About the Writing Program

History of the Program

Stetson University's Writing Program has undergone significant changes in response to student needs, institutional development and national "best practice" standards and expectations. In 1999, the Writing requirement was a two-course sequence of "required English." Since 1999, 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
  • helped raise awareness within the campus community of the critical place of written communication in the teaching and learning process

As a result of innovative assessment methods and impressive, confirmed results in our writing-intensive courses, in Fall 2016 Stetson University will implement a new writing requirement: a combination of four writing-enhanced courses, taken across General Education and disciplinary or elective areas. Each of these courses incorporates a rich variety of writing and learning experiences to help students continually develop their skills at written communication. A full description of our innovative general education, writing enhanced curriculum is available on the general education requirements page.

The Writing Program also includes the Writing Center at Stetson, an influential, personalized space where students can seek guidance and assistance from trained peer tutors drawn from all of our disciplines. In one-on-one sessions, students and tutors work together to build stronger skills at interpreting an assignment, crafting and revising the work, and responding to professor expectations while develoing as independent, self-guided thinkers and writers.

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 results of the 2013-2014 General Education assessment confirmed the findings we saw in the 2009 assessment: 80% of the sampled students in our writing-intensive FSEM and JSEM courses met  the outcome goals. We capitalized on this demonstrated, confirmed success by implementing a writing requirement that exposes all our students to four of the most writing-intensive, learning-rich courses on campus: the learning in FSEMs, JSEMs, and other WE courses.