Thanks for the clarification, Phillipa.
I see your problem. WAC was never supposed to be associated with
remediation, but if there is a test that creates a separate category of
"WAC student," who must take certain "WAC courses," the association seems
I have always thought of a WAC program as a program that encourages
writing in as many courses as possible everywhere for all students. The
idea is that _all_ students need exposure to a certain amount of writing,
both because of its learning potential and because even good writers need
to keep on writing in order to mature their skill. They also need to
master the writing conventions of their discipline. So WAC or WI courses
occur at all levels, up to the most senior courses--in fact they're more
likely to be senior courses because of smaller class sizes--and students
are expected to take X number of them in order to graduate.
This was the model that was suggested at U of C (though rejected as
unwieldy), and is commonly used in the U.S. I think there's sounthing
like this at Southwestern as well (have you any info on their program?)
The suggested U of C model had WAC as a quite separate component from the
test. The test is supposed to scoop up the illiterates at the gates and
bandage their worst wounds. The WAC program was supposed to ensure that
the EFWR system was _not_ the last writing instruction they ever saw. My
mission is to see if I can get something like this into play at a
grass-roots level, since the administration rejected (probably rightly) a
Is there any way that you can get these two ideas, evidently commingled
at Laurentian, at least somewhat separated? It would require, I imagine,
putting in some kind of quasi-remedial writing courses to "take care of"
the low-scorers on the test and then a separate graduation requirement to
ensure that students had taken a reasonable number of WI courses after
Probably once WAC has gotten itself entangled with remediation, it can
never be untangled. Pity. The problem seems to me to be lodged in the
whole idea of "WAC student" and "WAC faculty." It seems that all
students are WAC students if WAC is to mean what I think it should mean.
By the way--you mentioned "WAC faculty." Who are these? Are they
instructors specially hired or trained to teach writing, or does the term
simply refer to any instructor who teaches a designated WAC course?
How do students get their graduation requirement of 1? Do they get it on
coursework or do they have to keep retaking the test? If the latter,
what do you do with students who have met all requirements for graduation
and still can't get that motherblessed 1? Does the institution have the
wherewithall to block their graduation?
Laurence--what is your view on this? It sounds as if the intentions you
had for WAC at Laurentian have at least to some extent glang agley. What
does it look like from where you sit?