Writing Centers and Writing across the Curriculum Programs: Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships

Writing Centers and Writing across the Curriculum Programs: Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships

Writing Centers and Writing across the Curriculum Programs: Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships

Writing Centers and Writing across the Curriculum Programs: Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships

Synopsis

Writing Centers have traditionally been viewed as marginalized facilities within their institutions. This book challenges that view by examining the evolving theoretical, practical, and institutional relationships between Writing Centers and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Based on their experiences at particular institutions, expert contributors present a variety of approaches for establishing and developing effective partnerships between Writing Centers and WAC Programs. These partnerships have been given relatively little consideration in the larger field of composition and rhetoric. By deepening our knowledge of the merging of these two specialized areas of scholarship, the volume sets the foundation for more advanced research. The contributors present different perspectives that accurately portray the true diversity of Writing Center/WAC partnerships and their compatibility with larger institutional missions.

Excerpt

In 1994, Joan Mullin and Ray Wallace edited Intersections: Theory-Practice in the Writing Center, a collection of essays exploring Writing Center theory and practice. The volume presents powerful discussions central to Writing Center development. Since that time, more Writing Centers, voluntarily and involuntarily, have involved themselves in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Programs. Mark Waldo 1993 article The Last Best Place for Writing Across the Curriculum: The Writing Center in WPA: Writing Program Administration and Stephen North 1984 article The Idea of a Writing Center in College English directly address the issue of the Writing Center/WAC relations, and both articles have spurred much debate. More recently, Michael Pemberton, in his Writing Center Journal article Rethinking the WAC/Writing Center Connection, argues for a reexamination of the theoretical foundations that connect WAC Programs and Writing Centers, and cautions that they may not be the same (1995). This collection, Writing Centers and Writing Across the Curriculum Programs: Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships, addresses many issues raised in all three aforementioned texts by presenting a theory-into-practice examination of the evolving institutional relationships between Writing Centers and WAC Programs. Although the authors write about the concept of Writing Center/WAC partnerships from widely varying perspectives, they all begin from the same set of assumptions: (1) that Writing Centers have moved away from their previously marginalized status toward a more centralized institutional position with the potential to effect curricular change; and (2) that any discussion of Writing Center/WAC partnerships must include issues of student, faculty, and administrative involvement.

By exploring the possibilities and pitfalls of Writing Center/WAC partnerships that embrace disciplines across the curriculum, these essays open a unique dialogue that reveals the similarities and differences between the driving forces behind Writing Center theory and WAC theory and the institutional practices that unite or separate the two programs. More specifically, the aim of this . . .

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