The Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) at AWC assumes that all undergraduate students will develop the intensive writing and critical inquiry skills essential to clearly reason and communicate through the medium of language. Arizona Western College believes writing provides a unique opportunity to learn disciplinary content while mastering writing skills. All English and Writing Intensive (WI) courses directly address these central institutional and cultural values.
Interested in making your course Writing Intensive?
Arizona Western College has taken multiple steps to approve student writing. In 2013, AWC stepped away from 'Writing Across the Curriculum' and to 'Writing Intensive (WI) Courses' to ensure that students have the basic academic writing skills necessary to meet the demands of a WI course. Then, in the spring of 2017, the Writing Curriculum Committee shifted the focus one more time from 'Writing Intensive' courses to 'Writing in the Discipline'. The English Department has also worked diligently to revise the developmental and composition English course curriculum to improve student writing.
Writing in the Discipline (Writing-Intensive - WI) courses at Arizona Western College integrate writing assignments in ways that help students learn both the subject matter of the courses and discipline-specific ways of thinking and writing. The WI course helps develop students’ identities as good writers by linking their writing proficiency with their desire to know more about the field of study, to engage in questions in the discipline, and to become a participant in academic discourse.
WI Courses include:
- Formal and informal writing, both in class and out, to increase students' understanding of course material as well as to improve writing skills;
- Significant amounts of writing as part of the overall course grade;
- Opportunities for students to draft, revise, and receive feedback prior to final submission of written work;
- Written analysis and interpretation of evidence;
- Opportunities for meaningful interaction between students and professor.
The steps Arizona Western College has taken to improve student writing:
Writing Intensive Timeline
Arizona Western College utilized three different assessment methods from 2003-2012. Each modification in the assessment process was designed to better assess student writing.
In 2013, Arizona Western College determined the most appropriate assessment method was to assess student writing in designated writing courses.
English Department 10-Year Continuous Improvement Timeline
2015 - 2016 - Utilizing a scoring rubric from 1 to 3 with a score of 2 being considered proficient.
2016 (Fall only) - Utilizing a scoring rubric from 1 to 3 with a score of 2 being considered proficient.
2018 (Fall only) - Artifacts scored using a 6-point rubric, condensed to three points: 5-6=Advanced; 3-4=Proficient; 1-2=Developing
*Inter-rater reliability ranged from 0.41 to 0.59. An acceptable inter-rater reliability score in the social sciences and humanities is .8 or above.
**Scores reported are unresolved.