Call for Proposals
CWPA Fall 2010 Conference
Writing Program Assessment: Accountability and Enrichment
Proposal deadline: Friday, July 16th
Conference Theme and Design
More than ever, Writing Program Administrators, Writing Center Directors, and teachers and tutors of writing at the post-secondary level are feeling the pressure of Accountability: we are required by external bodies (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a.k.a. SACS) to study and document the impact of our curricula and, subsequently, to revise our programs in response to what we learn. Many of us are in the middle of SACS reaccreditation; many of us have just finished the process; and many of us are soon to begin that process. The process is confusing, intimidating, and enormous, particularly for many of us who haven’t had a lot of training in assessment design and implementation.
Often, external pressure leads to “assessment dread”—the assessment process becomes another hoop to jump through or another way in which our work becomes vulnerable to attack by administrators and outsiders who don’t understand what we do. Lost in this scenario is the promise of assessment—the ways in which assessment can be used to enrich our courses and to improve the work we do on behalf of our students. It is easy, too, to lose sight of the fact that program assessment can perform important research and lead to significant publications in the field of composition and rhetoric.
In response to the pressures, and sometimes dread, that surrounds the topic, the Fall 2010 CWPA Annual Meeting at Wildacres Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, NC will focus on “Writing Program Assessment.” More specifically, the meeting is intended to foster conversations about topics such as
- Current research on practices of writing assessment,
- Assessment terminology,
- Assessment design for external (satisfying accreditation requirements) and internal (improving curricula, advancing research) purposes,
- Assessment implementation (logistics and getting program instructors “on board”),
- Assessment reporting (presenting assessment results in rhetorically effective ways for different audiences).
Conference Schedule and Format
The format of the conference encourages full engagement of participants from a broad variety of institutions and programs. We will mix small, working group discussions with individual and roundtable presentations about writing program assessment.
The conference will begin at 5:00 pm on Monday, September 20, and will conclude at 10:00 am on Wednesday, September 22.