For Faculty and Departments

UWP and WID administrators and staff strive to assist WID faculty in becoming the best writing instructors they can be. Here you will find information pertinent to faculty teaching WID courses, including information on course requirements, teaching support, deadlines, and teaching awards.

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WID Program Administrators

Phillip Troutman, Director, [email protected]

Randi Kristensen, Deputy Director, [email protected]

Gil Huerta, Operations, [email protected]

WID Course Guidelines

While styles, formats, audiences, purposes, and lengths of writing will vary, all WID course will:

  • teach students to write in modes characteristic of the discipline or interdisciplinary field, attending to the discipline's genres, purposes, and audiences.

  • stage writing assignments that build upon each other throughout the course, providing scaffolding support as needed.

  • ask students to draft and revise in response to substantive feedback from faculty and peers; each student should gain practice in providing meaningful peer response.

  • value such disciplinary work by assigning graded writing (excluding timed exams) as at least 40 percent of the course grade.

Faculty are encouraged to be innovative in their course design. This can take many forms, such as linking assignments in which early writing becomes part of a larger final project. Writing could have a more public component, with the goal of presenting at GW's Research Days, publishing in the GW Undergraduate Review journal, or some other kind of class event.

FAQs

  • What if I’m teaching a WID under a special topics number? Departments must ensure that new courses offered under existing WID course numbers for variable topics courses (e.g., Special Topics, Proseminars, Undergraduate Research, etc.) must reflect all WID characteristics above. The WID directors may request syllabi for approval before such courses are offered. We invite faculty to consult with us on any questions they may have.

  • What about cross-listing WIDs?  WIDs should be cross-listed only with other WIDs. Students will not receive WID credit if enrolled under a non-WID course number.

  • What about WID and non-WID versions of the same course? If WID and non-WID versions of a course are offered simultaneously, syllabi should clearly articulate the differences between the two courses. Students wanting WID credit should enroll in the WID version. Students will not receive WID credit if enrolled under a non-WID course number.

  • Are WID courses ever reviewed later? Departments should expect a review of WID syllabi and assignment sheets every few years, especially since syllabi and faculty assignments will change over time. 

  • Can students count study abroad courses for WID credit? Yes, but only by petition to WID. Study abroad courses do not transfer back to GW as WID equivalents. A student wishing to count a study abroad course towards the WID requirement must submit a petition through the WID Exemption Process. (WID credit requests submitted through the CATS system will be rejected.) If approved by WID, the course will then be slotted into a student’s DegreeMAP worksheet under the WID requirement, although it will maintain its non-WID notation.  

  • Can students count transfer courses for WID credit? Yes, but only by petition to WID. All pre- and post-matriculation transfer credits must first be accepted by GW as electives or department non-WID equivalents; no transfer course receives WID designation. Students who wish to petition for WID credit must do so via the WID Exemption Process. (WID credit requests submitted using a Transfer Credit Approval Form will be rejected.) If approved by WID, the course will then be slotted into a student’s DegreeMAP worksheet under the WID requirement, although it will maintain its non-WID notation.  

Proposing a New WID Course

To propose a WID course, complete the WID Course Proposal Form. For any questions, or to get feedback on a draft syllabus, please email the WID Director, Phillip Troutman, [email protected].

Submission Deadlines

  • Dec 1 for the following Fall and Summer terms

  • May 1 for the following Spring term

Note on Summer WID Proposals: First-time summer course proposals should be submitted into Courseleaf based on a 15-week term term calendar (e.g. Fall/Spring), even if the course will actually be taught over a shorter duration (i.e. Summer, 8 or 12 weeks). Assignment calendars that do not follow a 15-week schedule will not pass CCAS Academic Dean review, and will therefore be rolled back to the department initiator with requests to revise the calendar.

