In a recent post for the University Press of Colorado, Bryna Siegel Finer and Jamie White Farnham argue that a way to move from the overused trope of sustainability in writing studies is to think more about how writing programs—their people and environments, in combination with practical considerations such as funding sources, reporting lines, research, and curriculum—are situated as part of the architecture of their institutions. While sustainability is a term that can easily be co-opted or flipped against a writing program by an administration (e.g., “This program is no longer sustainable”), when a program is built into the structure of an institution, it is much harder to dismantle. The metaphor of architecture allows writing program administrators to imagine the constituent parts of a writing program as its foundation, beams, posts, scaffolding—the institutional structures that, alongside its people, anchor a program to the ground and keep it standing. Read “Sustainability and Then Some: Writing Programs in Institutional Structure” here.
Cases for Reference and Research
Wondering what it means to use the chapters in Writing Program Architecture as cases for reference and research? In this article in the Journal of Writing Assessment, the authors offer:
a comparative analysis of state level policies in Florida, Wisconsin, and Idaho [and] discuss implications for possible similar legislation in Pennsylvania.
Authors of “Legislating First-Year Writing Placement: Implications for Pennsylvania and Across the Country” use Chapter 18 of Writing Program Architecture as a case study of the Basic Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. There, the WPA revised their placement process and basic writing program in order to continue to support struggling writers in the wake of drastic budget cuts. The writers of the JWA article use the Basic Writing program at UWS to argue that programs across the country should be taking pro-active approaches to placement and assessment as state legislation takes more control over defining “college-ready.”