OWEAC mtg May 7, 2010, PSU

1. Welcome from Marvin Kaiser, Dean of College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences. P-20 initiative, writing across the curriculum embedded in PSU University Studies (PSU spine starting with FYE). Integrating writing, professional development for PSU staff, proficiency based work emphasized…(FMI: similar to the IL embedding process).

2. Inspiration, introductions (Kate’s last mtg as Chair, Nancy stepping in, elections at end of meeting), position announcements, welcome new members.

3. Oregon rhetoric conference at PSU. About 8 publishing companies exhibiting.Vicki Tolar Burton giving keynote.

4. Info Lit Summit report: MT Hood: scaffolding throughout the curriculum, a touchstone assignment in every 115, 121, 122…
OSU- scaffolding and effort to build from level to level

5. grant writing for summer institute with workshops for writing teachers to stay current in the field. Nancy using Oregon Writing Project as a model because they are already doing a 16. 5 day institute, 20 teachers…etc. See handout from Nancy. Instructors from any discipline. dual credit theme…but don’t want to be limited to that as a theme for the whole 5 days. Small mission. (where would schools and individuals find the funding to attend?).Vicki works with her WIC on prof dev across the curriculum.

Maureen mentions that funding may be available from dual credit / dual enrollment sponsor sources.

Note from Eva- Oregon has signed on to the Achieve standards (see NCTE).

Nancy- vision of benefiting institution rather than benefiting classroom. So there would be an expectation of follow-up in that each participant would take knowledge back to the institute.

Kate thinking about making it regional- (e.g.,  SOU hosts and they invite people from that region (so no lodging cost). Mada asks how does that put us in contact statewide? So floating idea of going for a much larger grant and having simultaneous regions host activity and then regional groups contact each other during the week.

Idea- OWEAC presentation at WordStock


7. On-going curricular projects:
WR 227- agreement that 227 reflects the OWEAC outcomes. Yeah! This can be crossed off of the list.
ENG 104-106 = language regarding optimal class size. Draft presented. Feedback and comments invited on wiki. Could also email feedback to the committee if uncomfortable posting on wiki.

8. Discussion around chair duties survey

9. Placement tests and scores. Note about Chemeketa. Chemeketa feels the beefier 4-credit course outcomes necessitate a beefier student…so! Our Compass placement numbers are 95-100. The numbers on the draft chart Vern handed out are outdated for Chemeketa (Eva has new numbers from Justus). Note- Rogue wanted everyone to take WR 115 and they were told students have to be able to place directly into WR 121 (a requirement of Compass and ACT). So, they opted to make most students tatke WR 115. Dramatically increases success rates and retention. Doyne says it is night and day between the students that go through WR 115 and those that go straight to WR 121.

WR 115 started as a college course. OWEAC went to work on it, came up with outcomes, and made it a college course. Clackamas kept it as a developmental course. Caroline noted that WR 115 could be revisited because she’s not sure it is a college level course- it does tend to be dev. ed…giving it to another department means transfer of FTE.  Rogue also mentioned that College Credit Now students have to pass a timed essay test (two chances to take) in order to receive credit for WR 121. Kate referenced study with results showing CCN and on campus WR 121 students performance in on-campus WR 122 and the CCN  students did as well if not better (note OWEAC had questions re methodology). With Lane– one HS will offer WR 115 (result of a three year conversation). SOU and Jan’s program very much like Running Start program in Washington? SOU said yes. Jan said Running Start offers quite a bit more.

Doyne would like WR115 to be required. Can’t require it, can’t have it as a prerequisite, but placement scores put many students into WR115. Note WR115 is a bridge class that starts remedial or dev ed but moves into college level.

“College Level Work for Underprepared Students” is how Nancy’s school talks about it. Nancy is also working on a system error at her school that makes struggling schools take 16 credits for financial aid because the dev ed class doesn’t count for financial aid. so students who struggle with 12 now are taking 16.

Kate mentions study- students in dev ed mainstreamed into and placed with WR 121 ready students. Attrition rate went way down for those students. However, that school had a bottle neck that placed students in dev ed more rigourously and broadly, so it isn’t an accurate comparison to Oregon.

Vern- also have a bottleneck at Rogue so people can’t take many classes until they have their reading and writing prerequisites. Some worries expressed about colleges lowering scores to keep students who might otherwise get discourages.

Comment from Vicki Tolar Burton- she askes WR 121 students who took it in high school? Then has them write that with a couple of sentences about what was covered in the class? Also, she asks, if you took it off campus, what did you miss? And several have said they missed the library piece. Some said “but we have ebsco at the high school so we don’t need the library”. Note to self- need education about database access because they all have access to this.

1992 College English- referenced by Greg.
Debate about using literature in college writing. Look this up and forward to list. We may use this for our fall reading.

Interesting- from Jan- proficiency based instructor who teaches two pages two pages two pages. those students do a great job on SAT and ACT essay tests but don’t know how to incorporate information, don’t know how to revise at all, don’t know how to engage in an extended writing process.

chances of getting a degree if reading scores in dev ed is 15%…staggeringly low. so huge need to teach reading comprehension. Think about this from library perspective.

