International Conference Presentation on Elon’s Writing Excellence Initiative 

Elon faculty and administrators discuss how the Writing Excellence Initiative has transformed Elon’s culture of writing.

This article is one in a series of articles showcasing the successes of Elon’s Writing Excellence Initiative, the university’s 5-year Quality Enhancement Plan to enhance the teaching and practice of writing in academic, professional, and co-curricular contexts.

At the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Tim Peeples, Paula Rosinski, Julia Bleakney and Kim Fath presented initial results from Elon’s Writing Excellence Initiative, a campus-wide project that has sought to transform the culture of writing on campus. The international conference, the largest in the field, was held March 15-17, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tim Peeples, senior associate provost for faculty affairs, provided an overview of the WEI, explaining the multiple years of planning and how the initiative sought to integrate writing throughout every major as well as Student Life and the COR curriculum.  

Paula Rosinski, professor of professional writing and rhetoric, shared how her work as Writing Across the University director has supported faculty and staff as they developed a total of 144 new Writing Outcomes, and their accompanying writing assignments, for courses across the curriculum and in student life.

Julia Bleakney, assistant professor of English, spoke about how, in her role as the Writing Center director, she has improved the Writing Center’s support for students writing in the disciplines and for undergraduate research.

Finally, Kim Fath, assistant director for assessment, discussed how the WEI has provided her with opportunities to interact with faculty more as they discuss the value and importance of assessment in their classes and programs.

Their presentation was supplemented with almost five years’ worth of assessments, including data from the large-scale NSSE and FESSI surveys; faculty, staff, and student surveys about their writing behaviors and attitudes; alumni surveys about how their college experiences with writing have impacted their experiences with writing at work; departmental end-of-year WEI Reports; and data collected from student, faculty, and staff programming offered in the Center for Writing Excellence.