Writing Across the Curriculum

The Writing Across the Curriculum program supports Philadelphia University’s commitment to fostering strong writing skills so that students will be able to write well both in their lives as college students and later as professionals and citizens. Students develop writing and thinking skills by taking two writing-specific and at least four writing-intensive courses between the freshman and senior years, at least three of which are in the College Studies general education core and at least one in their majors. The program also offers Honors, Fundamentals, and English as a Second Language courses.

Writing is also integrated across the curriculum to promote research/information literacy skills, intellectual and aesthetic pursuits, and experimentation with academic and professional communication. Students may also pursue a range of additional opportunities to write in academic and professional arenas. Examples include The TEXT, Analysis, internships, and Open: A Writing & Design Collaboration.

In all aspects of the Writing Program, students are encouraged to focus on improving the quality of their approaches to writing, as well as the final documents they produce.  Students and faculty use writing in a variety of ways,

including as a vital tool for critical thinking and learning, and as a means of expressing ideas and communicating what they have learned. To assist in these regards, professional writing tutors in the Learning & Advising Center support students in all subjects at all levels. The Center’s website (www.PhilaU.edu/learning) also offers students resources on writing.

Writing-Specific Courses

Two writing-specific courses exist in the College Studies sequence in which writing is a central focus: the first course in the freshman year and the second in the sophomore year. Students who are under-prepared for college-level writing (determined by placement testing) begin the sequence with Fundamentals of College Writing (WRTG-099).

Writing-Intensive (WI) Courses

In addition to writing-specific courses, students take a minimum of four writing-intensive courses — three in College Studies and at least one in their major — throughout the university years. Writing-intensive courses help students deepen their understanding of the content of the courses in College Studies and the major. Writing enables students to rehearse, question and clarify issues in both informal and formal ways. In the process of writing and revising drafts, students learn the importance of clearly presenting their ideas. Writing-intensive courses in College Studies are taken in the junior and senior years.

Information Literacy

In collaboration with University librarians and faculty in the other schools, the School of Liberal Arts faculty are committed to assisting students in developing their information literacy skills. As noted on the Philadelphia University Gutman Library Web site (www.PhilaU.edu/library), “As information technologies develop and transform the manner in which information is stored, accessed, managed, conveyed and retrieved, students must learn both to effectively use these innovations and to understand the possibilities and responsibilities associated with them. To become lifelong learners, students need practice and training in information retrieval methods, critical evaluation and application of information, and the ethical use of information and information technologies.”

College Studies and Transfer Students

The University is mindful of the need to be accessible to students who transfer from two-year colleges and other four year institutions. In general, students who transfer academic credit from other colleges to the bachelor’s degree program at Philadelphia University may have that credit apply toward the requirements of the College Studies Program. Courses for which credit can be transferred include all of those College Studies courses for which equivalent courses have been completed at other accredited institutions. Since College Studies courses are designed specifically for Philadelphia University, the University will determine transfer course equivalency.  In addition, Writing Seminar II and Contemporary Perspectives serve as keystone courses that require students to reflect on liberal-professional connections at Philadelphia University and to integrate the multiple academic skills they have learned in the other College Studies courses they have completed. Therefore, AP/transfer credit is not awarded for Writing Seminar II or Contemporary Perspectives.  Students must take those two courses.

Advanced Placement and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits will be accepted under the policy that is currently in effect at the University. Their acceptability to the curriculum will be determined in the same manner as transfer credit from other colleges.

Transfer students should meet with their academic advisors during orientation or at the beginning of their first semester to review whether/how courses taken at other institutions apply to their degree requirements at Philadelphia University.