8. IL Issues pre and post test subcommittee formed to work on IL pre and post test for WR 121. work over the summer.

9. Transfer question. What happens when student comes in with class that addresses most but not all of the 4-credit outcomes, specifically the IL outcomes.  One concern is attrition. Lane is going to come up with a series of questions advisors can ask students about their writing courses. If they say “no” to IL components, then they would be directed to the library course.  Subcommittee this summer can think about the one credit library course and work on test- collect data about testing instrument by using it on WR 121 students who have taken the IL infused course..and gather feedback about the test (e.g., student focus groups). Eva mentioning again our conversation about faculty prof dev in IL so they feel comfortable instructing. Kate recommends we track attrition in the new courses and compare it with data on past courses. At Lane- faculty have reported higher attrition (but this is before ACCUPlacer) but Kate still expects we’ll see more students failing.

My Question: Relationship to library community- creating these tutorials- my suggestion: that OWEAC work on describing what is realistic to expect from each course in terms of IL (pre-needs and post-skill). OWEAC small group works to describing what IL looks like at each course- so begining the articulation work.

Concern expressed that at some schools very poorly prepared students are entering college because they don’t have employement options and it is a way to get financial aid.

Eva – point that it is irresponsible for 4 years to continue to train rhet/comp faculty or specifically community college faculty when there are already 150 applicants for each job.

10. Dual Credit Survey discussion. General agreement that PSU is doing a nice job running their dual credit program (NACA ?abrev?) and Sally- the woman running it is doing a great job. So- look at PSU for a healthy model of dual credit program administration.


Nancy- all of the students that went through K-12 in the united states have been assessed out of their own voice. Our job to recuperate that voice.

Article Discussion:

Bizzell, Patricia. (2009). Opinion: Composition Studies Saves the world! College English, 72 (2). Nov. 2009.

Greg: Fish ‘ save the world…’ says don’t get carried away with saving the world in the classroom. “don’t need to care about diversity of faculty on campus if we are all involved in truth seeking.” Bizzell counters that when students walk into class they encounter HER. Greg, in class, went into an example from his personal life and then realized he wasn’t saving the world on his own time because it wasn’t his time.

Eva: no one is going to step into the classroom and only teach rhetoric, just like the students all come with their own baggage. Eva says she does invite controversial things into the class because it gets them writing and thinking.

Nancy: we do students a disservice when we don’t acknowledge that inequities exist and don’t prepare them to face race/class/gender issues. When we talk about that in class we make those issue explicit so that students can address them and that’s part of our job. They exist, it is a fact. Sees Fish as arrogant to suggest everyone can get at the same sentence.

Mada: can’t leave it at making the situation explicit- have to then give the student the tools and ability to address the situation effectively. Gives example- go in, raise controversy, then leave. Equally our responsibility to give them something with which to battle with and in this area it is reasoning and thinking and writing.

Maureen: water drought issues in her region and environmentalists…so she saw this examples as ideal to show that it isn’t just her opinion, but a real issue. She brought representatives in from both sides and they constructed their positions. Then she said I’m not going to tell you where I stand on this issue- I want you, the student, to construct your own position.

Jillane: Fish says we can shut down ideas like denying Nazism, but she has to do that frequently.

Maureen: thinks Fish would say that if it is just about the form and not the function, than anyone can teach writing.

Vern: why does Fish get to draw the line at Hol.denial but not many of these other powerful concerns like gay marriage, blatant discrimination in Arizona…many others. We don’t cram ideas down their throats, we give them the tools to find their own voice.

Maureen: if all about form and not function, no critical thinking, then people in HS where much more controlled by administration, then they are the safest people to teach WR 121 because they won’t go there (gives example of parent cutting naked pictures out of textbook).

EvaJ: example of first teaching job where she was carefully paired with another faculty who had “content.” As if writing doesn’t have content.

Jillanne: feels like Fish is inviting a clear definition of what we do as writing instructors. Thinks this is valuable because there is wide-spread differentiation across the discipline in terms of instruction. Does our knowledge of the relations of race and gender and $- is that rhetoric or does it go beyond? Group answer= that is rhetoric.

Vicki Tolar Burton: student teacher’s goal was to get the students to problematize their own internal workings their own foundation, their unquestioned assumptions. Vicki saw it going on but wasn’t supervising, but she thinks there really is a continuum and it didn’t seem to be ok- it seemed outside and not a good use of his power in the classroom. Group notes that Bizzell says it is a matter of degree.

Nancy: Fish seems to talk about it like language is a pure form that can be outside of politics, language..etc. She sees the writing series functioning to introduce students to the institution and discussion about those contexts is part of her job/role in introducing them to the culture.

Doyne- comments about no pure language.

Mada: Fish’s old book “Is there a text in this class?”

Vicki: suspicious that he’s doing it to … he’s sort of well known for writing things to the NYTimes and it seems he’s catering to a mindset that makes him a hero against the academy (thinking of very recent things- FMi- check for these pieces). Playing devils advocate- Mada suggests.

Piece in Chronicle = attack on first year strategy (Vicki).

Kate: reminded, she was in the copy room, colleague commented “oh there you are, you’re so focused on skills….we talk about ideas in my class.” Kate said that’s a false binary to suggest skill discussion doesn’t have idea. What happens if you get to ideas that they never translate into writing.

Elections: Kate stepping down. Nancy starting 2 year period. Now asking for people to nominate themselves. Jillanne is Chair elect! Eva chairs the secretarial segment.

Next year’s meetings:
Nancy wants to host at La Grande in the fall, probably 2011.
OSU for Feb. meeting 2011.
Ashland- SOU = Fall 2010 October 15th.
Spring May 13, 2011 options = Clackamas

Clackamas going through radical division shift and restructuring.
Chemeketa for winter of 2012.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s