What is Writing Matters?
Writing Matters is an effort by Alcorn State University to improve the writing proficiency of our undergraduate students. This website documents the development of Writing Matters as Alcorn's Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, and explains the goals, strategies and benefits of this initiative through the menu links on the right.
Core Requirement 2.12 of the SACS accreditation process requires an institution to develop a plan for increasing the effectiveness of some aspect of its educational program relating to student learning. The plan is to be “A carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning.”
Once the plan is approved, Alcorn will have five years to implement the plan and submit a follow-up report as to its effectiveness.
Why Does It Matter to Me?
Studies demonstrate that students with strong writing skills are far more competitive in both the job market and as graduate and professional school candidates. A primary goal of the Writing Matters initiative is to give our students this competitive edge. In addition, more than note-taking alone, engaging in the process of writing produces greater retention, comprehension and assimilation of the subject matter. That means Writing Matters will help you be more competitive, more competent and better prepared for long term success.
What Does the Plan Entail?
Writing Matters uses best practices in teaching writing, including "process writing" and "writing to learn". These techniques will be incorporated into select courses across the curriculum as a means of enhancing student learning and comprehension, in addition to increasing writing proficiecy. Writing Matters student learning outcomes have been developed to support Alcorn’s Education Core Curriculum Competencies.
English 213, Introduction to Literature, will become the first “Writing Enhanced” (WE) course, beginning Fall 2011. Enrollment in Writing Enhanced courses will be limited to 20 students. Each year three departments will each identify at least one course at the 300 level and one at the 400 level which will become “Writing Enhanced.” Faculty teaching these courses will be trained in the above methods of writing instruction.
What Is a Writing Enhanced Course?
In a writing enhanced (WE) course, students produce at least ten pages of academic writing; half of that must be as part of a process. 35 % of the course grade is based on writing. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students in WE courses. Since writing is an integral part of every discipline, Writing Matters will build essential writing skills relevant to each student's particular course of study.