The Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee (OWEAC) is a permanent advisory committee serving college and high school English faculty in Oregon. OWEAC has adopted a mission statement guiding its activities:
- To promote high academic standards in English composition and literature in community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and high school dual enrollment programs
- To facilitate communication among English faculty in Oregon
- To provide policy recommendations regarding English instruction
The work of this committee emphasizes improvements in English composition and literature instruction that enable students to understand and apply reading and writing skills essential to critical thinking and to their success as students, informed citizens, and members of the workforce.
- OWEAC HISTORY
The State System of Higher Education/Community College Coordinating Committee originally appointed this Ad Hoc Committee on Competencies in English Composition in 1974. Our original charge was to improve articulation between community and four-year colleges, with special attention to transfer and equivalence of required composition courses. Committee activities gradually broadened (and its name changed to the State Composition Advisory Committee and then to the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee) to consider the goals and content of required writing courses, testing and measurement of writing skills, teacher preparation, and continuing education.
In recent years, OWEAC’s accomplishments have included the following:
- Recommendations for aligning lower-division ENG and WR course numbers statewide
- Outcomes for ENG 104, 105, and 106, Introduction to Literature; WR 115, Introduction to College Writing; WR 121, Expository Prose Writing; WR 122, Argumentative Writing; WR 123, Research Writing; and WR 227, Technical Writing
- Survey of adjunct faculty
- Participation in outcomes development for the AAOT (Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer and the OTM (Oregon Transfer Module)
- Information literacy proficiencies developed and mapped onto WR 121 and WR 122
- Co-sponsorship of the annual Oregon Information Literacy Summit with the Oregon Library Association Library Instruction Round Table and with the Information Literacy Advisory Group of Oregon (ILAGO)
- Position statement on dual credit/dual enrollment
- Position statement on information literacy
- Criteria for general-education writing courses
- Advocacy against the use of machine scoring of writing and against a single cut score on high school writing assessment to determine “college readiness”
- OWEAC OBJECTIVES
OWEAC shall evaluate and recommend placement, sequencing, content, proficiencies, performance standards, student outcomes, and teaching strategies and learning environments of language, literature, reading, and composition programs in community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and high school dual enrollment programs.
OWEAC shall monitor, review, and publish guidelines on issues that affect language, literature, reading, and composition instruction related to the following:
- Curriculum (core composition and literature requirements, reading competencies, developmental writing, articulation, and workplace writing)
- Instructors’ professional development
- Changing technology (computer-based instruction, distance learning)
- Changing student needs (foreign students, students with limited English proficiency, Article 504 accommodations)
- Assessment, testing, advising, and placement
- Education reform
OWEAC shall review and publicize core writing and literature requirements to create a “seamless” transfer from high school to college and to improve articulation and communication between all levels.
OWEAC shall work with and advise other statewide and local agencies and organizations that are involved in setting policies affecting English instruction.
- OWEAC’S OPERATING PRINCIPLES
- Membership: Members of OWEAC are drawn from writing program coordinators, English faculty, or administration from Oregon community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and high schools offering dual enrollment. Meetings are open, and institutions are welcome to send a representative.
- Officers: Members nominate and elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Technology Officer at the spring meeting for a two-year term.
- The Chair shall 1) conduct OWEAC meetings, 2) work to meet each year’s goals, 3) provide an annual summary of OWEAC accomplishments, 4) conduct elections when next Chair is to be elected, 5) co-chair key committees as needed, 6) serve as liaison to other agencies and organizations, and 7) represent follow up as Past Chair to complete goals begun as Chair.
- The Vice-Chair (Chair-Elect) shall 1) serve as co-chair of key committees as needed, 2) conduct meetings if Chair is absent, 3) serve as liaison to other agencies and organizations if Chair is unavailable, 4) conduct part of meetings dealing with committee work, 4) serve as Chair after the term of Vice-Chair is completed.
- The Secretary shall 1) help Chair set agenda, 2) accurately record minutes, 3) find substitute Secretary when unable to attend meetings, 4) make sure approved minutes are archived on the OWEAC website through Technology Officer, 5) make sure approved documents are archived on the OWEAC website through the Technology Officer.
- The Technology Officer shall 1) maintain OWEAC’s web presence, 2) update the website with minutes, meeting information, membership, OWEAC statements and recommendations, and other materials as needed, and 3) modify website as needed.
- Meetings: OWEAC shall meet once each quarter during the academic year at a location members agree upon, with a quorum consisting of those members present.
- Minutes shall be made available to members following each quarterly meeting.