THE TOPIC: The topic of the Edward Waters College QEP arose from open-ended survey questions, focus groups, as well as data from institutional assessments. We made certain that we received feedback from faculty, staff, alumni, the Board of Trustees, and community members. Over time, survey data was collected and analyzed to let the topic emerge from what the data demonstrated. Many frank and open dialogues were held to allow a broad-based constituency to speak about the strength and weaknesses of our academic programs. As a result of these cogent efforts that included conversations, focus group discussions, and digital and printed surveys, the QEP Steering Committee found that each of these human resource entities and their collective intelligence concluded that one of our most serious instructional challenges was the improvement of the competence levels germane to the written composition abilities of our students.


THE GOAL: The overarching goal of Edward Waters College's QEP dictates that the major focus must be the discernible improvement of our students' abilities to write effective written compositions that are marked by support of major ideas with facts, details, examples, and reasons; unity of ideas and reasons; coherence as evidenced by appropriate organization and sequencing; and the appropriate usage of language, grammar, and sentence structure. Our approach to the improvement of student writing is contingent upon our success in meeting the pertinent QEP implementation objectives and strategies. The objectives are (1) to transform the curriculum for freshman composition courses by constructing a proper sequencing scheme for instructional delivery and student production of compositions; (2) to increase usage of the Writing Center by students and faculty; (3) to utilize EWC 200 as a capstone course for the freshmen compositions experience; (4) to train and supervise instructors of ENG 101 and ENG 102 with sessions dedicated to curriculum development, instructional strategies, and assessment strategies germane to the teaching and learning of paradigms relevant to the improvement of the writing abilities of our students; and (5) to be constantly cognizant of the significance and the ultimate decision-making genre- the assessment of learning and teaching.


THE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: The SLOs specify that students will be able to a) write informative/explanatory compositions that examine and convey complex ideas, concepts and information through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content, b) write arguments to support claims in an analysis and substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant evidence, c) write narrative and descriptive compositions to develop experiences or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences, and d) demonstrate measurable, observable improvements to writing proficiency after completing the freshmen composition sequence (ENG 101, ENG 102 and EWC 200).


THE BENEFITS: The successful implementation of EWC's QEP will help students and instructors understand that the writing process is complex and recursive; dependent upon timely, context-specific feedback for students; undergirded by engagement and critical thinking; and enhanced by time-on-task, an increased interest in the rhetorical nature of writing, utilize standards of academic writing by following prescriptive grammar and usage, and the critical workshops in teaching composition, increased usage of and dependence upon digital technology, and the timely modification and enhancement of curriculum design and instructional strategies for ensuring excellence in the recursive process of writing for various purposes, audiences, events and academic or professional demands.