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Strategic Plan for Writing

Context For Planning

The Department of Writing was founded in 2001 with a 42-credit major containing two tracks: one in creative writing and one in professional writing. After years of assessing this independent major, we completed a curriculum overhaul to better serve writing majors in their future professions. In Fall 2012, our new curriculum launched, dissolving the two tracks. The new major offers a modular approach, affording students much more choice in their curriculum paths. Since then, we have also added a B.S. in Writing, effective Fall 2015. The intent of the B.S. option is encourage more students to consider double-majoring, particularly those students already pursuing a B.S. degree, as well as offer our students a more robust understanding of the nuances of writing in various contexts. Along with the writing major, we have a vibrant minor in Writing with 18 credits. Our strategic plan for 2016-2021 is aimed at continuing to enhance the educational experiences of our students and faculty so they can adapt to the changing impacts technology will have in our lives and to the unforeseen challenges of the future.

Mission

The mission of the Department of Writing is to develop in students the ability to write well in a variety of contexts and to promote good writing and good writing pedagogy in our academic and non-academic communities.

Vision

The Department of Writing strives to foster a learning environment for students that promotes excellent writing, critical thinking, and creativity in print and digital modes. We prepare lifelong learners and versatile writers with local and global perspectives, who can apply their knowledge and leadership to a variety of writing contexts and throughout their future professions.

Value Statement

As writers and teachers of writing, we value an academic environment that involves community, collaboration, critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, a progressive reliance on technology for rhetorical ends, a connection to the local, national, and international writing communities, and a commitment to supporting academic, creative, and professional writing in our university and the local community.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

100% of undergraduate students in the Writing Department will participate in at least one high impact learning experience by completing an internship prior to graduation.

Baseline

Percentage of students who complete internship in their current catalog year following old curriculum.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Undergraduate writing majors following the revised WRT curriculum experience a high impact learning experience by completing an internship prior to graduation.

Objective 1.A.2

Increase the number of students completing the Distinction in Writing program.

Baseline

Current percentage of students completing the Distinction in Writing program.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Established a baseline for number of students completing the Distinction in Writing program.

Objective 1.A.3

Regularly assess the impact of advising practices on students in the department

Baseline

Current advising practices

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Assessed the advising practices on students in the WRT Department through faculty and student surveys.

Objective 1.A.4

Continue to offer opportunities for Writing majors to engage in practical extra-curricular experiences

Baseline

Current percentage of Writing majors engaging in practical extra-curricular experiences

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Established a baseline of students participating in extra-curricular experiences through the Writing Department.

Objective 1.A.5

Students in the Writing Department will regularly present scholarly or creative work beyond the classroom

Baseline

Current percentage of students presenting scholarly or creative work beyond the classroom

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Established the number of writing students who are regularly presenting scholarly or creative work beyond the classroom.

Objective 1.A.6

Continue to seek ways to embed international education in the Writing curriculum.

Baseline

Current practices regarding syllabus construction and course offerings.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
This objective has not received any dedicated attention in 2016.

Objective 1.A.7

The Writing Department will increase professional and academic awareness through information sessions (e.g. Welcome Event, Planning Your Major Event, Grad School Night, Publishing Night, Résumé Night, Internship Night)

Baseline

Current number of students who attend the information sessions

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The Department offered professional and academic awareness information sessions throughout 2016.

Objective 1.A.8

Assess and reconsider the function of our capstone course (WRT 495) as it relates to a modular curriculum

Baseline

Current objectives, syllabi, and student perceptions of the capstone course (WRT 495)

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Writing faculty assessed the function of the lead writing sample in our WRT 495 capstone course.

Objective 1.A.9

Develop and articulate clear distinctions between WRT 098 and WRT 150 for students and other stakeholders

Baseline

Current distinctions and advising materials of WRT 089 and WRT 150

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
WRT faculty have revised the promotional brochure distributed during first-year orientation sessions to better clarify the distinctions and goals of WRT 098 and WRT 150.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Continue the number of visiting writers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Baseline

Current percentage of writers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Continue to invite visiting writers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to share their creative work and attend classes.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

Create a Corporate Advisory Board for the Writing Department

Baseline

None as of now

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
An Advisory Board has been formed for the Writing Department, complete with a site visit in 2016.

Objective 1.C.2

Maintain and expand partnerships with local and national organizations for internship sites.

Baseline

Current partnerships with organizations

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Maintained some existing partnership for internship sites.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

Ensure that all Writing majors engage with technology in one or more writing courses.

