About WAC

What is WAC/RAC?

Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (WAC/RAC) is a pedagogical movement that began in the 1980s. Generally, WAC/RAC programs share the philosophy that writing and reading instruction should happen across the academic community and throughout a student’s undergraduate education. WAC/RAC programs also value writing and reading as methods of learning. Finally, WAC/RAC acknowledges the differences in writing conventions across the disciplines and believes that students can best learn to write in their areas by practicing those discipline-specific writing conventions.

The Hostos Community College WAC/RAC program encourages writing in students of all levels, including those students enrolled in ESL or developmental writing. At Hostos, this is predominantly through Writing Intensive (WI) Courses. These are courses in which writing plays an integral part in the course curriculum. The purpose of a WI course is to maximize opportunities for meaningful writing experiences and to utilize writing as a tool to teach subject matter in a way that allows students to process what they know and express it in their own words. WI courses use writing activities both inside and outside the classroom in order to challenge students to process information in their own words and through their own language experiences.

What is a writing intensive (WI) course?

Writing Intensive (WI) courses are ones in which writing plays an integral part in the course curriculum. The purpose of a WI course is to maximize opportunities for meaningful writing experiences and to utilize writing as another tool to teach subject matter in a way that allows students to process what they know into their own words. WI courses use writing activities both inside and outside the classroom in order to challenge students to process information in their own words

What’s the benefit of putting more emphasis on writing?

We all want the same things from our students: we want them to be active learners who read effectively, question texts, make connections, reason cogently; and are able to show us that they can do these things. Multiple-choice and short-answer questions, while they have their uses, don’t promote these abilities. Though not a magic bullet, the use of various writing activities creates better learners in your classroom.

Where do Writing Fellows come from?

Writing Fellows are doctoral students at the CUNY Graduate Center in the advanced stages of their studies.  They come from all disciplines of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

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