Research and Statistics 

Mission

To prepare students to read and write for academic audiences. 

Approach to Reading/Writing
Basic Writing courses (ENGH 0890 and 0990) focus on three primary academic reading/writing activities: summarizing, analyzing (including evaluating) and synthesizing.  In the course of summarizing a text, students are instructed in and asked to practice finding the overall main idea, the major supporting  details and the minor supporting details.  Class instruction also includes discussions of difficult vocabulary, inferences and connotative language.  Students practice the skills of analyzing a text (written and/or visual), including the consideration of an author’s audience, context, purpose, biases, evidence, and sources.  Students also write an analysis essay in which they evaluate the appropriateness of certain kinds of evidences, the credibility and reliability of sources, the author’s use of logic and the overall persuasiveness of the text.  Instruction in analysis is extended into the synthesis unit where students bring into conversation a variety of texts/authors, contrasting and comparing authors’ viewpoints, the evidences they use, and their argumentation methods.

Planning
Engaged Learning: The department actively promotes student writing for publication consideration and supports composition efforts across campus by collaborating with ENGL 1010/2010, the Writing Center, and Writing in the Disciplines.   Writing Center tutors are currently piloting tutoring sessions in basic writing courses.

Community Engagement:
By initiating a partnership with local high schools this year, we will survey students on outcomes using a direct self-assessment tool.

University Student Experience: We are considering the addition of curriculum requirement to require students to attend and write about an academic event on campus.

Resource Development:
The department offers all sections as hybrid classes which frees up campus classroom and may reduce the need for students to come to campus one day a week.  The department may pilot a complete online textbook solution and/or department Wiki for efficiency.  We have also recently developed a case statement to attract donors.

Challenges:
Advocate for improved adjunct pay and continue strengthening adjunct preparation to achieve the consistent implementation of curricular ideals across sections.  Class size should ideally be reduced to match NCTE guidelines of 16-18 students.  The number of adjuncts should be reduced and more full-time contract faculty hired.

Budgeting
+ No new funds are requested from the Basic Composition Department this PBA cycle.
+ The loss of needed supply and expense limits opportunities. Restoration of S&E is requested.
+ By carefully monitoring how sections fill during registration, we have been able to eliminate low-enrolled sections and increase efficiency with full sections.

Accountability/Evidence
+ Two faculty with PhD’s in rhetoric and composition with an emphasis in basic writing have joined the department in 2008-2009.
+ Two Additional faculty with PhD's in rhetoric and composition with an emphasis in basic writing have joined the department in 2010-2011.
+ NADE Certification (General) for 2010-2017.
+ We responded quickly to enrollment pressure and added 7 additional sections for fall 2008.
+ Since 2008, enrollment in Basic Composition courses has swelled to even larger levels.
+ The recent addition of the reading mission to the department has also resulted in curriculum refinements.The Department of Basic Composition has successfully
   incorporated the literacy mission of the university (seeking to teach both developmental reading and writing), replacing the old two department model.
+ 84.8% of the ENGH 0990 students who take ENGL 1010 within 2 years pass with a C- or better.
+ An extensive review of our curriculum in ENGH 0890 and 0990 is near completion.