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Policies and Procedures of the Writing Instruction in the  Disciplines Committee

5 March 2009

I. MISSION STATEMENT

The Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) Committee serves as the Western Illinois University Faculty Senate’s representative body to review and recommend for approval all new or revised undergraduate courses designed to fulfill the WID requirement for each major. Further, the Committee will serve the departments in the area of departmental WID reviews to ensure that the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines Approved Guidelines are fulfilled by each departmental WID course.

II. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WRITING ISTRUCTION IN THE DISCIPLINES COMMITTEE

A. Membership. The Committee shall consist of eleven members (eight voting) including one undergraduate student (non-voting) selected by the Student Government Association, eight faculty members (two from each college) appointed by the Faculty Senate, and two ex-officio members. The voting members must be (or have been) instructors in WID courses. The Director of the Writing Center and the Director of Writing Programs shall serve as the two ex-officio members.

B. Duties.

  • To recommend to the Faculty Senate the approval and disapproval of all new WID courses.
  • To recommend to the Faculty Senate the approval and disapproval of all significant changes in the WID requirements for individual majors.
  • To conduct periodic reviews of all WID courses to assure compliance with the principles and practices of the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines graduation requirement.
  • To maintain a list of all current instructors of WID courses.
  • To monitor course enrollment in WID courses.
  • To secure periodic feedback from students, faculty, alumni, and employers concerning the implementation and effects of the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines graduation requirement.
  • To sponsor one or more faculty development activities each year to improve Writing Instruction in the Disciplines courses.
  • To perform such other duties as designated by the Faculty Senate.

[Faculty Senate Bylaws, 4-6-04]

III. PROCEDURES FOR APPROVING NEW OR MODIFIED WRITING INSTRUCTION IN THE DISCIPLINES COURSES

This Committee is an intermediate step in the University approval process for new or revised undergraduate WID courses. After receipt and review of the WID Course Approval Form and all necessary accompanying documentation, the Committee will make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate for approval or disapproval regarding a new course’s eligibility for WID designation. The Committee will also make a recommendation for approval or disapproval to the Faculty Senate regarding all significant changes in the WID requirement for individual majors.

The course proposal and all necessary accompanying documentation will be evaluated by the Committee members with regard to the eight elements of the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines Approved Guidelines to ensure the proposed or modified course’s fulfillment of the WID standards. If upon initial review of the proposal the Committee does not vote to approve the proposal, the sponsors will be given detailed feedback to prepare the proposal for resubmission and reconsideration.

For consideration, eleven (11) copies of the WID Course Approval Form with all necessary accompanying documentation must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office, Stipes Hall 323, for distribution to the members of the Committee. Documents must arrive nine (9) days prior to a scheduled monthly WID Committee meeting (meeting dates will be available online at the WID website at the start of each semester). The department chair and/or faculty member(s) teaching the course will be present at the meeting during which the course proposal is considered to answer the questions of Committee members.

IV. PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCTING DEPARTMENTAL WRITING INSTRUCTION IN THE DISCIPLINES REVIEWS

In addition to reviewing WID Course Approval Forms, the Committee will also conduct reviews of departmental WID offerings to assure compliance with the principles and practices of the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines graduation requirement. The Committee will select departments to be reviewed each year based upon consideration of the date of last review as indicated by the “List of Approved WID Courses,” located on the WID website and updated annually or as needed by the Committee Chair.

Two Committee members (the Chair and one additional member) will conduct each departmental review. The Chair will initiate the process by informing the department chair of the department’s selection for review. The faculty of the department’s WID course(s) will then submit electronic or paper copies of current or recent WID syllabi for review, and the reviewers will evaluate those documents with regard to the WID Approved Guidelines. Upon completion of the syllabus review, a meeting will be scheduled for the department chair, the faculty, and the two WID Committee reviewers to discuss the department’s strategies concerning WID course offerings and to discuss suggestions and recommendations concerning the continued fulfillment of the WID guidelines. A Final Report form will be completed by the Committee members at the conclusion of the review process and distributed to the department chair and faculty. The Final Report will indicate whether a follow-up review is recommended in the event of non-compliance to WID standards.