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VPAA Speck to lead "Writing Across the Curriculum" workshops

October 22, 2001

Faculty at Austin Peay and across the country have a common lament: Student writing skills are not what they should be. Student writing ineptness reveals itself in poorly composed responses to essay questions as well as in assigned papers and reports. "It's a problem," said one professor. "Sometimes when I'm grading essay questions I shake my head and wonder what are they trying to say."

The need for strong writing skills reaches far beyond English comp, affecting student performance in every discipline. In recognition of that, Austin Peay is offering "Writing Across the Curriculum" workshops to help faculty integrate writing into their courses.

The workshops--which will be offered from 3 to 4:30 p.m., in late October and early November--will be offered in Claxton 109 and led by Vice President for Academic Affairs Bruck Speck.

"I have no faculty development money outside the $500 in travel money offered to each person," he says, "but I do have experience conducting WAC workshops, and the Deans Council thought the workshops would be a good idea."

Speck says he realized there are other talented faculty already devoting their energies to WAC, but because they're "busy as it is," he was happy to head the workshops.

He says he expects the workshops to be a learning experience as well as a teaching one. "I hope to enter into a conversation about how faculty can help students write more effectively in their classes."

Writing is essential to the mission of higher education in general, he says, "but it takes a particularly important place in any liberal arts curriculum."

Participants may choose one session per week in each of the following weeks.

Week 1: Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30
Week 2: Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Thursday, Nov. 8
Week 3: Monday, Nov. 12 and Tuesday, Nov. 13

Topics are "Creating Effective Writing Assignments," "Using Collaborative Writing Assignments in Your Classroom" and "Responding to and Grading Student Writing." For more information on the workshops, contact speck at To enroll, call or email Tammy Delvendahl at 7883 or