Writing Across the Curriculum
The Lindsay-Crane Center directs and helps implement one of the oldest Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs in the nation. Begun in the 1970s, WAC has been one of the foundation stones of excellence in writing at Hiram College. The director, Jeffrey Swenson, trains faculty across departments to teach writing both in the first-year program and in courses more specific to their own disciplines. First-year students study writing in the Freshman Colloquium and First Year Seminar with professors in biology, chemistry, accounting, English, theatre, history, French, Spanish, mathematics, sociology, psychology, religious studies, and many other disciplines.
From the moment they arrive on campus, students are taught that writing clearly for general readers is central to the literature of any discipline and of every profession. Students in each entering class at Hiram College take a Freshman Colloquium in the fall. They select courses such as "From Ashanti to Zulu," "Quarks to Quasars," "Playing Indian," "Challenged, Banned, Censored," "Mind Brain in Contemporary Film," and "Any Science in Science Fiction?" then begin the process of learning how to write articulately and thoughtfully about a discipline. During their remaining years at Hiram, undergraduates write frequently in almost all of their classes, and most majors culminate with a written project or long essay that serves as the capstone for both their major and their writing experience at the College.
A very distinctive feature of Hiram's WAC program is the training of writing assistants to staff the Writing Center and to serve as teaching assistants in the First Year Seminar program. Students not only gain the respect and admiration of their peers through this experience, but also often discover that graduate schools and prospective employers look favorably on the leadership role this position allows them. Their work not only brings them some remuneration during their time at Hiram, but also distinguishes them after they leave the College.
The Writing Center
The Hiram College Writing Center exists to support the school's comprehensive commitment to writing. Students in all courses are encouraged to bring essays to the Writing Center at any stage in the writing process for feedback.