Student-Directed/Faculty-Guided WI Course Guidelines

The Campus Writing Board prefers that all students complete the two-course WI requirement through the regular WI curriculum. Some degree programs include upper division courses with students involved in course design, including choosing topics or readings, with the expectation that students move independently through the course. These departments may request consideration that an student-directed/faculty-guided course (e.g., proctorships, directed readings, small-enrollment project-based courses, capstones, or honors thesis courses) be considered for the upper division WI credit. Approval of such course proposals are granted on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to satisfying the general Writing Intensive course guidelines, the Board will consider courses that take a two-pronged approach to learning: (1) the student’s providing drafts of sections of the essay and/or project, and (2) the professors’ guiding the improvement of the student’s performance by giving feedback–especially on early drafts–and requiring revision.

The success of a Writing Intensive student-directed/faculty-guided course will depend far more on the teacher’s and student’s commitment than it will on following a rigid formula that may not conform to the conventions of each and every discipline. Therefore, to fully understand the particular context and need, the Campus Writing Board requires the following elements in the WI course proposal form:

  • Describe (a) the plan of work, (b) the manner in which you will provide feedback for this student, (c) the revision process you expect this student to follow, and (d) the timeline that you have devised for completion of this thesis project.
  • Describe why it is necessary or advantageous for the student to fulfill the second Writing Intensive requirement with an individual student-directed course rather than from the regular WI curriculum in your department.

Additionally, your proposal should clearly indicate the way in which this student’s topic addresses a question for which there is more than one acceptable interpretation, explanation, analysis, or evaluation.