The Writing Program, through the generous gift of Jennifer Simpson, has initiated an opportunity for departments  and programs to undertake a systematic and curricular overview of the state of undergraduate writing within the discipline in collaboration with a Writing Program faculty member. This year-long process of analysis, research, and reflection aims to stimulate lasting and sustainable curricular change. The collaborative process results in the production of a Writing Plan that will identify areas of strength and need and generate recommendations for transformative curricular reforms.

In 2021-2022, the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience (UPN) committed to developing the inaugural writing plan. Working with a WID Faculty Consultant, Dr. Jessica Kent, Sr. Lecturer in the Writing Program, a team of four UPN faculty met 18 times over the course of the year. The Neuroscience Writing Plan that was developed has already begun to transform Neuroscience’s curriculum, assessment practices, and pedagogical approach regarding student writing. The plan includes both short-term and long-range goals for the Neuroscience Program related to building course inventory, staffing and increasing opportunities for professionalizing of student work. Read the arts & sciences article reporting on the Neuroscience writing plan, as well as both the Executive Summary and the full Neuroscience Writing Plan.

In 2022-2023, Dr. Kent worked with the Economics department as the WID Faculty Consultant, to help this unit develop its Writing Plan. The Economics Writing Plan which impacts a department with over twelve hundred undergraduate majors, emphasizes changes to how writing is incorporated into the broader curriculum, recommends assessment rubrics for writing and presentations, identifies plans to support student writing (including peer-to-peer writing support), envisions staffing changes, and aims to implement an Honors thesis course.

In 2023-2024, the Mathematics & Statistics department has begun developing a Writing Plan with the support of WID Faculty Consultant, Dr. Jessica Kent.

For 2024-2025, applications for the next iteration of the Simpson-funded Writing Plan will be opening in January, 2024 and will be considered on a rolling basis. Applications should be submitted by May 31, 2024.

Information Sessions about the Writing Plans will be held in February and March. Dates TBA.

For more information, please contact Assoc. Director of WID, David Shawn, dshawn@bu.edu and/or see the FAQs.