The faculty at Guttman Community College are committed to creating courses and assignments in the core curriculum and in all programs of study that consistently engage students in diverse writing tasks. With Peter Elbow, we believe that writing can be a powerful learning tool when it is used consistently and intentionally in courses across the disciplines, rather than merely as means for demonstrating learning or assigning a grade (High Stakes and Low Stakes in Assigning and Responding to Writing). With Mina Shaughnessy, we believe that frequent and structured writing activities are essential for students who begin college underprepared for college-level writing tasks (Introduction to Errors and Expectations: A Guide for Teachers of Basic Writing). And with David Bartholomae we can attest to the cognitive strengths of underprepared and/or otherwise marginalized students and thus to their capacity for success with college level reading and writing tasks (Inventing the University).
Sample Assignments and Activities
- Create a Wicki-How the Other Half Lives: City Seminar I (Jacob Riis)
- Integrated Assignment 1 from City Seminar
- Contextual Analysis assign from The City in Film and Literature
- Evaluating Business Vision and Mission Statements
- Urban Studies Capstone research assignment
WAC Fellows Program
Within CUNY, a Writing Fellow is an advanced Ph.D. student from the CUNY Graduate Center who works 225 hours per year at a campus Writing Across the Curriculm (WAC) Program. At Guttman, WAC Fellows work with faculty and instructional teams in the First-Year Experience and the Programs of Study. The Fellow’s role is to support the development of curricula, assignments, classroom activities, and assessment measures grounded in best practices for teaching with writing. In collaboration with the WAC Coordinator, Fellows facilitate faculty and staff development workshops and assist in the creation and assessment of syllabi and writing assignments. In particular, Fellows work with faculty and other members of the instructional teams to plan and refine writing activities that support students with diverse backgrounds and differing levels of preparation.
WAC Fellows at Guttman – AY 2021-2022
Now that Guttman has completed the broad-scale revision of our first-year writing sequence and has begun work on our Writing Intensive courses, our focus is the revision of our goals and practices with an eye toward equity and linguistic justice. Guttman‘s 2021-2022 WAC Fellows will collaborate with the WAC Coordinator and partner faculty in both Composition and Writing Intensive courses in order to learn about, provide feedback on, and then help implement equitable, linguistically just writing pedagogy. Thinking through the ways students engage with and learn about academic writing; designing courses with an understanding of how reading and writing can facilitate students’ rhetorical agency; implementing equitable pedagogy and assessment practices to enhance student success — all of these are skills that WAC Fellows will not just develop themselves but also clarify for and practice with faculty teaching Guttman’s writing courses.