Words of Wisdom
Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Students must take two different courses to satisfy the W/C requirement. If departments need to use the same course twice for its students to satisfy this requirement, consultation with their college representative on the W/C Course Advisory Committee and approval from the committee is needed. Departments should be able to demonstrate a substantial difference between the two versions of the course so that students are not simply completing identical course
Proposed W and C courses are reviewed by the W & C Course Advisory Committee. This committee recommends action to the Faculty Senate, which in turn submits its decision to the university president for final approval.
Courses are approved for a period of four years. For example, courses approved in Fall 2018 should be reviewed again no later than Fall 2021 for inclusion in the Fall 2022 Schedule of Classes. Courses that have expired will not be given W or C section numbers.
Although it is understood that courses may change somewhat before they require re-certification, it is also assumed that the the course being taught as W or C generally follows the parameters set forward in the approved version. Courses taught under variable titles such as "Seminar" or "Research" (including 281, 481, 491, and 489) may be approved by title as well as number.
The W & C Course Advisory Committee is responsible for clarifying W or C course requirements when necessary. Should the committee decide to reject a proposed course, it must provide appropriate recommendations to the proposer and invite re-submission
Note: The full approval process takes 2 to 4 months, depending on the number of proposals received, the speed at which questions are answered by proposers, and the date submitted. The W & C Course Advisory Committee and the Faculty Senate meet once a month. The Faculty Senate often does not meet in December or in August.
Submitting a Proposal for a W or C Course
The proposal must be submitted through a form in the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS) located in Howdy under the Employee tab. You will be asked to answer questions related to the course and required to attach the syllabus. Before you open the form, prepare as described below:
- Review the Checklist of W Course Requirements or the Checklist of C Course Requirements. You may also find the Rubric for W Courses or the Rubric for C Courses helpful.
- Optional but encouraged: Contact your representative on the W & C Course Advisory Committee to review the course or answer questions.
- Review what the form will ask and get a representative syllabus ready to attach. Blanks of the W Course proposal and the C Course proposal forms are available as examples. The items to specify on the form include the following:
- typical enrollment per section and number of sections taught per year
- appropriateness to the major
- cross listings
- type and number of assistants (such as graduate teaching assistants or undergraduate peer educators) and how they are monitored and supervised. These all count, in addition to the instructor(s), toward the instructor-to-student ratio. In cases where a ratio above 1 instructor to 25 students is proposed, the committee will ask for compelling evidence that it will not adversely affect the quality of feedback.
- a list of all required, graded writing assignments (and, if applicable, speaking assignments) and the percentage of the course grade for which each counts. For finished products you will need to specify the number of words (or minutes of speaking); Also, you will need to specify which assignments, if any, are collaborative. Note that collaborative assignments are allowed only ona grandfathered basis.
- a description of formative feedback on writing (and, if a C course, for speaking)
- a description of instruction for writing (and. if a C course, for speaking)
- Submit the request through CARS (located in Howdy under the Employee tab). For help with CARS, consult the CARS Instructions or call the University Writing Center at 979-458-1455.
- If the course already exists, find it in CARS and begin the proposal process by selecting the Core, ICD, or W & C form. For a new course, start with the Core, ICD, or W & C form. When you submit the form, it will be routed through the correct channels, from the department head to the Dean, to the Chair of the W & C Course Advisory Committee.
- Check that the submitted syllabus supports how you answer the questions in CARS. The syllabus should conform to the minimum syllabus requirements. It is assumed that course syllabi approved as W or C will be representative of all sections of that course taught to fulfill the W or C graduation requirement in regard to assignments related to the W or C component, instruction for the W or C components, and percentage of the grade related to the W or C components.
Once your proposal is submitted, the W & C Course Advisory Committee Chair will bring it before the W & C Course Advisory Committee. A subcommittee of the W & C Course Advisory Committee will review your proposal. Any questions will be routed to you through the Chair. Once the subcommittee believes that the proposal is ready to approve, it will recommend it be placed on the W & C Course Advisory Committee consent agenda for approval by the whole committee. If you prefer meeting with the committee in person, request a spot on the agenda from the Chair. If your proposal is rejected, the committee will provide a timely explanation and suggestions for revision and re-submission.