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First-Year Writing Program




The five Core Values of the Rowan University First-Year Writing (FYW) program represent specific goals and outcomes statements for First-Year Writing Program courses: Foundations for College Writing, College Composition I and Intensive College Composition I, and College Composition II. Each of the Core Values identifies a specific understanding, or way of thinking, that is associated with successful college writing. Detailed descriptions of each of the Core Values are available in the Courses section of this site.

The FYW program recognizes that every writing scenario is unique, and that successful student writers should be prepared to meet the diverse challenges and expectations presented by different situations. Instead of defining successful writing as a rigid series of discrete tasks, we focus on helping students develop useful and productive ways of thinking about writing. Successful college writing requires, for instance, that the writer is receptive to the needs of the audience, sensitive to the situation that inspired the need to write, and committed to using the ideas of others in an ethical manner. These are not concrete skills; rather, they are values - important principles that successful writers understand and apply to every writing situation.

The five Core Values are consistent across all FYW courses. However, the learning objectives for each of the Core Values are distinct for each course. As you move through the First-Year Writing program sequence, your understanding of the five Core Values will expand and develop. In CCII, for instance, you will be expected to demonstrate a more sophisticated understanding of each Core Value than you demonstrated in CCI.


Use the dropdown menu below to learn more about each of the Core Values. You can access the learning objectives for each FYW course in the specific course sections. To see how the learning objectives for each Core Value evolve over time, view this printable chart.

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The Rowan First-Year Writing program's Five Core Values were developed over two years by the General Education Subcommittee of the Department of Writing Arts. They are informed by extensive research in the field of Composition and Rhetoric, and they align with the ideals, objectives, and expectations for first-year writing programs that are shared by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the National Writing Project (NWP). 

The following documents provide a useful outline of the values-based approach to the teaching of writing:


The CWPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition

The NCTE Position Statement on Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing

The Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, jointly developed by the CWPA, NCTE, and NWP

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Students present portfolios at the end of each semester. Every portfolio includes a Reflective Statement, a formal document in which you reflect on your development of the five Core Values over the course of the semester. Your instructor will evaluate your Reflective Statement and your portfolio writing projects, to determine how well you have met the learning objectives of each Core Value.


Upon completion of the First-Year Writing Program course sequence, you should fully understand the five Core Values.

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