Note on Review Workflow: The WID Course Approval process is two-fold: (1.) The WID director will approve your syllabus and 15-week course calendar. This can happen in an email exchange with drafts and revisions. (2.) Meanwhile, your department administrator initiates a request to have a new WID course number created in Courseleaf. Once the final syllabus/calendar is approved by the WID director, it will be uploaded to Courseleaf and continues its way through the workflow. This can take several weeks.

The WID program does not grant retroactive WID status for a course offered without the W designation. Students will not receive WID credit for a course that does not have the W designation at the time of registration.

Please direct all questions about this form and process to the Writing in the Disciplines inbox at [email protected].

WID Course Support: Graduate Assistants (WID GAs)

Each semester, the WID Program provides funding for WID faculty to hire graduate or undergraduate students in the following appointment categories to assist with the writing component of their WID courses:

WID Graduate Assistants (WID GAs) are advanced MA or PhD students in the faculty member's home department or a related department and are paid a salary to grade papers, read drafts, and meet with students to discuss their writing.  To qualify, the course must enroll a minimum of 20 WID students (which means the cap should be set at say 30 or more). WID matches the CCAS salary bands for course-by-course GA hires, based on number of seats offered. WID trains new WID GAs a a required two-day workshop in August or in January, depending on term of appointment.

GAs are intended to make the workload manageable, but they should not be expected to do more than 50 percent of the overall grading and commenting in a WID course. Faculty and GAs together draw up a written agreement that lists duties, estimates labor per task, and articulates expectations for classroom support. If you are interested in requesting WID GA support for your WID course, fill out the WID Graduate Assistant Request Form. Faculty may nominate graduate students they wish to work with through this form as well. Please provide the candidate’s name, email, and GWID as part of your submission. 

WID Graduate Assistant collaborate closely with the faculty member; their duties may include:

  • assisting in evaluating and grading the writing in the course, with the caveat that WID GAs are not primarily graders; 50% or less of their time may be spent grading, and WID GAs will do less than 50% of the grading overall

  • co-designing writing assignment staging, language, and scaffolding materials

  • designing and directing peer review assignments and meetings

  • leading occasional writing/topic workshops during a lecture section

  • holding office hours to consult with individual students; and

  • locating and preparing materials or activities that are relevant to the teaching topic and writing assignments.

  • leading writing/topic workshops in discussion sections (if the course is structured this way)

Submission Deadlines to apply for a WID GA

  • April 15 for Fall courses

  • Nov. 1 for Spring courses

  • Nov. 1 for Summer courses

Please direct all questions about this form and process to the Writing in the Disciplines inbox at [email protected]. Only those requests made through the WID GA Request Form will be honored. 

WID Course Support: Peer Writing Preceptors (PWPs)

Peer Writing Preceptors (PWPs) are outstanding undergraduate students with a strong interest in writing and the ability to provide informal coaching and feedback to their fellow undergraduates. They are not permitted to do formal grading. Preceptors are nominated by their professor and serve in courses in which they themselves have excelled.  The Peer Writing Preceptorship initiative offers an opportunity for select undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor and gain experience in teaching. Preceptors generally work 7-10 hours per week. WID faculty mentoring a student for the first time will receive a supplemental compensation of $500.00 after the semester is complete.  Preceptor support is limited to WID courses enrolling 18 or more students.

Peer Writing Preceptor duties may include

  1. Meeting with students in class or individually to discuss assignments, answer questions, and give feedback.

  2. Reviewing outlines, rough drafts, or other writing to provide responses and suggestions for improvements in coherence, clarity of purpose, argument, etc.;

  3. Leading peer review meetings, guiding students in providing substantive peer response.

If you are interested in hiring a peer writing perceptor, fill out the WID Peer Writing Preceptor request form

Submission Deadlines to apply for a PWP

  • April 15 for Fall courses

  • December 1 for Spring courses

  • WID does not fund PWPs for Summer courses

Please direct all questions about this form and process to the Writing in the Disciplines inbox at [email protected]. Only those requests made through the WID Peer Writing Preceptor Request Form will be honored.