The gtPathways Writing Integration Initiative


Supporting Writing to Learn, Writing to Engage, and Writing in the Disciplines


Implemented in Fall 2007, CSU’s gtPathways Writing Integration Initiative supports the meaningful integration of writing into AUCC (All-University Core Curriculum) courses to improve undergraduate writing proficiency and comprehension of course content. The work of the Initiative is based on the vast research showing that writing is not solely a tool for communication but also an influential tool for improving comprehension, enhancing critical thinking, and fostering learning and engagement.

Faculty teaching AUCC courses reserve a minimum of 25% of the final course grade for writing assignments designed to foster students’ learning and their abilities to communicate their knowledge clearly and effectively. Ultimately, the writing assignments, along with the feedback students receive on their writing from their professors and GTAs, help students develop their critical thinking, comprehension, and written communication skills.


gtPathways and Competency in Written Communication

gtPathways refers to the set of general education courses (totaling 31 credit hours) that the Colorado Commission for Higher Education (CCHE) guarantees to transfer and apply to gtPathways requirements at all public Colorado colleges and universities.

Among the core competencies called for by gtPathways is Competency in Written Communication, defined as “a student’s ability to write and express ideas across a variety of genres and styles.” Select general education classes (including the English Department’s CO-1, CO-2, and CO-3 courses) are designed to meet the student learning outcomes in line with this competency.

With an understanding that “[w]ritten communication abilities develop over time through layered, interactive, and continual processes and experiences across the curriculum,” CSU works to support and foster competency in written communication beyond the writing courses offered by the English Department. Participating departments include History, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Journalism & Media Communication, Anthropology, Music, Philosophy, and Political Science. 

Professional Development for GTAs
Integral to the implementation of meaningful writing assignments across the general education curriculum are the 70+ graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) across participating disciplines who provide undergraduate students feedback on their writing.

Participating GTAs attend a pre-semester orientation and complete a 1-credit graduate course on integrating writing in undergraduate core courses. Through the orientation and course, GTAs learn best practices in responding to and assessing student writing, with a focus on learning to use their written feedback to help undergraduates think more critically about the course content and become better communicators of their disciplinary knowledge.

For more information on CSU’s gtPathways Writing Integration Initiative, please contact the director of the program, Dr. Kelly Bradbury (kelly.bradbury@colostate.edu).

 

**Image credits: “Writing” by JKim1 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0