Students, Faculty and "Sustainable" WPA Work

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Going Public: What Writing Programs Learn from Engagement, Page: 140-159

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Wolf, Thia; Swiencicki, Jill; Fosen, Chris
English Language and Literature
book chapter description
In lieu of an abstract, here is the chapter's first paragraph:Despite several cycles of reforms spanning the last fifteen years, we three composition colleagues were unable to achieve widespread student engagement in our required one-semester writing course. At California State University, Chico, the WPA oversees faculty development and program assessment for a first-year writing program that serves 2700 students each year with over 100 sections of first-year writing. Several different WPAs experienced fatigue as they undertook challenging and often unproductive work: resisting an outdated California State policy on the aims and goals for General Education, including what constitutes appropriate aims for writing courses; revising notions of student writing that are too tied to the “modes” and views of information literacy that end in exercises rather than in the activity of scholarship; developing and delivering assessments whose findings frequently conflict with budgetary, ideological, or departmental constraints; and promoting the complex underlying assumptions of our work despite widespread and reductive beliefs about the writing capabilities of first year students.