Stephanie Rivera, Professor of the BBA program
BBA Writing Center / Writign across the Curriculum Program
What is writing across the Curriculum? That is a question that many of the students and even some professors have asked over the past few semesters. Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) programs emerged in the 1980s. The philosophies underlying these programs generally agree on certain basic principles:
- That writing is the responsibility of the entire academic community
- That writing must be integrated across departmental boundaries
- That writing instruction must be continuous during all four years of undergraduate education
- That writing promotes learning
- That only by practicing the conventions of an academic discipline will students begin to communicate effectively within that discipline
This program was introduced to the BBA Program at UNIBE in 2013 and it has been a complete success ever since. The purpose of the program is as follows: by implementing the Writing across the Curriculum program (WAC) we want to help our students to develop their critical thinking, and writing skills professionally and academically. We also want to introduce them to the APA style and to help them improve those skills within the 3 years they spend at our school.
APA citation style refers to the rules and conventions established by the American Psychological Association for documenting sources used in a research paper or assignment. APA style requires both in-text citations and a reference list. For every in-text citation there should be a full citation in the reference list and vice versa.
The reason for the implementation of APA is for those students leaving to FIU after completing their three years at UNIBE. At FIU, students and teachers use the APA format and by implementing this program as soon as students enter the BBA program, we will be confident that when students arrive at FIU, they will not struggle in learning the correct format applied by this institution of higher learning.
The WAC Program is collaboration between Teachers, Students and the coordinator of the program. A few weeks before every semester, we sit with the professors, look over their syllabus and find ways to implement more writing assignments for that semester. The role of the professor is to make it a priority to let their students know to visit the Writing Center, located in the BBA/BSCE office area. Professors are also to enforce the APA format in all of their assignments during the semester. It is important for each professor to make sure that APA format is mandatory in all assignments, big or small. The role of the students is to visit the Writing center and meet with the coordinator no less than three times a semester. The routine is rather simple. Students come into the Writing Center during office hours, which are usually three times a week, two hours a day. We review their assignment and make sure the proper APA format is used and make the necessary corrections. Pamphlets, sample assignments and APA format links are always at hand for any student that may require extra help.
We find that this program has been a success in the BBA Program. You can see the difference in the quality of work they are now submitting in comparison to what they submitted in previous semesters. There are many days that 20 students may be waiting outside of the Writing Center to seek help and it has been a pleasure being able to serve them in the capacity needed. We have noticed that students arriving from High Schools around the country struggle with their writing skills. Many schools also tend to teach MLA style as opposed to APA. Also we have witnessed students helping each other, sort of like a peer editing. Seeing the students help each other is proof of how much this program helps. You can hear remarks such as “You didn’t put the title in all caps” or “You forgot the cover page”, little things like that. It always brings a smile to my face knowing that what is being taught to the students is actually working!
In all, the WAC program and Writing Center have been a huge success within the BBA/BSCE Programs at UNIBE. This is a program that aims to help not only students but professors as well. I know that this program is already being implemented within some of the Spanish speaking programs at the University, but it is definitely worth getting the entire University involved. It is something that will benefit Students, Professors and the Administration in the years to come as the community continues to grow. It has been an honor having been a part of this project.
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