Writing in the disciplines, along with a more traditional writing-across-the-curriculum approach, is part of a broad spectrum of systematic approaches to teaching, learning and developing writing that is discipline specific. At the University Writing Center, it is our goal to support a wide range of students and writing in specific fields, majors, and schools by providing an opportunity to work with tutors majoring in the same discipline. Our staff represents all of the schools and colleges, and our consultants' expertise is available across the curriculum.
To maximize such diverse learning experiences, we currently employ 33 writing consultants who represent over 16 disciplines and programs. The disciplinary diversity of our staff allows the writing-in-the-discipline program at the University to be more aware of writing contrasts between disciplines, more sensitive to changes in writing within them, and more agile in responding to writing in multiple disciplines whether it is an artist's statement, lab report, term paper, or a collaborative engineering project.
The foundation for this approach includes developing and deploying writing resources for both faculty and students in the disciplines. For example, in 2013, UWC initiated a pilot program with Writing Fellows to support writing in mechanical engineering and natural resources management. Writing Fellows are selected by faculty members from specific departments and the UWC Director. This specialized writing support allows students to work directly with disciplinary writing consultants and to provide course-specific writing support for small groups.