Studies continue to support the need for colleges and universities to take a proactive approach to providing students with opportunities to improve and develop communication skills. Regardless of the students' educational or employment goals, they must be able to communicate well and must possess abilities that go beyond those typically developed through courses in composition.
One of the areas the 2000 Honors Task Force identified "for future expansion, development, and implementation" was a programmatic effort emphasizing speaking and writing in the disciplines (WID). In response to this recommendation, then-Provost Johnson formed The Writing Board, which is composed of faculty, staff, students, and administrators and is charged with creating a plan that will move UMBC toward the creation of a "writing in the disciplines" program. The plan includes short-term and long-term goals with a mind toward the budgetary issues of the University.
Joseph Harris, Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Writing at Duke University, states that the teaching aims of writing intensive programs are "to engage students in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly research while making the uses and roles of writing in the disciplines more visible to students."
Further, he states that related aims include "connecting the practices of research and teaching by discussing the roles of writing in the formation of knowledge and by inquiring into the ways disciplines form themselves (in part) through their distinctive conventions in writing."
Teaching Writing in the Disciplines, a PowerPoint presentation by Joseph Harris,
Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Writing, Duke University.