Maroon and Write

University Partners

To assist in the implementation of Maroon and Write, the institution will utilize the knowledge and expertise of writing coordinators, the Writing Center, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the MSU Libraries, and the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. More discussion about the resources allocated to Maroon and Write is provided in Section V of this document.

Writing Coordinators

MSU will encourage all instructional faculty to participate in MIWE and in Maroon and Write faculty development opportunities; however, the university recognizes that faculty members cannot be expected to redesign their courses to become writing classes, nor are they trained to teach writing. Furthermore, course content must take precedence over writing instruction. Therefore, the university will employ writing coordinators to assist faculty members with writing instruction, assignment creation, grading, and feedback to students. The institution’s intention is to hire one writing coordinator for each college (with the exception of Forest Resources and Veterinary Medicine, both of which have small undergraduate student populations and will share a single writing coordinator). Although these coordinators will be available to assist non-MIWE faculty, their priority will be current MIWE participants. Writing coordinators will report to the QEP directors; their job responsibilities will include:

  • Working with faculty members to develop both writing-to-learn activities and formal writing assignments
  • Visiting MIWE classrooms to instruct students in writing components and/or grammar
  • Educating faculty and students in the application of the Maroon and Write rubric
  • Assisting faculty in evaluating student writing
  • Holding writing conferences with students in MIWE classes
  • Assisting with other Maroon and Write projects as needed

Writing coordinators must have a master’s degree or higher and at least two years of experience in teaching and/or tutoring writing. Maroon and Write has budgeted for seven positions: two coordinators will be twelve-month employees and will assist with the MIWE and any writing evaluation opportunities that arise during the summer in addition to working with faculty during fall and spring semesters; the other five coordinators will be employed on a nine-month basis during the regular academic year.

Writing Center

MSU’s Writing Center supports the writing efforts of all students at all levels and in all colleges within the university. Trained writing consultants provide assistance to students at any stage of the writing process. The Writing Center is part of MSU’s Department of English and is staffed by the department’s graduate students, adjunct lecturers, and instructors. It is anticipated that, as Maroon and Write fosters increased frequency of writing in all colleges, the Writing Center will experience a significant increase in demand for writing appointments. Because demand is already high, the Maroon and Write project will need to support the Writing Center’s need for additional staff; therefore, the QEP proposed budget includes financial support over the project’s duration.

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

Founded in 2006, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is charged with coordinating faculty development and promoting a culture of teaching on the Mississippi State University campus. The Maroon and Write office will work closely with the CTL in the development and implementation of faculty development opportunities related to the use of writing pedagogies in the classroom. While the Maroon and Write Speaker Series will raise awareness of the QEP and writing pedagogies, more focused training will be made available through the CTL that will reinforce the use of writing pedagogies and provide the opportunity for faculty to showcase how they have used these strategies in their classes.

Each semester, the Maroon and Write staff will work with the CTL in the development of at least one CTL Brown Bag devoted to the QEP. These sessions typically focus on a particular pedagogical topic with speakers drawn from the MSU faculty. These 90-minute sessions are open to all faculty and staff members. The Maroon and Write staff will also work with the CTL in the development of at least one QEP-related CTL seminar per semester. CTL seminars are one-hour sessions that focus on some in-depth pedagogical topic and allow for greater interaction than a typical brown bag. The CTL Brown Bag, seminar sessions, and the Maroon and Write Speaker Series will be video recorded and made available through the CTL website, allowing those unable to attend in person to view the sessions.

In the fall 2014 semester, the Maroon and Write project will partner with the CTL to host a teaching circle dedicated to the use of writing-to-learn strategies in the classroom. Teaching circles are informal faculty group discussions that meet once a semester and focus on a single topic for the entire semester.

The Maroon and Write project will work with the CTL and the MSU Libraries to purchase faculty materials in support of the scholarship of writing-across-the curriculum and other writing pedagogies. These materials will be purchased through the Maroon and Write office, cataloged through the MSU Libraries online catalog, and housed in the CTL’s faculty reading shelf. The materials will be included in bibliographies and resource guides supported through both the Maroon and Write and CTL websites.

MSU Libraries

Mississippi State University Libraries maintain extensive research resources and services that will support the Maroon and Write QEP. The library instruction program offers customized instruction sessions in either the professor’s classroom or in one of the library’s instructional labs. These instruction sessions are designed in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries information literacy standards and are provided by professional librarians trained in instruction and research strategies. In addition, information professionals in the Instructional Media Center offer workshops and classes on the use of technology and social media applications. The Research Services Department offers a consultation service that provides students with individualized research assistance.

MSU Libraries use the web publishing platform LibGuides by Springshare. This web-based program allows the MSU Libraries’ professionals to create specialized research guides on topics related to research (including existing guides on writing and citation styles.) Faculty members have the option of requesting guides designed specifically for their courses. In support of Maroon and Write, library professionals will develop a LibGuide to serve as a portal for both faculty and students looking for resources related to the QEP.

A library representative participated in the first Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence and presented a session on library resources, services, and information literacy to the first group of MIWE faculty. All MIWE participants will be encouraged to use the library’s resources in their classes, and the Maroon and Write website will refer faculty to relevant resources.

Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) provides guidance and support for Maroon and Write. Under the direction of Timothy Chamblee, MSU’s SACSCOC Liaison, OIRE administers surveys to MSU students and faculty, tracks QEP-related data, and provides trend analysis. Several OIRE office members serve as ex-officio members of QEP committees.

Other Partners

The table below provides a list of some of the primary departments that will assist Maroon and Write. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but merely an overview of the types of departments and office that are have committed to participating in Maroon and Write.

Partners Roles
Career Center Advises faculty and staff about the skills that employers are looking for, and counsels students on how to compose materials needed for job applications
Information Technology Services Supports student and faculty technology needs related to instruction, faculty development, and computer labs
Maroon Edition Engages students, particularly freshman, with a common book and an essay contest
Maroon and Write Advisory Committee Faculty and staff serve as an advisory group
MIWE faculty Serves as a networking community and as Maroon and Write champions who then encourage their peers to participate in training activities
MSU Athletics Raise awareness among students and, through athletics academics, work to improve student writing
Office of Admissions and Scholarships Promotes the Maroon and Write in the admissions process and student orientation sessions
Office of Parent Services Garners support from parents who can encourage their children to appreciate and take seriously the Maroon and Write efforts
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President Advises the leaders of the Maroon and Write, promotes faculty participation in the plan, and raises awareness during new faculty orientation
Office of Public Affairs Supports the marketing efforts of Maroon and Write with news media, photography, logo design, and other publicity
Student Association Promotes awareness of the Maroon and Write and serves as a conduit for feedback to the Maroon and Write about the progress and impact of the writing strategies
Student Honor Code Office Promotes student academic integrity, particularly in student writing, and provides education on preventing and remediating integrity violations
The Learning Center Helps students improve their academic performance

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