Excelsior Receives a $200,000 Award from Booth Ferris to Create a Center for Writing Excellence

The Booth Ferris Foundation has awarded Excelsior University a $200,000 grant to create a Center for Writing Excellence. The two-year project began on September 1 and will advance the College’s strategic initiative around Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) by improving the way faculty develop, integrate, and respond to writing assignments across a wide range of courses and programs. A collaboration involving the OWL, the WAC group, and the upcoming Center for Writing Excellence will work to achieve the following specific goals:

  1. Review and implement the college-wide WAC strategic plan.
  2. Develop college-wide WAC policies and procedures instituted to support faculty training, the use of Portfolium, and writing assignment integration into courses.
  3. Create an open online WAC certification course for faculty and launch it with a cohort of 50 faculty successfully completing the training.
  4. Create a WAC repository in the OWL consisting of a portfolio of faculty materials, including exemplars of student writing assignments, effective scaffolding approaches, and exemplars of substantive and meaningful feedback.
  5. Integrate OWL writing support links directly into courses in 20 degree programs.
  6. Benefit 300 Excelsior students with genre-enriched courses resulting in improvements in sources and evidence, mechanics, audience awareness, and argumentation. “Genre-rich courses” refers to the implementation of reading and writing assignments that focus on teaching genres that are discipline-specific. This is the essence of Writing in the Disciplines (WID). We will be adding these assignments to existing courses.
  7. Apply uniform assessments to evaluate the impact of all activities.

The Booth Ferris project dovetails with the ongoing SUNY/Excelsior OWL collaboration to develop WAC training materials and train 50 faculty in writing across the curriculum/writing in the discipline (WAC/WID). The open WAC certification course will be the first of its kind and promises to be an invaluable resource for WAC programs across the country.

Source: Francesco Crocco

Francesco Crocco

Dr. Francesco Crocco is a former Director of the Online Writing Lab at Excelsior College.