Writing Across the Curriculum

WAC at SUNY Oswego

At least since the time of Socrates, who famously dismissed the relatively new practice of writing emerging at the time as a kind of intellectual gimmick, it’s been all but universally agreed that writing and thinking are intimately connected. This is especially true in academia, where participants at all levels are continually called to write, whether it’s exams, course papers, journal articles, books, or blogs.

For this reason, the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at SUNY Oswego was established in 1998 by a group of faculty members committed to ensuring that students in every major on campus write frequently, thoughtfully, and effectively in their courses. The WAC Guidelines created by that group and endorsed by the Faculty Assembly require that students in all majors take at least five writing-intensive courses beyond ENG 102 during their undergraduate careers, including disciplinarily focused seminars at the introductory and advanced levels. This unusually comprehensive five-course requirement, perhaps unique nationally, signals SUNY Oswego's commitment to writing as the center of intellectual work. 

The Writing Across the Curriculum Program’s mission is to support the faculty teaching those courses with opportunities to reflect on the use of writing in their courses, to facilitate regular departmental review of Writing Plans within majors, and to help develop the general culture of writing on campus.