A new initiative to improve students’ writing skills across the disciplines—the Colby Writing Project—begins with phase one this academic year.

“Writing is a foundational skill in the liberal arts, and it’s always been part of Colby’s curriculum,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer. “We have studied best practices and are committed to making Colby’s writing curriculum as strong as possible. The Colby Writing Project, developed in consultation with the faculty, will accomplish that, and it reflects our commitment to excellence in writing in all subject areas.”

The Colby Writing Project expands the number of writing-intensive courses throughout the curriculum in a way that gives students repeated opportunities to improve their skills across all four years as undergraduates.

The first phase replaces the longstanding English Composition requirement with a First-year Writing requirement, which may be fulfilled in various departments and subject areas. Courses that fulfill the requirement share strong emphasis on drafting, argument development, and revision. They maintain a close focus on students’ individual writing skills and needs, and they require writing in a variety of forms.

Subsequent phases will involve enhancements and additions to upper-level writing-intensive courses and will be overseen by the new Colby Writing Project administrator, Stacey Sheriff.

The Colby Writing Project is being implemented with help from an

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.