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Jan. 25, 2006
CONTACT: Pam Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

EMU's First-Year Writing Program wins national certificate of excellence

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University’s First-Year Writing Program, which uses innovative strategies to help students learn to write well, has won a national “Writing Program Certificate of Excellence for 2005-06,” from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

This is the first time EMU has won the award, which will be presented at the CCCC conference in Chicago, March 24.  EMU’s program will be one of only three in the country to be honored, along with Duke and Marquette Universities.

The Conference on College Composition and Communication, with 8,000 members worldwide, supports and promotes the teaching and study of college composition and communication.

“It is very exciting to be honored for our efforts,” said Linda Adler-Kassner, associate professor of English language and literature, and program director.  “Our program helps students develop writing and reading strategies that they can use to be successful, not only in their university courses, but also in their careers.”

The EMU program was cited by judges for “imaginatively addressing the needs and opportunities of its students, instructors and locale; for offering exemplary ongoing professional development for faculty; and for centering the program on real audiences and public venues where students can publish and display their work.”

The program, which is integrated into three English courses, reaches more than 2,500 students a year, said Adler-Kassner, of Ann Arbor.

  “We take an innovative approach to writing. Each course helps students identify what they know; helps them to develop new writing and reading strategies that build on that knowledge; and teaches them how to transfer those strategies to writing situations inside and outside of school,” she said. “For example, the first course deals with genres; the second helps develop research writing strategies; and the third looks at how writing can effect change in a changing world.”

The program also sponsors a yearly “Celebration of Student Writing,” event that showcases student writing in a variety of forms. This year’s event is April 12, 4-5:30 p.m. in EMU’s McKenny Union Ballroom.

“Our students develop projects based on their research. It’s a multi-media extravaganza and the projects are amazing,” said Adler-Kassner. “Projects have ranged from producing radio documentaries and painting portraits accompanied by narratives, to developing class magazines and scrapbooks.”

            Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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