The First-Year Writing Program @ CCNY


Mission Statement

First-year composition courses at CCNY teach writing as a recursive and frequently collaborative process of invention, drafting, and revising. Writing is both personal and social, and students should learn how to write for different purposes and audiences. Since writing is a process of making meaning and communicating, FYC teachers respond mainly to the content of students’ writing as well as to recurring surface errors. Students should expect frequent written and oral responses on the content of their writing from their teachers and peers. Classes rely heavily on a workshop format. Instruction emphasizes the connection between writing, reading, and critical thinking; students should give thoughtful, reasoned responses to the readings. Both reading and writing are the subjects of class discussions and workshops, and students are expected to be active participants in the classroom community. Learning from each other will be a large part of the classroom experience.

Program Philosophy

Although there are many sections of composition, all of them should aim to help students achieve the course learning outcomes for English 110, the writing sections of the Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminary, and all of the courses in the 210 series (21001, Writing in the Humanities; 21002; Writing in the Social Sciences; 21003, Writing in the Sciences; and 21007, Writing for Engineering). The individual assignments might vary from section to section, but all courses share these common goals. The writing program is designed around the concepts of rhetorical knowledge and genre knowledge; our aim is to help students understand key rhetorical concepts and to be able to use those concepts to help them read and write in genres across the curriculum. To achieve these aims, students should reflect on their writing in terms of their achievement of the course learning outcomes. Their reflections should culminate in a long self-reflective essay in which they review their writing from the semester. Reflections after every assignment, a graded, end-of-term self-reflection, and a digital portfolio are required components of every class.

Digital Portfolios

Students should use CUNY’s Academic Commons to create their digital portfolios. Be sure that every student is aware of the options for privacy settings and that they set privacy according to their own comfort level.