Writing at the small liberal arts college: Implications for teaching and learning
This study examines the writing requirements and structures for administering writing at 54 small, selective liberal arts college. After a brief introduction to the theory and practice of writing across the curriculum, I place writing in the context of these small colleges. I base my research on these colleges' primary documents as well as data from an extensive qualitative survey in which all 54 schools participated. I define three of the most common types of writing requirements at these institutions: (1) Composition Courses in their different forms; (2) First-Year Seminars; and, (3) Writing Intensive Courses. I discuss the self-reported advantages and challenges of each approach. I focus on the role of writing in a liberal arts education and the distributed nature of teaching writing at such schools. I then offer an overall view of writing requirements and administrative structures at these schools, noting the advantages and challenges of teaching and administering writing in these distinctive institutional settings. Finally, I move towards developing a theory and practice of writing at the small liberal arts college and propose a framework for thinking about writing that helps cultivate an overall culture of writing. I suggest some "best practices" for writing at such colleges, and include recommendations for the structure of student writing experiences, support for faculty in the teaching of writing, and the administration and oversight of writing. I end with a vision of writing across the curriculum at the small liberal arts college that integrates teaching, writing, and learning.
0745: Higher education
0279: Language arts