First-Year Writing Program Earns National Honor

The University of Central Florida’s First-Year Composition Program has been honored for its commitment to excellence by the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

The program was awarded the Writing Program Certificate of Excellence, which is given to up to 20 programs a year that imaginatively address the needs of those they serve while using best practices and effective assessment. Since 1949, the Conference on College Composition and Communication has been the world’s largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition.

Faculty and staff from UCF’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric, which oversees the first-year composition program, will accept the award at the conference’s annual convention in March.

“Our department is honored to be recognized in this way,” said Elizabeth Wardle, department chair and interim director of first-year composition. “Our first-year composition program has undergone extensive and very positive changes over the past three years, and we are pleased to see that these changes have been noticed nationally.”

UCF’s first-year program is exemplary because of its experienced faculty, small class sizes, nationally known pedagogy and peer-reviewed student publication, Stylus. The program also hosts the annual Knights Write Showcase  to highlight the exceptional works produced by first-year writers.

Launched in 2010, the Department of Writing and Rhetoric also provides writing opportunities for students beyond the first year through its undergraduate programs, which include a degree in writing and rhetoric and certificate in public and professional writing, and graduate programs, which include a master’s degree in rhetoric and composition and graduate certificate in professional writing.

The department also offers writing-related assistance, training and research opportunities to students and faculty from all disciplines. That assistance has been offered through the writing-across-the-curriculum program and the University Writing Center, which since October have been housed in the new Center for Writing Excellence on the first floor of Colbourn Hall.