History & Timeline

Support for student writing has a long tradition at St. Thomas. In the 1980’s, faculty across the disciplines participated in various writing across the curriculum workshops aimed at broadening attention to student writing.

The current, more formalized, WAC initiative was set in motion with a core curriculum review:

  • 2003: The Core Curriculum Task Force was convened. Ten faculty members from various disciplines, the College of Arts and Sciences dean, and two students are charged “To develop a curriculum that brings the mission to life.”
  • The CCTF used various measures to evaluate the existing core, including extensive consultation with faculty, students, administrators, university committees, and staff. The goal was to identify areas of strength and possible improvement in the core curriculum. One area identified for improvement was student writing.
  • In the end, the Core Curriculum Task Force identified five focus areas to strengthen in the core curriculum:
                           1. Deliberate Integration
                           2. Learning Communities
                           3. Globalization
                           4. Service Learning, Urban Character, Social Justice
                           5. Linking liberal education to career preparation
  • To accomplish the five goals, 11 Auxiliary Task Forces, comprised of over 70 faculty members, were created to develop proposals. The goal of WAC is to foster #1: Deliberate Integration.
  • The WAC Auxiliary Task Force included representation from philosophy, sociology, biology, social work, English, and communication studies.
  • November, 2007: The WAC proposal developed by the Auxiliary Task Force was passed by the Faculty Senate.
  • December 2008: Dr. Erika Scheurer was appointed WAC Director.
  • June 2009: The first week-long WAC seminar for faculty, led by Dr. Chris Anson, took place. These continue each June and January.
  • September 2015: Four-course WAC graduation requirement implemented for incoming first-year class.
  • April 2019: External evaluators, Dr. Lil Brannon and Dr. Asao Inoue, review UST-WAC, noting, “Such deep engagement by the WAC faculty is a national model for developing and sustaining an undergraduate academic culture that has at its core, critical engagement through writing and evidence-based understanding of student learning through the publication of scholarship on teaching and learning by faculty at St. Thomas.” They conclude, “St. Thomas University’s WAC Program offers a model program for the nation.
  • May 2019: The first students for whom WAC was a graduation requirement graduate.