Adopted by Academic Affairs Committee, 9 November 2001


GOAL:  Courses at Columbia College Chicago that carry the designation Writing Intensive (WI) include critical, advanced writing at a level beyond that of English Composition I and II.


A.     Writing Intensive Graduation Requirement

To graduate, all students must complete a course that is designated as Writing Intensive (WI).  Students may take a Writing Intensive course within their major, or in a department other than the department of their major course of study. 


B.     Definition of a Writing Intensive Course

Writing Intensive courses employ writing as a primary means of discussing a subject.  These courses use the student's own writing as a way of learning the subject matter, and use content to stimulate improvement in writing.  English Composition I and II are the minimum prerequisites and curricular foundation for all Writing Intensive courses.


C.     Assessment of Writing Intensive Courses

All Writing Intensive courses are subject to College-wide assessment.


D.   Criteria for a Writing Intensive Course

All WI courses must build upon the skills acquired in English Composition I and II


Objectives for ECI: By the end of Comp I, students will be able to:

-        use processes of brainstorming, drafting, revision, and editing to compose original essays that generate and communicate personal and intellectual discoveries;

-        develop a controlling idea, exploring it in depth with illustrative detail;

-        use organizational strategies appropriate to their audience and purpose;

-        craft coherent, well developed paragraphs and sentences free from distracting mechanical error;

-        read and respond to student and published writing critically;

-        respond to two-three published authors in the context of an essay, using MLA style citation.


Objectives for ECII: By the end of Comp II, students will be able to:

-        use research and essay writing to dialogue with published authors about topics of public concern;

-        use research and essay writing to explore original ideas in considerable depth and at sustained length;

-        identify argumentative claims and evaluate supporting detail;

-        use numerous kinds of published sources to enhance and complicate their own ideas, using MLA style citation, and maintaining a strong personal voice;

-        acquire editing skills that will advance their level of syntactical maturity;

-        analyze and respond to argumentative texts critically.


2.      The size of the class must allow for teaching both content and writing.  Suggested maximum enrollment: 12-15 students.


3.      Writing Intensive courses must require writing assignments consistently throughout the term with an emphasis on the process of writing, and include one longer writing project, the standards of which shall be determined by the department.


4.      On average in a Writing Intensive course, students will produce three pages of writing each week, including revisions and excluding exams.  Writing Intensive instructors should guide students through conceptual, structural, and sentence-level revisions of their writing.  Time will be allowed in the course schedule for the revision of papers.  Suggested writing experiences should be in more than one form.


5.      Writing should be graded on content, form and process.


6.      It is recommended that students should demonstrate sufficient fluency in word-processing prior to enrollment in a WI course.


E.       Faculty of Writing Intensive Courses


1.      Instructors, course coordinators and chairpersons must ensure that the theory and practice of teaching writing is reflected in all sections of each Writing Intensive course.  Department chairs are expected to make appropriate teaching assignments for WI courses.


2.      Instructors must be properly prepared to teach Writing Intensive courses.  Each department is responsible for determining how its WI instructors are to be readied for WI teaching assignments.  The minimum requirement for the preparation of all WI instructors is the successful completion of one, two-hour workshop or online training session on the teaching of writing provided by the English department in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence and faculty throughout the disciplines of the College.  This requirement is to ensure that there is consistency and a shared focus in the instruction of WI courses.  Additional opportunities for the preparation of WI instructors include further participation in the Writing-Across-the-Curriculum program and the activities offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence.  In addition, WI instructors are obligated to consult the Writing-Intensive Courses: Best Practices manual [URL address]. 


F.      Procedure for Approval of Writing Intensive Courses

1.      Departments may elect courses that meet the criteria for Writing Intensive and submit them, with copies of the syllabi that include course assignments, to the School Curriculum Committee for review.


2.      The Writing Intensive status becomes an integral part of this course, similar to the general education designation, and is recorded in the computer catalog as permanent information.  If this status is changed, a Change to Existing Course form must be submitted.


3.      If a course is approved for Writing Intensive status, then all sections of the course, not just specific sections, will be approved and must adhere to the WI criteria.


4.      An active syllabi file will be kept of all Writing Intensive courses with periodic evaluations of these syllabi requested by the School Deans / Provost's Office.


5.      The Writing Intensive criteria will be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and, if necessary, updated and revised, at least every three years.