QUWAC is an interdisciplinary faculty committee that was formed in 2001 to promote practices that lead to better student thinking and stronger student writing. Since its inception, QUWAC has embraced three basic assumptions in its core mission:
- That writing is an active, recursive and powerful form of thinking
- That the most effective approach to improving student writing is through improving student's critical thinking skills
- That some combination of informal writing and formal writing provides the best means to model critical thinking and writing with students.
We have been generously supported for more than a decade by the Office of Academic Affairs and through the Davis Educational Foundation which has supported our work with individual faculty and entire departments through two grants totaling nearly $500,000. QUWAC trainers have conducted three-day workshops with more than 400 faculty, full- and part-time, using techniques that embody the essential philosophic principles of the program. In addition to our work on campus, QUWAC is a founding member of the New England Writing Across the Curriculum Consortium (NEWACC), which provides us with opportunities to disseminate our work regionally, and to learn from the experiences of our colleagues at other similar institutions.
In our recent work with writing in the disciplines (WID), QUWAC has begun to shift writing expertise locally through a collaborative model that is designed to be flexible enough for departments to "fit" writing (both formal and informal) in places in the disciplinary curriculum where it can serve to facilitate the mastery of content. WID trainers, with expertise in writing strategies, work side-by-side with their disciplinary colleagues in a strategic planning process that is designed to integrate and synthesize written work as an organic part of the disciplinary curriculum.