CFP: Reclaiming Accountability

Reclaiming Accountability:

Using the Work of Re/Accreditation to Improve Writing Programs

Edited by Wendy Sharer, William Banks, Tracy Ann Morse, and Michelle F. Eble


In an era of increased public scrutiny and accountability, faculty and administrators at colleges and universities often shudder when they hear the word “accreditation.”  For many, implementing, tracking, and sustaining large-scale assessment of student learning for accreditation or reaccreditation purposes are daunting and joyless, but necessary, tasks. Yet, within the accreditation cycle, writing program administrators (WPAs) across the country have found the impetus for substantial, long-term change in composition and WAC programs. WPAs, in fact, are in a unique position to lead the development of a culture of assessment on their campuses and, through their efforts, to change campus understandings of and approaches to writing instruction in ways that have not been possible since the birth of the WAC movement. For example, as a condition for reaccreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires institutions to design, implement, and assess a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a university-wide, long-term (5 year) program aimed at improving some aspect of student learning. Many SACS-accredited schools have used the QEP to advance and improve writing instruction at their institutions because writing is central to endeavors across campus.


The editors of this proposed collection are faculty at a large, regional state university in the Southeast who chose to use reaccreditation as an opportunity, in a time of economic scarcity, to garner institutional and financial support for significant revisions to their composition and WAC programs. We seek to build a collection that will help faculty use accreditation to gain the kinds of benefits that we have witnessed, both at our own institution and through our studies of accreditation-related initiatives at other schools around the country.


More specifically, we hope to bring together a series of critical case studies of writing programs that have planned, implemented, and/or assessed the impact of large-scale, accreditation-supported initiatives. In addition to providing examples of how others in the profession might approach such work, the book will illustrate how faculty can use accreditation to cultivate campus-wide discussions of writing and to better meet local student learning needs.


We envision that the collection will be divided into three sections that correspond to the key stages of writing program enhancement projects: Development, Implementation, and Improvement.


Possible questions addressed in these sections include:

  • How have faculty from different areas of the country used accreditation / reaccreditation to cultivate campus-wide support for writing program development and change?
  • What strategies have WPAs used to engage faculty from across the university in productive discussion about changes to existing writing programs?
  • What kinds of large-scale changes to writing programs have WPAs undertaken in response to accreditation processes? Why? What theories inform these university-wide plans?
  • How have writing centers been part of accreditation-driven institutional change?
  • How can university-wide conversations help faculty across the institution move from the notion of remediation and inoculation in first-year writing courses to focusing on improving writing throughout the college experience?
  • What challenges—financial, curricular, administrative, etc.—do WPAs face in their efforts to develop and implement accreditation-related changes to composition and/or WAC programs?
  • How can WPAs increase faculty buy-in for large-scale changes?
  • What kinds of assessments have faculty used to measure the impact of the changes they have implemented in support of accreditation efforts? And what alterations have been made to improvement plans as a result of these assessments?
  • How might the fields of composition studies and writing program administration contribute to WPAs efforts to improve writing instruction through the accreditation process?
  • What have faculty learned about the processes of programmatic change through their work with accreditation? How are conversations about accreditation reshaping the field?


Submission Guidelines

We welcome proposals for case studies and critical essays, addressing successful implementations as well as challenges, that speak to the field’s role in re/accreditation. Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short bio of approximately 150 words by October 1, 2012 to Dr. Wendy Sharer (

CFPs: Carolinas WPA at SAMLA (Due June 20)


The Challenges of WPA Work in the 21st Century

This session seeks to bring to the fore the most pressing issues of WPA work. Possible questions to be addressed by participants in this roundtable include, what are the current and most important challenges of doing WPA work? How should we respond to those challenges? How have facets of WPA work changed, declined, or improved within the past five years? What factors have contributed to changes in WPA work? Abstracts that address these questions or issues of ESL, technology, professional development, adjunct labor, graduate student development, etc. will be considered. We seek proposals that identify and address current issues affecting writing program administrators in the south Atlantic region of the country. Proposals from current WPAs are encouraged, but instructors of all ranks and all levels of experience are welcome to submit.

By July 1, 2012, please direct brief abstracts of approximately 250 words to Anthony Atkins, University of North Carolina Wilmington, at



Making the Most of the QEP: Building Stronger Programs through the Accreditation Process

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a requirement of SACS accreditation, involves a five-year set of assessable initiatives aimed at improving some area of student learning. Because writing is so frequently identified as an area of student learning that needs improvement, and because writing often serves as a medium through which to measure and assess student learning, many WPAs and writing instructors have become heavily involved with the QEP on their campuses. This session seeks to bring together writing program personnel who have worked on a QEP to share insights about the various stages of the QEP process. Questions participants might address include the following: What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of a writing-focused QEP? What can a WPA do to raise administrative and campus-wide support for a writing-focused QEP? What are some common hurdles encountered in implementing a writing-focused QEP? What methods of assessment can be used to determine and document the impact of QEP initiatives that focus on improving student writing? In what ways can a composition and/or WAC program contribute to and benefit from a QEP that focuses on a topic other than, but closely related to, writing (i.e., critical thinking, global awareness, civic participation, etc.)?

