervasive teaching mission that all community colleges share, the collaborative drive that many experienced faculty from across the disciplines display, and the community college's specific commitment to general education, it seems certain that a great deal of WAC/WID work is taking place in community colleges, even if that work is not specifically referred to on campus as "WAC" or "WID." In this issue of Across the Disciplines, therefore, we will focus the spotlight on community college WAC/WID initiatives and expand the range of scholarly work in this area, exploring the challenges that community college WAC programs face, the ways in which student demographics and goals shape their experience of writing in the disciplines, and what the future of WAC/WID might be at the community college level.

We invite proposals for articles that explore questions such as the following, as well as others related to the topic of Writing across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines at the community college:

  • What are the parameters of community college WAC/WID initiatives? How do they work? What are their successes? Their failures?
  • How does WAC/WID relate to general education in community college curricula? How does general education use writing as a key pedagogy? How are faculty from across the disciplines prepared to teach writing intensive courses?
  • What special challenges do community college WAC/WID programs face?
  • What are the effects of working conditions and teaching loads on WAC/WID initiatives?
  • What is the history of WAC/WID initiatives at community colleges?
  • How are effective WAC/WID programs administered at community colleges?
  • What role do community college writing centers play in WAC/WID?
  • How do community college WAC/WID programs integrate with distance learning initiatives?
  • How do structural/administrative issues shape the outcomes of WAC/WID at the community college?
  • What are the outcomes of WAC/WID for the community college student?
  • How do community college WAC/WID programs align themselves with their institution's educational mission?
  • How are community college WAC/WID programs assessed, and how are these assessments tied to budgetary, political, or accreditation needs?
  • How do the community college student's educational experience and educational goals affect the structure and/or outcomes of WAC/WID?

We're eager to read innovative work that critically explores the foundations, implications, and influence of writing technologies and WAC/WID initiatives—work that is theoretically informed, that offers original research data, and that builds on appropriate literature reviews. Descriptions of specific WAC/WID initiatives are welcome but they should be situated within an analysis of a larger issue(s).

We welcome inquiries about ideas for proposals.

Deadline for Proposals: September 1, 2009

Notification of Acceptance: by November 2009

Manuscripts Due: March 1, 2010

Publication: Fall 2010

Proposal Format: Please submit a one-page proposal explaining your topic, the research and theoretical base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article. Proposals and manuscripts should follow APA documentation style, which is the standard for Across the Disciplines. Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to Clint Gardner (Clint.Gardner@slcc.edu), guest editor, and Michael Pemberton (michaelp@georgiasouthern.edu), the editor of ATD. Please be sure to include your full contact information.