Goals and Benefits
The program serves approximately 2,500 students from across the Texas Tech campus
each semester. The same curriculum is also made available to all students who enroll
in the courses through Outreach and Distance Education (ODE). Approximately 175 students,
many of them home schooled or seeking dual credit, are enrolled at any given time
in the ODE courses. While enrolled, these students interact with those taking the
courses on campus and have an opportunity to acclimate to college-level work. Approximately
600 students have completed one or both courses via ODE since the program's inception
in January 2002.
The program has three primary goals—creating quality instruction for first-year college students, providing a training ground for graduate students as teachers of writing, and developing an ongoing research environment for the teaching of writing. Each carries educational and economic benefits.
Undergraduate students develop the writing skills and technological literacy skills that they need to succeed in college and later participate as productive members of the Texas workforce. Additionally, the hybrid delivery systems enable students to take these courses while moving efficiently through their degree programs (rather than test out and risk not learning or practicing writing skills).
Graduate students receive training in current course delivery and teaching methods, thus increasing their marketability. They have the opportunity to work even as they participate in the online or onsite graduate programs. The hybrid delivery system also enables students who might need to relocate during their graduate programs to remain enrolled in their programs.
Finally, the database is a dynamic instructional research environment which will attract researchers and students from around the country to Texas Tech to study the nearly 1 million pieces of student writing, along with the associated instructor commentary and other data. Coupled with the emerging A&S Writing Initiative and the reconstituted Writing Intensive Guidelines, Texas Tech can quickly become a center from which to develop new knowledge about writing instruction—an urgent state and national need essential to educational and economic growth in the information age.