- W requirements: FAQs for faculty

Everything you wanted to know about writing attentive courses…

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Advisors
on the Writing-Attentive Requirement

1. If I am teaching a course or courses that I think should be designated W1 or W2, what should I do?

The Legislation states that:

W-courses can be proposed by departments, programs, or individual faculty members with the approval of their department or program.  They must be certified by the… First-Year Seminar and Writing Committee.

The procedure is as follows:

For existing courses or units: These courses or units are submitted for W1 or W2 designation on the Writing Designation page of Garnet Gateway.  Sign in to Garnet Gateway with your User ID and PIN.  Under Faculty Menu go to Course Maintenance Menu and click on Writing Designation.  A list of courses you have taught recently will appear, or you can use the pull-down menu that will list all courses in your department/program.  Click on the course or unit you wish to designate, and then select W1 or W2 (whichever you believe is appropriate).  You will then see a checklist for attributes for a Writing-Attentive course, and instructions.  If you only wish to preview the checklist and not designate your course at this time, that is fine.  Just don’t click Submit at the bottom.  If you do submit your course, the FYS/W committee will consider your request in a timely fashion and either approve the request or return it to you with questions.

For new courses or units: Submit your course or unit to the online course proposal system (CARS). As part of the submission process, the form will ask if you would like to designate your course W1 or W2. If you indicate that you would like to do this, click on that link and you will be brought to the Writing Designation page. Then follow the instructions in the paragraph above. The FYS/W committee will consider the designation after the CCC approves the course itself.

2. Is there a deadline by which courses must be submitted for W1 and W2 designation?

Yes.  In order for the designation to be included in the catalog for the following academic year, submissions must be received by November 15 of the prior academic year.

3. How do I (or my department or program) designate a course as W3?

The Legislation states that:

As a culminating writing experience, seniors write a thesis or complete a writing-attentive component of a senior capstone course, as determined by their major department or program.  W-designated courses at this level need not be in the English language.

The FYS/W Committee assumes, unless otherwise notified, that all theses constitute completion of the W3 experience.  In addition, some departments and programs may designate senior seminars as satisfying the W3 requirement.  Departments or programs with other ways of providing a W3 experience for their majors should inform the FYS/W committee of how they intend to provide W3s to their students.

4. Can I (or my department or program) limit enrollments in Writing-Attentive courses?

Yes.  The FYS/W committee, in consultation with the Dean of Faculty’s office, is currently gathering data that will enable us in the Fall 2007 to propose several strategies for limiting enrollments while still ensuring sufficient seats in courses to meet student needs for general education.  Currently, the FYS/W committee recommends that departments and programs consider using courses already limited to 15 or 18 students, for instance department and program seminars.  Faculty, if they so choose, may submit courses for designation as writing attentive that have higher enrollments.  A higher enrollment is NOT a criterion on the basis of which the FYS/W committee would deny a W-designation.