The University of Vermont had long stood alone among all public college and universities and among most privates as well in not having a foundational writing requirement of one or more semesters for its students. While most first-year students had the benefit of small classes and some attention to writing through ENGS 1, HCOL 85, or a TAP seminar, UVM lacked a coordinated approach to foundational writing and faculty expressed a high degree of uncertainty about what kinds of writing assignments were appropriate for students transitioning from high school to college wrting contexts and expectations. Moreover, UVM lacked any coordinated approach to introducing students to the Bailey/Hower Library and a clear starting place for their education in information literacy over their undergraduate careers.

Charged by the Faculty Senate and its General Education Committee, the First-Year Writing Advisory Committee was convened by English Professor and composition specialist Nancy Welch. The committee's charge: to plan, conduct, and assess a pilot to test the feasibility of ENGS 1, HCOL 85, and TAP working toward shared foundational goals while also retaining their distinctive missions and audiences. The pilot report, pressented to the Faculty Senate in Spring 2013, was the basis for a subsequent motion, approved by the Faculty Senate, to establish a foundational writing and information literacy requirement for UVM students beginning Fall 2014.

Members of the First-Year Writing Advisory Committee, Fall 2012-Spring 2013

  • Nancy Welch, English
  • Daisy Benson, Bailey Howe
  • Deborah Blom, Anthropology
  • Bill Mierse, Art History
  • Becky Miller, Biology
  • Deb Noel, English
  • Thomas Patterson, CDAE
  • Alison Pechenik, Computer Science
  • Lisa Schnell, Honors College
  • Cynthia Reyes, Education
  • Taylor Sacco, English
  • Peter VonDoepp, Political Science
  • Jackie Weinstock, Leadership and Development Science