Baseline

Current percentage of Writing majors engaging with technology in one or more of their writing courses.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All writing majors are required to take WRT 200 and WRT 253 as part of the core curriculum. Both of these courses have a heavy reliance on engaging with technology.

Objective 1.D.2

Students develop capabilities in emerging technologies related to writing.

Baseline

Current experiences with emerging technologies related to writing (WRT 200, WRT 253, WRT 353, and/or WRT 455)

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Students are exposed and develop capabilities in emerging technologies related to writing in WRT 253, WRT 351, WRT 353, WRT 451, and WRT 455.

Objective 1.D.3

Students will experience of variety of dynamic pedagogies in their creative writing courses

Baseline

Current dynamic pedagogy practices in creative writing courses

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
There has been no new assessment of this objective in 2016.

Objective 1.D.4

The Writing Department will continue to monitor and improve the Writing Major curriculum

Baseline

Full implementation of the 2012 Writing curriculum

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
While the department continues to monitor the WRT Major curriculum and ensure that it is working of our majors, we have not taken steps in 2016 to improve it.

Objective 1.D.5

The Writing Department will continue to use electronic portfolios in WRT 150 and train the First-Year Writing Director in the administration of the system

Baseline

Current practices with portfolios

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
The Writing Department continued to use electronic portfolios in WRT 150 and trained the new First-Year Writing Director in the administration of the system in 2016.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

The Writing Department will provide mentorship of students for approved professional development to conferences.

Baseline

Current practices

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Writing faculty provided mentorship of students when they attended a professional conference in 2016.

Objective 1.E.2

The Writing Department will provide financial support for student publications.

Baseline

Current percentage of budget allocation for student-run publications in the Writing Department.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
The Writing Department continued to allocate a portion of the 2016 budget for financial support of student publications.

Objective 1.E.3

The Writing Department will increase technology acquisition to support high-impact learning opportunities for students in writing courses.

Baseline

Current spending on technology acquisition to support high-impact learning opportunities for students in writing courses

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been no increase of technology acquisition to support high-impact learning opportunities for students in writing courses in 2016.

Objective 1.E.4

The Writing Department will continue to support the WRT Major Scholarship (and Jurries Family Scholarship) through funding and encouraging eligible students to apply.

Baseline

Current number of students who apply and current funding levels

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The Writing Department continued to support the WRT Major Scholarship through funding and encouraging eligible students to apply in 2016.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Increase number of Writing faculty who complete training in developing and implementing high-impact student learning experiences.

Baseline

Current percentage of Writing faculty who complete training in developing and implementing high-impact student learning experiences.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
No new initiatives have been explored/promoted in 2016 for increasing the number of Writing faculty who complete training in developing and implementing high-impact student learning experiences.

Objective 2.A.2

Integrate affiliate faculty more fully into the life of the Writing Department.

Baseline

Inclusion of affiliate faculty in larger department conversations such as hiring of new First-Year Writing Director as well as Fall and Winter Planning Sessions

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Measures have been implemented to integrate affiliate faculty more fully into the life of the Writing Department.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Increase faculty diversity in terms of intellectual, cultural, and international perspectives

Baseline

Current faculty hiring practices including job ad language and the interview process.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
We were given no new faculty lines in 2016, so minimal progress has been made on this goal.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Maintain the number of Writing TT faculty members who participate in one or more external professional organizations.

Baseline

Current number of Writing TT faculty members who participate in external professional organizations.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Established baseline for the number of WRT TT faculty members who participate in one or more external professional organizations.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

The Writing Department will continue to support faculty engaging in professional development related to innovating teaching.

Baseline

Current number of Writing faculty engaging in professional development related to innovative teaching

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Other than current existing support for faculty engaging in professional development related to innovating teaching, there has been no formal assessment of this objective in 2016.

Objective 2.D.2

The Writing Department will continue to support faculty who present their scholarly and creative work.

Baseline

Current number of Writing faculty who present their scholarly and creative work.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The WRT Department values and financially supports faculty who present their scholarly and creative work.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

Increase the percentage of TT faculty teaching Writing courses (as opposed to contingent faculty teaching Writing courses)

Baseline

Current percentage of TT faculty teaching Writing courses (compared to contingent faculty)

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The Department of Writing relies heavily on contingent faculty to teach writing courses. However, with no new tenure-track lines in 2016, we cannot make progress on this objective.

Objective 2.E.2

Transition the First-Year Writing program to the leadership of a new director.

Baseline

First-Year Direction has been hired; starts role in Winter 2017

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
We have successfully transitioned to a New Director of First-Year Writing.

