About the Writing Program

History of the Program

Stetson University's Writing Program has undergone tremendous changes in response to student needs, institutional development and national "best practice" standards and expectations. In only ten years, the Writing Program has:

  • Expanded to support efforts at writing across the curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration and the School of Music
  • Instituted a wide-ranging and far-seeing assessment initiative with impressive early results
  • Been instrumental in raising awareness within the campus community of the critical place of written communication in the teaching and learning process

In 1999, the Writing Program was a two-course sequence of "required English;" now, the Writing Program oversees "First Year English" (only one course, ENGL 101, which is intended to act as a transitional course to help students recognize a full range of potential), two writing intensive general education learning seminars, and over 40 "writing intensive" courses, which incorporate rich writing experiences and help students develop into strong writers. A full description of our innovative general education, writing enhanced curriculum is available on the general education requirements page.

Success of the Program

Every student, parent and teacher wants to be sure our writing and writing intensive courses benefit our community of learners. We know that the more mindful we are about incorporating writing experiences, the better our students learn their material and polish their critical thinking and writing abilities.

Measuring Success

To know whether or not the Writing Program is successful, we measure various elements of our curriculum to find out how well our students are learning. See what we learned from the Fall 2009 General Education Writing Assessment. Stetson University, though the work of the General Education Assessment Committee, won the 2011 Exemplary Program Award from the the Association for General and Liberal Studies (A.G.L.S.). The award was given for outstanding work of the General Education Assessment Committee on establishing outcomes and testing them in the first wide-scale writing assessment (fall 2009). The A.G.L.S. serves colleges and universities by fostering strong general education programs. The details of this award, including criteria and application rubric, are available online.

The next general education writing assessment will take place during the 2013-2014 academic year, using writing samples from students from ENGL 101, FSEM and JSEM to measure the effectiveness of the university's writing instruction and the successful learning of its students.