Subcommittee on Writing-Intensive Courses

Mandate

Background

The Subcommittee on Writing-Intensive Courses (SWIC) is a subcommittee of the Senate Standing Committee on Curriculum (SSCC). In support of Policy AC14 KPU Credential Framework, SWIC is the body which has the subject expertise to recommend approval of writing-intensive (WI) designation to courses in accordance with the criteria set out by the committee.

Mandate

The Subcommittee on Writing-Intensive Courses (SWIC) is a SSCC subcommittee with a mandate to:

  1. Make recommendations for criteria for writing-intensive (WI) courses.
  2. Make recommendations for amendments to the AC11 General Education in Degree Programs, and the AC14 KPU Credential Framework, policies and procedures as they pertain to WI courses.
  3. Review course outlines for WI designation and recommend approval in accordance with the criteria as established by the committee.
  4. Oversee the review of the criteria for WI courses as necessary and recommend approval of any revisions to Senate.
  5. Report to SSCC of any courses the committee deems to have satisfied the established criteria for recommendation to Senate.
  6. Review periodically the mandate, composition, and processes of SWIC, and make recommendations to SSCC concerning these matters as appropriate.
  7. Perform other duties as assigned by Senate.

Procedures

Reporting Mechanism

The subcommittee will report to SSCC with courses that satisfy established criteria and SSCC will recommend these courses to Senate for approval. The reports will include an inventory of courses reviewed and a list of those recommended for WI designation. The report may also include recommendations regarding policy or procedure.

Workflow for the Approval of WI Courses

  1. Courses seeking WI designation are submitted on the CIM-Courses software. When the appropriate box is selected, the Writing-Intensive request template will appear and it will trigger a workflow that will include SWIC.  All relevant WI information should be included in the request imbedded in the CIM-Courses software.  The courses should be approved by the relevant Faculty curriculum committee (and Faculty council, as may be required) and signed off by the dean or associate dean prior to senate-level approvals.  The Deans office will then submit the required documentation to SWIC on behalf of the proponent.  
  2. The Senate Office compiles a list of courses seeking WI designation for review by SWIC and sends the list, together with the course outline hyperlinks to the Chair of SWIC.
  3. SWIC assesses the course outlines and recommends approval in accordance with the senate-approved criteria.
  4. The Chair of SWIC provides a report to the Senate Office of the committee’s recommendation to Senate for approval. In consultation with the Chair of SSCC, the Senate Office places the SWIC report on the next SSCC agenda for review and recommendation to Senate. If SSCC has queries about the report, then the committee may invite the Chair of SWIC or proponent to attend the next SSCC meeting before recommending approval of the courses to Senate. 
  5. The approval of new courses and WI designation for these new courses may be sought in parallel.

Criteria for Writing-Intensive Courses at KPU

(Version approved by Senate, November 2021)

Writing-Intensive (WI) Courses

Writing-intensive courses (WI) teach content through writing and writing through content. Students will develop their writing abilities through practice and revision as well as through instructor and peer feedback. Course content is discipline-specific, and assignments are designed to introduce students to discipline-specific writing conventions, practices, vocabulary, and citation methods. Emphasis is also placed on developing and assessing students’ essential writing, editing, and proofreading skills.

The vetting of writing instructors is up to areas; the Senate Writing-Intensive Committee has no means and no mandate to determine that an instructor is qualified to teach writing. Instructors of WI courses would benefit from previous experience teaching writing in their disciplines and familiarity with current writing pedagogies as well as the fundamentals of English mechanics, grammar, and punctuation. Support and professional development for writing instructors across disciplines should be provided by KPU, perhaps through the Teaching and Learning Commons.

Area course developers may want to consider setting English 1100: Introduction to University Writing as a course prerequisite, particularly in WI courses numbered above the 1100 level.

Requirements for the designation of courses as Writing Intensive (WI).

(Wherever possible, these requirements will be reflected in course outlines and course presentations.)

  1. Instructional resources must be adequate to support writing-intensive instruction and the pedagogies connected with student writing development. While class size maxima are established by agreement between KPU and the KFA, the committee recommends a maximum of 25 students per WI section. Course developers should begin by speaking to their deans to ensure that adequate instructional resources are available and will be maintained for as long as the course carries a WI designation.
  2. The course is at the undergraduate level or higher. Courses designated as eligible for the pathway to undergraduate studies are not eligible for WI designation.
  3. The course is mainly composed of several individual, discipline-related writing assignments, and these assignments represent at least 60% of student assessment. Activities and assignments are scaffolded to build and reinforce core writing skills.
  4. Writing instruction occurs throughout, and students receive ample, timely feedback on their writing. Evaluations should be based on clear, pre-established criteria.
  5. Student writing in the course totals approximately 5,000 words. Most writing occurs in a series of low stakes writing assignments, but up to 30% may occur in a combination of ungraded writing assignments and revisions.
  6. The course teaches and encourages recursive writing strategies such as prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. Students are given multiple opportunities to integrate instructor and peer feedback.
  7. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing without academic assistance is an essential learning outcome of the course. Therefore, supervised or invigilated writing assignments should constitute approximately 25% of overall assessment.
  8. The course includes comprehensive supplementary writing resources such as a handbook, textbook, Internet materials, models, frameworks, or rubrics.

 WI Definitions          WI - Frequently Asked Questions          WI Process Document

Membership Composition

Chair: Elected by the committee for a three-year term

The membership of the Subcommittee on Writing-Intensive Courses is constituted by representative faculty members from across KPU who have expertise in writing-intensive courses. The faculty members are nominated by their respective Faculty councils and approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Curriculum.