Objective 2.E.3

The Writing Department will strategically schedule courses considering pedagogy, faculty development, student needs, and faculty expertise.

Baseline

Current scheduling practices

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Under the direction of a new Unit Head, the Writing Department has been able to better strategically schedule courses which take into account pedagogy, faculty development, student needs, and faculty expertise.

Objective 2.E.4

The Writing Department will ensure that its faculty are considered for college and university awards.

Baseline

Previous practice for nominating faculty for these awards was uncoordinated and occasional

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
A WRT Department Awards Nomination Committee was formed in 2016. This committee was charged with researching award criteria and deadlines and making suggestions of who to nominate within the department.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Increase the number of Writing faculty who have completed the inclusion advocacy training

Baseline

Current number of Writing faculty who have completed the inclusion advocacy training

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Determined number of faculty who are currently trained as inclusion advocates.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 3.C.1

The Writing Department will build stronger relationships with alumni

Baseline

Current alumni communication practices

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Some groundwork has been laid to build stronger relationships with alumni.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.1

The Writing Department will offer courses to fit into the proposed Digital Studies minor.

Baseline

Offer writing courses appropriate for inclusion in the Digital Studies minor (WRT 351, WRT 353, and/or WRT 455)

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The WRT Department is offering courses that fit into the proposed DS minor.

Objective 3.D.2

The Writing Department will offer spring/summer online core major courses

Baseline

Number of current spring/summer online course offerings

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Core WRT courses were offered in online and hybrid formats in spring/summer 2016.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

The Writing Department will complete ongoing assessment projects that meet university requirements and inform departmental goals and decisions.

Baseline

Current department assessment practices

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
The WRT Department faculty complete two assessment projects each year that meet university requirements and inform departmental goals and decisions.

Objective 3.E.2

The Writing Department will clearly outline the responsibilities of the "Unit Head" and the "Director of First-Year Writing"

Baseline

Former practices and job descriptions for each role

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
The WRT Faculty have clearly outlined the responsibilities of the "Unit Head" and the "Director of First-Year Writing" in two separate documents.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Promote and increase awareness of the Grand Valley Visiting Writers Series and Poetry Night beyond the GVSU community

Baseline

Current promotion practices

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Promoted awareness of Grand Valley Writers Series and Poetry Night beyond the GVSU community.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

The Writing Department will offer courses that contribute to other programs that focus on international and cultural perspectives.

Baseline

Current courses, particularly WRT 354: Writing in the Global Context, which will be included in the Global Studies major

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Other than WRT 354: Writing in the Global Context, the Writing Department does not offer courses in other programs that focus on international and cultural perspectives.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Writing faculty will maintain and develop relationships with alumni, community partners, and professional organizations

Baseline

Current number of Writing faculty who maintain and develop relationships with alumni, community partners, and professional organizations

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
This objective has not been formally addressed in 2016 other than current relationships that are already in place.

Objective 4.C.2

Writing faculty will publish and disseminate their scholarly and creative work for local, state, national, and international audiences.

Baseline

Current number of writing faculty will publish and disseminate their scholarly and creative work for local, state, national, and international audiences.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All writing TT faculty continue to publish and disseminate their scholarly and creative work for local, state, national, and international audiences.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 4.D.1

Encourage and prepare students to share their scholarly and creative work at state, regional, national, and international venues.

Baseline

Current number of students sharing their scholarly and creative work at state, regional, national, and international venues.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been minimal progress on encouraging and preparing students to share their scholarly and creative work at state, regional, national, and international venues.

Objective 4.D.2

Writing Department faculty will demonstrate increased presence and participation at state, regional, national, and international conferences.

Baseline

Current number of Writing faculty having a presence and participating at state, regional, national, and international conferences

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Determined which faculty participated at state, regional, national, and international conferences in 2016.

Objective 4.D.3

Writing faculty will hold leadership roles for professional organizations and journals.

Baseline

Current number of faculty who hold these leadership positions

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Determined for 2016 which writing faculty hold leadership roles for professional organizations and journals.

Objective 4.D.4

Writing Department will improve its online and social media outreach.

Baseline

The Writing Department currently has a website and a sporadically updated Facebook page with 273 followers.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The Writing Department website has been completely re-organized (using the new CMS) to improve our outreach to internal and external audiences. We have also drastically increased our social media presence.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

Financially support Writing faculty involvement at state, regional, national, and international conferences

Baseline

Current dollar amount spent on supporting Writing faculty involvement at state, regional, national, and international conferences

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The Department helps to financially supplement professional development funds for faculty involvement at state, regional, national, and international conferences.

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