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Senate Subcommittee on Writing-Intensive Courses | SWIC

Mandate

Background

The Senate 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:

  • Make recommendations and establish criteria for writing-intensive (WI) courses.
  • Make recommendations for amendments to the AC11, General Education in Degree Programs, policy and procedures as they pertain to WI courses.
  • Review course outlines for WI designation and recommend approval in accordance with the criteria as established by the committee.
  • Oversee the review of the criteria for WI courses as necessary and recommend approval of any revisions to Senate.
  • Report to SSCC of any courses the committee deems to have satisfied the established criteria, for recommendation to Senate.
  • Review periodically the mandate, composition, and processes of the SWIC, and make recommendations to SSCC concerning these matters as appropriate.
  • 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 by the Deans’ Offices to the Senate Office as necessary. Course outlines should have the WI request indicated on the course outline summary form. They 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.
  2. The Course Developer will complete a Writing-Intensive Request Template and submit it to the Senate Office.
  3. The Senate Office will provide the Request Template to the Chair of SWIC.
  4. SWIC assesses the course outlines and recommends approval in accordance with the Senate-approved criteria.
  5. The Chair of SWIC reports the subcommittee’s recommendation to the Chair of SSCC, the course developer, and the Senate Office.
  6. 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 to attend the next SSCC meeting before recommending approval of the courses to Senate.
  7. 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 5000 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.

Please see these WI Definitions for additional information.

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, ex officio

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.

2021 / 2022 Membership

VOTING DEPARTMENT FACULTY TERM END
Robert Dearle - Chair English Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
Jennifer Williams English Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
    Faculty of Arts  
    Faculty of Arts  
Rachelle Hollaway Academic and Career Preparation Faculty of Academic and Career Preparation August 31, 2023
Christina Page The Learning Centres Faculty of Educational Support and Development August 31, 2023
Donna Danielson Nursing Faculty of Health August 31, 2023
    Faculty of Science and Horticulture August 31, 2023
    Faculty of Trades and Technology  
Darren Francis Applied Communications Melville School of Business August 31, 2023
Michael Pope Fashion Design & Technology Wilson School of Design August 31, 2023
NON-VOTING   ROLE TERM END
Naomi Ben-Yehuda   Academic Advisor August 31, 2024
Amy Jeon   Vice Chair of Senate Ex officio

2021 / 2022 Meeting Schedule

Location: All meetings will be over MS Teams in Fall, 2021

Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE MEETING DATE AGENDA PACKAGE APPROVED MINUTES
Thursday, October 14, 2021 Friday, October 29, 2021 Friday, October 29, 2021 Friday, October 29, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021 Friday, November 12, 2021 Friday, November 12, 2021 Friday, November 12, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021 Friday, November 26, 2021 Friday November 26, 2021 Friday, November 26, 2021
Thursday, December 9, 2021 Friday, December 17, 2021 Friday, December 17, 2021 Friday, December 17, 2021
Thursday, January 13, 2022 Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Thursday, February 3, 2022 Tuesday, February 15, 2022 Tuesday, February 15, 2022 Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Thursday, March 10, 2022 Tuesday, March 22, 2022 Tuesday, March 22, 2022 Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Thursday, April 14, 2022 Tuesday, April 26, 2022 Tuesday, April 26, 2022 Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Thursday, June 2, 2022 Tuesday, June 14, 2022 Tuesday, June 14, 2022 Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Membership Archives

2020/2021 Membership

VOTING DEPARTMENT FACULTY TERM END
Robert Dearle - Chair English Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
Jennifer Williams English Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
Tracey Kinney History Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
    Faculty of Arts August 31, 2023
Rachelle Hollaway Academic and Career Preparation Faculty of Academic and Career Preparation August 31, 2023
Christina Page The Learning Centres Faculty of Educational Support and Development August 31, 2023
Donna Danielson Nursing Faculty of Health August 31, 2023
Karen Davison Biology Faculty of Science and Horticulture August 31, 2023
    Faculty of Trades and Technology  
Darren Francis Applied Communications School of Business August 31, 2023
Michael Pope Fashion Design & Technology Wilson School of Design August 31, 2023
NON-VOTING   ROLE TERM END
Nick Bransford   Academic Advisor August 31, 2023
David Burns   Vice Chair of Senate Ex officio

Administrative Support: Senate Office