California State University, Chico Program

  • California State University, Chico, is an MA-granting Hispanic Serving institution (HSI) of about 17,000 students that’s part of the 23-campus Cal State system.
  • While Chico State has had writing requirements for decades, it’s never had anything resembling a writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) program; so my goal for the Consortium was to launch a WAC initiative.
  • Because we were early in the process, we were in the Understanding phase of the Whole Systems Approach (WSA).
    During the Consortium, the WAC program was something of a node, positioned in relationship to the more prominent hubs of Academic Senate and the Curriculum Advisory Board (which oversees the GE program).
  • During the Consortium, our nascent WAC program engaged in some professional development (WEC with the GEOS department; ongoing); discussion of shared readings; wrote internal and external grants for WEC funding; reviewed some new courses for W status; established a mission and vision for the UWC; and a mini-retreat to do Blue Ocean strategizing (this August).
  • The early “Understanding” stages of WSA have been solitary–as I worked from home gathering programmatic data, writing grants, and thinking through next steps–but the next stages have to be collaborative. I’ve jumped a bit into planning (stage two) to start developing more resources, focusing on the strategies of Involving Multiple Stakeholders and Considering Faculty/Equity. Implementing WSA isn’t just an effort at building a nonexistent WAC program and finding some resources for it. It’s also to redefine the motley collection of courses into a program, and convince people to adopt additional goals for its growth beyond economics and throughput.