Fall 2010 Conference CFP – Writing Program Assessment

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.

Read Full Call for Proposals

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Advanced Reading for Meeting in the Middle

We look forward to seeing many of you on Friday, February 19th, for Meeting in the Middle. To prepare for the morning session on Supporting ESL Writers: Dispelling Myths, Developing Strategies, we recommend reading the following:

CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers

Friedrich, Patricia. “Assessing the Needs of Linguistically Diverse First-Year Students: Bringing Together and Telling Apart International ESL, Resident ESL and Monolingual Basic Writers.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 30.1-2 (Fall 2006): 15-35.

Shuck, Gail. “Combating Monolingualism: A Novice Administrator’s Challenge.”WPA: Writing Program Administration 30.1-2 (Fall 2006): 59-82.

Please print these texts – or download an electronic copy – to bring with you to Charlotte. We hope you will find time to read one or more before the morning session.

Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times – Register Today!

The conference schedule and list of presenters is now posted. Please use the navigation to the left to visit the 2009 Fall Conference pages. Keep reading below for the highlights and for registration information.

Continue reading Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times – Register Today!

Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times (Call for Proposals)

Submission deadline extended: Proposals due July 17th

Conference Theme and Design

Since Chris Anson’s call at the CWPA Meeting in the Middle in February 2007 to research ways to improve student writing and writing programs at our universities, Carolinas Writing Program Administrators has worked to facilitate researched responses to the challenges and opportunities facing our programs. This year, many of our members share the challenge of preserving “what’s good” about our programs – and moving forward with innovation – in a time of financial hardship. 

In recognition of this shared challenge, this year’s CWPA sixth annual fall conference (September 21-23 at Wildacres) invites participants to share research and problem-solving on creative responses to tight financial times. Participants might examine how to use budget cuts as opportunities to restructure programs in positive ways, share research that demonstrates the need to preserve small class sizes/low teaching loads, or challenge our assumptions about what is truly essential to a strong writing program. This list is not exhaustive, and we invite members to draw on their particular areas of expertise in order to assist like-minded colleagues from across NC and SC to better understand the state of research and practice in related areas.

Continue reading Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times (Call for Proposals)

Meeting in the Middle (February 13, 2009)

The Third Annual CWPA “Meeting in the Middle” will be held Friday, February 13, 2009, from 9:30 to 4:30 at the UNC-Charlotte Up Town Center, in Charlotte, NC. This year’s meeting will focus on “Writing Courses Online: Dare we go there?” Our morning session will feature a panel, comprised of colleagues who have varying degrees of experience teaching and researching online writing courses, to lead us in a discussion of the complexities of online writing instruction, while our afternoon session will feature several hands-on demonstrations of activities and assignments that can be used in online writing environments.

Visit the conferences page for more details.