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Cornell's experience over the last decade suggests that writing across the curriculum programs should not be housed in English departments. In fact, that experience, which has been largely successful, suggests writing programs are best off as independent departments, directed by rotating members from a variety of disciplines. The reasons are as follows. First, a separate program is important because it is separate allowing it to keep its mind, energy and resources on writing. Second, it is financially independent, not having to depend on the good-will or sympathy of a parent department. With its own funds, it can encourage the participation of departments and reward collaboration. Third, as a separate department, it can insist that its directors are given the latitude and time to be administratively inventive. The director of the program at Cornell, Fredric Bogel, worked hard to establish training programs. His attention to grant-writing resulted in a major endowment and a new name, the "John S. Knight Writing Program." Before he would even agree to take the job, the second director, Harry Shaw, secured a guarantee from the Provost that no more than 17 students would be admitted to the Freshman Writing Seminars. Writing seminars, one-third of which are taught by full-time faculty, are offered in more than 100 different areas, such as "Art in the Modern Era: or Modernist Primitivism,""Assimilation, Accommodation, and Conflict: American Ethics in Transition,""B. H. (Before Hillary): Women and American Politics, 1900-1993." Includes 9 notes. Contains 12 references. (TB)

Descriptors: College Curriculum, Cooperation, Curriculum Development, Higher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum

Autor: Gottschalk, Katherine K.


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