Here's a quick summary of two aspects of Laurentian University that might be
relevant to your study.
1. We have a bilingual (English and French) WAC program. It includes
writing-intensive courses in most, though not all, programs. As well, we are
introducing a writing dossier option as a different mechanism for students to
put together a collection of writing assignments from a number of courses
within a program of study. Our WAC program exists in part because a
graduation writing competency requirement--that is, undergrads have to achive a
satisfactory level of "competency" in academic writing by the time they
graduate. This is assessed either through students' work in WAC courses,
through the dossier option, or through our writing competency test (though we
are trying to get rid of the latter). The fact that our WAC program was
initiated after the introduction of the writing competency requirement means
that we have a fundamental tension (this tension may be productive at times?)
between the concept of improving writing skills/learning to write "better"
(which the competency requirement presumes) and the concept of writing as a
mode of learning (a more WAC assumption). We also are trying to place greater
emphasis in writing as a disciplinary activity. We have a writing centre, not
housed in the English Dept, which offers peer-counselling as well as a variety
inside and outside class workshops for free to all students. This rate of use
of these services has increased dramatically over the past few years.
2. Laurentian also has a rhetoric stream as part of its English dept.
programming. This is an undergrad option only. Students graduate with an
English honours degree, but they focus on rhetoric courses rather than lit.
courses (though they still take some lit. courses). The required rhetoric
courses are a 2nd year "Composition and Rhetorical Theory" course, 2 half
courses in the history of rhetoric (from classical to contemporary), and a
fourth year special topic seminar course. As well, students have to take a few
rhetoric electives, which vary from year to year.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you want more info.
Laurentian University, Sudbury
Tania S. Smith wrote:
> CASLL folks,
> At Ohio State I am enrolled in Andrea Lunsford's graduate comp course and I
> have decided to do a term project on the current issues in Canadian
> composition. You, only you, can help me at this distance.
> I would like to use e-mail discussion on this listserv to quote or refer to
> in my essay. What I need is some material to bring us up-to-date from
> Roger Graves' (Inkshed 1994) excellent book on the subject. (By the way, I
> am also looking for more recent published material on this, and ref.s to
> other non-listserv people I should ask.)
> So those of you who are in-the-know, and those willing to conjecture: what
> do you think are the recent trends in writing instruction, the political /
> economic / pedagogical battles, the hopes of writing instructors and
> visions writing program administrators, grad students in the field, and
> tutors? I have a sense that WAC is important (seeing our previous
> discussion on this listserv on Canadian university 'traditions' in writing
> instruction, which I will likely use too). But it might not be the same
> type of WAC all over the country. I'm also interested in what role English
> and Education departments have, or other departments such as General
> studies at U of Calgary. I expect ESL to be an important issue here, too.
> What kinds of courses? methods? theories?
> Please tell me if you'd rather not be quoted and made (in)famous in my
> essay which I hope will be published. (As Russ pointed out to me, it's
> already "published" on the listserv and listserv archives.) In the meantime
> this discussion will probably be enlightening to all on the listserv.
> I hope I've worded this well... I agonized over it before sending it out,
> confirming the idea with Russ and A. Pare (thanks). Maybe it'll also
> convince you to respond if I tell you I'm a B.A. and M.A. from the U of
> Alberta (Hi, Lahoucine Ouzgane!!) and wish to return to Canada to make
> myself useful with my OSU Rhet/comp degree. And I will have my essay done
> before the Inkshed conference, which I plan to attend. So, please join in
> with your 2 cents.
> Tania Smith