Elon is poised to launch the Writing Excellence Initiative, a university-wide project that will make writing a signature experience of every student’s Elon education.
Since 2010 the Elon community has been working together to develop the Writing Excellence Initiative, building on many of our strengths and on our shared mission of “integrat[ing] learning across the disciplines, put[ting] knowledge into practice, and preparing students to be global citizens and informed leaders motivated by concern for the common good.”
The Writing Excellence Initiative is Elon’s Quality Enhancement Plan, a requirement of Elon’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). We benefited from detailed suggestions made by educators from other SACS universities who shared their advice after reviewing our 81-page description of the Initiative and discussing it with faculty, staff, and students during a three-day visit to Elon in April 2013.
While the general design for the Writing Excellence Initiative has been established, we are eager for good ideas as we continue to refine our plan. Read the information below (or the full report!) and let us know how we, together, can enhance writing at Elon. To submit your suggestions and read what others are suggesting, make a suggestion.
Through the Writing Excellence Initiative, we aspire to prepare every Elon student, undergraduate and graduate, in every major, to be an excellent writer.
We have chosen to focus particularly on developing students’ abilities related to three kinds of writing that are aligned with the Elon Commitment’s goal of educating “engaged minds, inspiring leaders, and global citizens.”
Every element of the university will play an important role in developing students’ writing abilities.
To help achieve these aims, we will create the Center for Writing Excellence. The new Center will integrate our student Writing Center and our Writing Across the University Program. The new Center will serve as a focal point and unified source of support, collaboration, and inspiration for the Writing Excellence Initiative.
The Center for Writing Excellence will greatly expand existing services and programs for supporting the writing that students are assigned and the writing they do on their own initiative, such as graduate school and job applications and the fiction and blogs they create for personal expression and fulfillment. The Center also will enhance current services and programs for faculty and staff, including a new emphasis on supporting departments and programs in working collaboratively to improve student writing.
The Writing Excellence Initiative will unfold over the next five years, with each department and program adopting strategies and proceeding at a pace that is suited to its specific aspirations and circumstances. All will learn from and refine their strategies based on their own experiences and those of others. In each area, major changes will be pilot tested before full implementation. For example, a small group of pioneers or first-adopters among academic departments will begin the process of reviewing and refining their writing outcomes and courses in 2013-2014. Other departments may begin in 2014-2015 or 2015-2016.
Although the Writing Excellence Initiative officially starts in the fall, there are seven ways you can begin your contributions right now.
This highly interactive, four-day institute provides a wealth of advice for improving student writing and learning in any course.