By July 1, 2012, please direct brief abstracts of approximately 250 words to Wendy Sharer, East Carolina University, at



Alignments and Transitions: Preparing High School Students for Freshman Composition

Applebee and Langer’s snapshot of secondary writing instruction (2011) notes comparatively slight use of “evidence-based practices” in actual high school classroom writing instruction. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and similar nationally normed assessments also indicate that in high school settings, even with the availability of new technologies for writing and research, writing instruction typically consists largely of English teachers presenting a “typical assignment” to be completed in class, consisting of a few sentences setting out a pre-digested topic with expectations of a page or less to be graded. Thus many students, especially first-generation college attenders, are not prepared for the rigor of postsecondary education. When high school writing is more carefully aligned with college-level expectations, entering freshmen are more prepared and more likely to succeed in the college writing classroom. This panel will focus on local and state initiatives designed to increase articulation between the high school and college setting, such as the South Carolina Course Alignment Project. This call for proposal asks for panelists who have collaborated formally with articulation projects to examine how writing administrators and FYC instructors have collaborated intentionally with high school teachers to foster writing instruction that moves beyond formulaic testing. How can administrators reach out to secondary teachers? How can we better coordinate and align expectations for college-bound students during their secondary years? How can we better communicate expectations for regional campus writing programs?

By July 1, 2012, please direct brief abstracts of approximately 250 words to Lynne Rhodes, University of South Carolina Aiken, at

CFP: The 4th Annual North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing; February 10-12, 2012


Exploring the Employment Practices and Working Conditions that Affect Writing Instructors

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wyoming Resolution and English Departments and writing programs continue to face challenging budget issues, there has been a recent groundswell of public discussion regarding contingent labor. The March 2011 issue of College English, for example, revisits the Wyoming Resolution and includes a statement from the NCTE College Section Working Group on the Status and Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty. Then in June 2011, the MLA Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession issued its Professional Employment Practices for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Members: Recommendations and Evaluative Questions. And currently, Open Words is calling for papers for its “Special Issue on Contingent Labor and Educational Access.” In their article in the aforementioned issue of College English, Lisa Meloncon and Peter England discuss how the department can be a “non-place” for instructors who feel disconnected from that department. The North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing is interested in exploring the conditions under which writing instructors currently work as well as facilitating discussion about how instructors and departments can connect–or reconnect. Symposium organizers welcome proposals for panels and papers on a variety of topics; those addressing any of the above concerns will be given special consideration.

Continue reading CFP: The 4th Annual North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing; February 10-12, 2012

CFP – Grants: Finding and Applying for Funding Opportunities

Eighth Annual Carolinas WPA Conference at Wildacres

Call for Proposals

Grants: Finding and Applying for Funding Opportunities

September 19-21, 2011 | Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, NC

*Proposal deadline: Friday, July 15th*

Conference Theme and Design

In these lean financial times, resources for innovative program development, curriculum design, and WPA-related research is very difficult to come by. As a result, WPAs increasingly need to take part in internal and external grant competitions. To help with this intimidating and often labor intensive process, the Carolinas Council of Writing Program Administrators will focus its annual fall gathering at Wildacres Retreat Center on “Finding and Applying for Funding Opportunities.” The meeting will provide information to help participants identify relevant funding sources and will provide instruction in and hands-on working time for writing grant proposals. We envision the meeting as a terrific opportunity for you and colleagues from your program to locate and begin to pursue grant money, and we hope that the occasion will also give rise to some cross-institutional funding proposals.

Conference Schedule and Format

The format of the conference will encourage full engagement of participants from a broad variety of institutions and programs. We will mix small, working group discussions with larger presentations about grant seeking and grant writing.

The conference will begin at 5:00 pm on Monday, September 19, and will conclude at 10:00 am on Wednesday, September 21.

Featured session leaders include (more may be added)

  • Michelle Eble, East Carolina
  • Susan Miller-Cochran, NC State
  • Tim Peeples, Elon
  • Lynn Rhodes, USC Aiken


We invite proposals from individuals or groups from schools across the Carolinas. Each proposal should be no more than 700 words and should contain the following:

1)   A description of a project or set of related projects that you and your colleagues (if applicable) hope to secure funding to pursue.

2)   A brief overview of the possible costs involved with this project or set of projects. Rough estimates are fine.

3)   A list of grant-related concerns that you have and/or issues that you would like to discuss with others at the conference.

4)   A brief overview of any fund-seeking successes–research or teaching/administration related–you have had in the past (if applicable).

5)   The names and contact information (email and phone) for each person affiliated with the proposal.

Please be sure to title your proposal and submit it via email to Wendy Sharer ( by Friday, July 15, 2011.

Titles and authors of accepted proposals will be included on the conference schedule as formal presentations/contributions. We hope this will open up travel funding for all participants.