Voting Members

  • One faculty member from each Faculty, with the exception of the Faculty of Arts, which shall have four faculty members (two of whom are from the Department of English)

Non-Voting

  • One academic advisor, approved by the Academic Advising Council
  • Vice-Chair of Senate

Vacant positions do not count towards quorum.

Terms of Office

  • Faculty members: three-year term
  • Academic advisor: three-year term

The Chair will inform the committee if a member’s absences exceed three meetings. The committee will discuss the situation and the chair, in conjunction with the committee, may declare the position vacant.

2023–2024 Membership

VOTINGFACULTYTERM END
FACULTY MEMBERS  
Rachelle HollawayFaculty of Academic and Career PreparationAugust 31, 2026
John RupertFaculty of Arts, EnglishAugust 31, 2025
Deborah BlenkhornFaculty of Arts, EnglishAugust 31, 2026
Bev WakeFaculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2026
 Faculty of Arts 
Emily GinterFaculty of Educational Support and DevelopmentAugust 31, 2026
Donna DanielsonFaculty of HealthAugust 31, 2026
Allyson RozellFaculty of ScienceAugust 31, 2024
 Faculty of Trades and Technology 
Darren Francis, ChairMelville School of BusinessAugust 31, 2026
Erin AshenhurstWilson School of DesignAugust 31, 2026
NON-VOTINGROLETERM END
Naomi Ben-YehudaAcademic AdvisorAugust 31, 2024
Catherine SchwichtenbergVice-Chair of SenateEx officio

2023–2024 Meeting Schedule

Location: MS Teams online

Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

SUBMISSION DEADLINEMEETING DATEAGENDA PACKAGEAPPROVED MINUTES
Tuesday, August 29, 2023Tuesday, September 12, 2023 (cancelled)  
Tuesday, September 26, 2023Tuesday, October 10, 2023October 10, 2023October 10, 2023
Tuesday, October 24, 2023Tuesday, November 7, 2023November 7, 2023November 7, 2023
Tuesday, December 19, 2023Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (cancelled)  
Tuesday, January 23, 2024Tuesday, February 6, 2024 (cancelled)  
Tuesday, February 20, 2024Tuesday, March 5, 2024March 5, 2024March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 26, 2024Tuesday, April 9, 2024April 9, 2024April 9, 2024
Tuesday, April 23, 2024Tuesday, May 7, 2024May 7, 2024May 7, 2024

Membership Archives

2022–2023

VOTINGFACULTYTERM END
FACULTY MEMBERS  
Rachelle HollawayFaculty of Academic and Career PreparationAugust 31, 2023
John RupertFaculty of Arts, EnglishAugust 31, 2025
Joakim NilssonFaculty of Arts, EnglishAugust 31, 2025
 Faculty of Arts 
 Faculty of Arts 
Chris BurnsFaculty of Educational Support and DevelopmentAugust 31, 2023
Donna DanielsonFaculty of HealthAugust 31, 2026
 Faculty of Science and Horticulture 
 Faculty of Trades and Technology 
Darren Francis, ChairMelville School of BusinessAugust 31, 2023
Michael PopeWilson School of DesignAugust 31, 2023
NON-VOTINGROLETERM END
Naomi Ben-YehudaAcademic AdvisorAugust 31, 2024
Amy JeonVice-Chair of SenateEx officio

2021–2022

VOTINGDEPARTMENTFACULTYTERM END
Robert Dearle - ChairEnglishFaculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2023
 EnglishFaculty of Arts 
  Faculty of Arts 
  Faculty of Arts 
Rachelle HollawayEnglish UpgradingFaculty of Academic and Career PreparationAugust 31, 2023
Chris Burns Faculty of Educational Support and DevelopmentAugust 31, 2023
Donna DanielsonNursingFaculty of HealthAugust 31, 2024
Gregory Harris Faculty of Science and HorticultureAugust 31, 2025
  Faculty of Trades and Technology 
Darren Francis - Vice-ChairApplied CommunicationsMelville School of BusinessAugust 31, 2023
Michael PopeFashion Design and TechnologyWilson School of DesignAugust 31, 2023
NON-VOTING ROLETERM END
Naomi Ben-Yehuda Academic AdvisorAugust 31, 2024
Amy Jeon Vice Chair of SenateEx officio

2020/2021

VOTINGDEPARTMENTFACULTYTERM END
Robert Dearle - ChairEnglishFaculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2023
Jennifer WilliamsEnglishFaculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2023
Tracey KinneyHistoryFaculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2023
  Faculty of ArtsAugust 31, 2023
Rachelle HollawayAcademic and Career PreparationFaculty of Academic and Career PreparationAugust 31, 2023
Christina PageThe Learning CentresFaculty of Educational Support and DevelopmentAugust 31, 2023
Donna DanielsonNursingFaculty of HealthAugust 31, 2023
Karen DavisonBiologyFaculty of Science and HorticultureAugust 31, 2023
  Faculty of Trades and Technology 
Darren FrancisApplied CommunicationsMelville School of BusinessAugust 31, 2023
Michael PopeFashion Design & TechnologyWilson School of DesignAugust 31, 2023
NON-VOTING ROLETERM END
Nick Bransford Academic AdvisorAugust 31, 2023
David Burns Vice Chair of SenateEx officio

Administrative Support: Senate Office