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Option C: Independent Submission

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With permission from their Chair and the WAC Coordinators, faculty who have had a lot of experience teaching their discipline using writing may opt to just hand in a WAC certification course portfolio without completing a training session at KCC. Often such candidates have become WAC certified on another campus, have served as a Writing Fellow at CUNY, or are teachers of literature in the English Department who also have a background in the teaching of writing.

Such candidates have used informal writing-to-learn activities to help students learn course material. They have required students to write in drafts and know how to support the revision process with feedback on writing. They always have students write in response to their reading assignments and know that the teacher doesn’t have to read every word of informal writing to have it count toward the final grade in a course.

Option C candidates who apply by the October 15th deadline may have the support of an assigned KCC Writing Fellow (optional) and access to the certification community motherblog during the winter if they so desire.

Application deadline: Option C candidates have greater flexibility in applying to become WAC certified. They may apply at any time during the year but should note the following deadlines for offering writing intensive sections of their courses:

By February 15th for Fall certification. You will receive a certification decision by the first day of classes, Spring term. Any requested revisions must be received by early April for you to be certified in time to teach a writing intensive section in the Fall.

By June 30th or the first day of classes in September: These submission dates allow you to be considered for certification in time to offer a writing intensive section the following Spring.

Submit a course portfolio: Option C candidates need to familiarize themselves with KCC’s WAC course portfolio requirements. See the WAC Faculty Handbook for important documents and descriptions and the WAC web page, WAC for Faculty, “Becoming Certified.”

Sample student work: We prefer to receive portfolios for courses you have experience teaching at KCC, and we prefer for it to include all the elements, including sample student writing in response to your assignments, informal and formal. If you have not yet taught the course at KCC and/or do not have sample student work, you may request exemption from this requirement.

Remuneration for Option C: None. Upon becoming certified, you will receive a course cap of 25 for each course you are able to offer on a writing intensive basis. Please check with your Chair each semester.

The elements of a course portfolio:

  1. Reflective Statement
    The reflective statement functions as a “map of the territory” for the reader of your course portfolio. Describe the learning goals of your course. What should the committee notice about your syllabus design? Where are the important assignments located during the semester? How are they supported, both before and after they are assigned? What are the specific issues you face when you teach this particular course and syllabus using reading/writing assignments?

    In addition, please include answers to some of the following: How has your thinking about the teaching of your discipline changed as a result of your experiences with WAC training or in the teaching of writing? How has your thinking about the teaching of this course evolved over time?

  2. Detailed Syllabus
    We’re hoping to see a syllabus that makes the intellectual goals of the course and the sequence and character of reading and writing assignments clear to students. Elements to be included: due dates for drafts and final versions of writing assignments; an account of how reading/writing is weighted in calculating the final grade. Note: We hope that writing will count at least 30% in determining the final grade for the course.

  3. Copies of Assignments (handouts you give to the student)
    Submit copies of all assignments, including informal writing prompts and Blackboard discussion topics, so that we know what students are being asked to do. Make sure each is carefully labeled. Assignments should match up with items on your syllabus.

    Student Work (final portfolio only): Erase student names from samples. Student work should be attached to the assignments and clearly labeled.

Option C course portfolios are submitted in hard copy to Professor Gordon Young in E309 (Department of Communications and Performing Arts). Your work should be submitted in a binder with dividers so elements are easy to find.

How Is the WAC Certification Course Portfolio Evaluated?

Course portfolios are read by at least two WAC Coordinators and evaluated in terms of the following criteria:

Reading
How are reading assignments scaffolded for students? Is there evidence of writing in response to reading? Are there other approaches to creating accountability and supporting good reading practice?

Informal Writing
Does the course include opportunities to write about course content in informal, low-stakes modes?

Assignment Design
Are formal, high stakes writing assignments designed in stages? Do students have the opportunity to receive guidance and feedback at earlier stages of the process?

Revision
Is the revision process built in to the syllabus? Do students have the opportunity to revise their work based on feedback? Is revision required of all students? Is there evidence in the portfolio of how faculty handle feedback on writing?

Grading
How much does the writing for the course count in the final grade? To what extent are the criteria for a good paper shared with students? Is there a good rubric for the assignment?

Reflective Statement
Does the reflective statement provide a full and rich picture of the thinking that went in to the creation of this reading and writing intensive course? Does it help the reader of the portfolio understand all the pieces and how they fit together? Is it reflective?



The final designations are, Certified, Provisionally Certified, or Resubmit. A provisional designation means that the representation of the course in the portfolio is not yet completely clear. Resubmit usually means we feel a major element or elements are missing.

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