WAC Principles & Practices


Examining the WAC Principles & Practices that Make Your Program Exemplary

The five areas listed below represent core Principles and Practices that shape the development, operation, and continuation of exemplary WAC programs. Though an exemplary WAC program may do quality work in each of the five areas, applicants will select the three areas that they feel best demonstrate the exemplary qualities of their programs to serve as the focus of their applications. 

The list of bullet points following each area offers a sampling of the many possible practices that can exemplify a program’s exemplary qualities in that particular area. Applicants should regard these bullet points as examples of the kinds of practices that fit within an area, not as exhaustive lists of criteria that programs must meet to be considered exemplary in an area.

Once an applicant has selected three areas to be the focus of the application, the applicant will provide a written statement of up to two pages per area. In each of these statements, applicants will provide the following: 

  • Narrative describing how the applicant’s program is exemplary in the selected area.
  • Support/data to demonstrate the high quality of the applicant’s program in the selected area. (These data may be qualitative, quantitative, or a mix of both.)
  • Reflection on the support/data presented to explain selection and any relevant contextualizing factors.   

Area 1: Instruction and Pedagogy—

  • Supporting linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Supporting writing as a process.
  • Using writing as a mode of learning.
  • Understanding writing as rhetorical.
  • Increasing students’ knowledge of disciplinary writing conventions.
  • Building students’ 21st century literacies.

Area 2: Student Engagement—

  • Developing inclusive and accessible strategies for learning.
  • Supporting underserved or systemically minoritized students. 
  • Increasing student engagement across modalities and formats.
  • Sustaining writing across students’ academic careers.

Area 3: Culture/Community—

  • Identifying and tracing various WAC efforts (including professional development) across campus, including contingent faculty and graduate instructors if relevant.
  • Recognizing and building on expertise already on campus.
  • Creating an interdisciplinary community of committed faculty and staff around teaching and student writing.
  • Fostering partnerships with other programs to support WAC goals.
  • Creating a campus culture that supports writing.

Area 4: Program Development and Growth—

  • Learning from experienced WAC directors, researchers, and scholars.
  • Learning from existing scholarship on WAC program administration.
  • Seeking interdisciplinary input and investment in the WAC program.
  • Collaborating with other institutional groups.
  • Contributing to WAC scholarship and/or public knowledge about writing and writing scholarship.
  • Advertising your WAC program and its successes.
  • Addressing and overcoming challenges.
  • Documenting institutional support. 

Area 5: Assessment—

  • Creating meaningful, inclusive, and equitable evaluation of writing.
  • Designing models for WAC assessment.
  • Designing, implementing, and responding to ongoing program assessment.
  • Soliciting input from institutional stakeholders