NOTE: You do not need to present to attend the conference, but if presenting will help you secure funding, we hope you will consider submitting a proposal either individually or with some colleagues from your institution.

Registration and Cost

The registration price of $165 includes lodging and 5 meals at Wildacres, as well as all conference materials. The registration will open July 15, and the registration deadline is August 31, with no refunds after September 7. Prior to September 7, you may cancel and receive a full refund.

We anticipate that space will be limited. We will maintain a waiting list if you pay the registration fee, which will be returned in full if no openings become available.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Wendy Sharer at or 252-328-6698.

Meeting in the Middle: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

WHO:           Carolinas WPA (CWPA)

WHAT:         Meeting in the Middle (one-day conference)

WHERE:       UNC Charlotte (Cone Center: Rooms 208 and 210) – Get Directions

WHEN:         18 February 2011 from 9:30am-4:00pm

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

“The scholarship of teaching and learning involves systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations or publications.”

-Kathleen McKinney, Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, Illinois State University

The afternoon session of the CWPA “Meeting in the Middle,” our annual one-day event in Charlotte, will provide a venue for sharing our work on the scholarship of teaching and learning with our colleagues from North and South Carolina. We invite proposals for poster presentation that contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Posters might, for instance focus on classroom-based research projects that you have done or that you plan to do, or they might focus on how research, whether classroom-based or not, can inform and enrich teaching practices.  Graduate students and faculty from all ranks are welcome to join us.

Please bring your own easel or way or displaying your poster.

Conference Description

Morning Session (9:30am): Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Panel A
The morning session will feature specialists in the scholarship of teaching and learning from North and/or South Carolina universities.

Poster Set-up (11:00-11:30pm)

In-house Luncheon (11:30am-12:30pm)

Afternoon Session I (12:30pm)

Poster Presentations
Posters accepted will be displayed in the afternoon. Authors and attendees will be encouraged to roam the room and chat/discuss with presenters about their specific research projects on teaching and learning.

Afternoon Session II (2:00pm)

Panel B
The afternoon session will feature specialists in the scholarship of teaching and learning from North and/or South Carolina universities.

Closing Session (3:30 pm)

To increase CWPA visibilityBring a Friend for Free.  However, you must register your friend when you register. Registration is only $25.

We know we are cutting our deadlines close, so if you intend to participate (submit a poster), please send an email directly to Tony Atkins ( indicating the title of your poster, a brief explanation of the topic, the names of those who will be presenting the poster with you, and the name of your institution/s.  Please send your proposal by Friday, February 4.

CFP: North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing

North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing
Shifting Platforms: New Media, Emerging Literacies, and the Writing Teacher

February 4-5, 2011
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC

The North Carolina Symposium on Teaching Writing is interested in facilitating discussions focusing on how best to navigate and respond to the continued emergence of new media technologies and resultant literacies. As scholars and educators, we must continue to reconsider the role these new media and literacies play in our students’ lives and writing classrooms. More than ever before, students continue to face profound changes in their literacy journeys from the beginning of their education to its culmination. With these changes educators are faced with a new set of opportunities and challenges. Given that reality, the symposium organizers welcome proposals for panels and papers on a variety of topics; those addressing any of the concerns above will be given special consideration.

Related topics include (but are not limited to):
* Defining new literacies and new media
* Influences of new media on student writing and literacies
* Negotiating professional development and learning in regard to evolving and emerging media
* Instructor education and integration of web logs (blogs), wikis, message boards, etc. in classroom environments
* Assessment of student writing from different multimedia platforms
* Using multimedia rhetoric
* Altered approaches to composition practices in an online, networked environment including multimedia or multimodal friendly platforms
* Emergent opportunities for and negotiation of collaborative writing
* Resultant connections between information technologies and plagiarism
* Intersection of authors: defining intellectual property in an age of information
* Curricular transfer: application and efficacy of composition strategies from high school writing environments to community colleges and universities
* Fostering critical awareness regarding composition’s changing relationship with new media

The keynote speaker for this year’s symposium will be Andrea Lunsford, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor of English and Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University. Professor Lunsford has served as Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chair of the Modern Language Association Division of Writing, and as a member of the MLA Executive Council. She has written or coauthored eighteen books, including Writing Matters: Rhetoric in Public and Private Lives; The Everyday Writer; Everything’s An Argument; and Reclaiming Rhetorica: Women in the Rhetorical Tradition, as well as numerous chapters and articles related to composition and rhetoric.

Specific Guidelines for Submission:
Individual paper proposals should be 200-300 words in length. Panel submissions should not total more than 1000 words. Panels will be 75 minutes in length, including Q&A.

All sessions will be held in rooms with Internet access and projection capabilities. Please indicate any other technology requirements.

We encourage participation from all faculty ranks, and we particularly encourage contingent faculty, K-12 faculty, and graduate student participation.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, October 1st.

Submit proposals as a Microsoft Word compatible attachment (.doc or .docx) or PDF to:Bridget Cooper (