Warren College Writing Program
Staff Contact: Hanna Tawater, (858) 534-3068
The Warren College Writing Program welcomes graduate student applications from all departments of the university, including the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. In our program, we believe that first-year writing courses provide impactful learning opportunities for incoming college students to explore big ideas and complex questions. Our vision of a writing program is one in which students develop meaningful writing projects that stay with them long after their classes have concluded. We take seriously the idea that it is our responsibility to prepare them for transferring their knowledge and skills to other academic courses and contexts in the university and beyond.
We are excited to recruit instructors with a passion for teaching undergraduates how to think critically, read complex sources, and improve their ability to write for different audiences, purposes, and genres. Moreover, because of the program’s association with its namesake, former Chief Justice Earl Warren, we welcome applications from instructors that are passionate about teaching students how to engage in rigorous analytical conversations about contemporary and historical ethical issues.
One of the more unique aspects of the Warren Writing program is that graduate students are the sole instructors in the classroom. Students do not attend large lectures as part of instruction – all teaching is done in small seminars of fifteen students. Instructors work under the guidance of the program directors, but they are also able to develop a fair amount of autonomy in their classes. To support instructors in the classroom and to prepare them to teach their own classes, program directors provide a common syllabus from which to teach, create common learning outcomes and writing assignments, and distribute shared teaching materials and suggested weekly lesson plans.
Our goal is to foster a supportive teaching environment where pedagogical ideas and materials are shared, where instructors feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help, and where professional development and job-preparedness is emphasized.
All students in Warren College must complete a two-course writing requirement.
Our first course, WCWP 10A, teaches students to learn how to think critically and ethically as they write for different audiences, in various contexts and genres, using different writing strategies, to achieve certain purposes. Students will complete three writing projects, including a creative multimodal project at the end of the quarter.
Our second course, WCWP 10B, builds on these learning outcomes by teaching students to engage with and contribute to academic conversations. Students will complete two writing projects, including a final capstone proposal project with creative multimodal elements.
For the past few years, our 10A topic has been Climate Change Ethics, which focuses on the rhetoric surrounding climate science and explores critical solutions to the ongoing climate crises. Our 10B topic is Food Ethics and looks at the nuances of food insecurity on campuses and in our communities. Future topics currently in development for 10B include Future Studies and the Healthcare System. As a program we are currently committed to a climate-focused pedagogy, which we strive to integrate into WCWP curriculum regardless of topic.
Our appointments are for year-long (and usually renewable) teaching positions.
TAs in our program teach six sections per year (not more than 15 students per section).
A typical teaching assignment for new instructors to the program might be as follows:
- Fall – 2 sections of 10A
- Winter – 2 sections of 10A
- Spring – 2 sections of 10A or 2 sections of 10B
While these assignments can vary, our goal is to give new instructors an opportunity to teach multiple sections of the same course throughout the year in order to build familiarity with the objectives of the program.
All new instructors are required to attend the WCWP 500 teaching practicum that meets weekly (historically held Mondays from 9:30 to 10:50am). Just before the start of the academic year, instructors meet for an orientation in Week 0 to prepare them to teach the first of the two writing courses offered by the program. During orientation, we discuss pedagogy, teaching methods, responding to work-in-progress, teaching successful revision strategies, and grading.
Weekly and quarterly responsibilities include implementing the course syllabus, teaching assigned sections, commenting on drafts of student papers, assigning grades, holding office hours, attending staff meetings, and using UC San Diego’s learning management system (Canvas). Responsibilities average out to 20 hours per week for 50% appointments, so instructors are expected to balance their workload accordingly.
Our courses run Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday, 80 minutes per section. There are no sections on Friday.