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Welcome to Howard University's Writing Across the Curriculum Program, an interdepartmental program that promotes writing to learn and learning to write in all disciplines. Click here to see important announcements, and click above to view the site map.

Our Mission

The WAC program at Howard University aims to help students "learn to write" and "write to learn."  On the one hand, WAC courses help students master the professional conventions of a particular discipline, while reinforcing skills learned in Freshman English.  On the other hand, the courses foster active learning within a discipline since writing encourages careful reading, observing, listening, and thinking.

Program Profile
Coordinated by the English Department, the Writing Across the Curriculum Program originated in the College of Arts & Sciences at Howard University in 1991.  However, since merging with the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (CETLA) in 2003, the program has served the entire university.   In addition, the program continues to participate in the The International Network of Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs (INWAC).

Writing-intensive courses in the disciplines  are the core of the WAC program at Howard University. They are designed to show students that writing well is essential to success in whatever field of study or career they pursue.  In the College of Arts & Sciences and the Division of Allied Health, these courses fulfill the third writing requirement (following Freshman English 002 and 003). To enable teachers to respond to the frequent writing assignments, each course is limited to 20 students. In the Directory of Classes and on transcripts, WAC courses are designated by a 700-level number and a -WRTG suffix. However, many  WAC faculty integrate aspects of WAC pedagogy into their curriculum regardless of whether they are teaching a 700-level course or not.

The WAC program at Howard enjoys not only faculty but student support, as revealed by a survey of nearly 2,000 students who completed WAC courses at Howard.  More than 90% of the students rated the courses highly, especially as a tool for careful reading and critical thinking.   In focus group sessions, students explained:

"It really just helped me to reinforce the math . . ..what I was doing was taking what he said and interpreting it my way so I could understand it when I was writing."  (Calculus II)

"When you have to write a paper and have to research a paper and you have to revise, it forces you to internalize certain ideas and concepts." (Black Diaspora II)

"I can truly say that at one point in my journal, I wrote that I finally got it.  I was excited.  I really did understand."  (Ecology Lecture/Lab)

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Last modified: September 29, 2009