Conference on College Composition and Communication Logo

CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence

This award program, established in 2004, honors up to 20 writing programs a year. As a term, “programs” is intended to be capacious in its application and includes:

  • A first-year writing program or a coherent configuration of first-year courses.
  • A basic or developmental writing program.
  • An ESL writing program.
  • A configuration of writing instruction within an intensive-English program.  This instruction might be integrated into courses rather than appear in separate writing courses.
  • A vertical sequence of courses—e.g., a concentration, a certificate, a minor, a major.
  • A WAC or WID program.
  • A writing program within a writing center.
  • A writing program designed for a special group.

To be eligible for this award, programs must be able to demonstrate that:

i. The program imaginatively addresses the needs and opportunities of its students, instructors, institution, and locale.
ii. The program offers exemplary ongoing professional development for faculty of all ranks, including adjunct/contingent faculty.
iii. The program treats contingent faculty respectfully, humanely, and professionally.
iv. The program uses current best practices in the field.
v. The program administrator (chair, director, coordinator, etc.) has academic credentials in writing.
vi. The program uses effective, ongoing assessment.
vii. The program uses effective placement procedures.
viii. Class size is appropriate.
ix. The program models diversity and/or serves diverse communities.

In addition, programs may want to include other documentation showing that:

a. The program has conducted research that serves similar programs at other institutions.
b. The program exhibits coherence in terms of disciplinary expectations.
c. The program exhibits some distinctive feature(s) in the student and/or faculty experience. For instance, the program could have a strand, such as critical thinking or cultural awareness, that links courses. These links might appear within the context of learning communities.
d. The program effectively integrates theory and practice.
e. The program uses practices and materials that lead to desirable learning outcomes.
f. The program provides valuable and valued community service.
g. The program has established strategic alliances with campus units and/or initiatives (e.g., service learning, student retention).

Applications are due by August 31, 2022 (they must reach by/on this date). To apply:

A. Anyone in the program or outside the program may submit a letter nominating the program or indicating that the program is preparing a full application for an award. The purpose of the letter is to establish contact with a CCCC staff member, who will assist the writing program staff as they prepare the full application. Of course, applicants are not required to seek such assistance as they prepare application packets. Please send a short nominating email to, including the institution nominated and contact information for the person preparing the application.

B. The following is a list of items that the full application should include, limited to 30 total pages, including all attachments, appendices, and/or supplemental materials. Please send all materials, including the application and any supplemental items, to CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence,

  1. An introductory piece, which includes the following information: contact information, identified criteria from the aforementioned list, a list of materials submitted, a one-page abstract that could subsequently appear on the Website and perhaps in CCC.
  2. A description of program demographics: size of the program, size of sections, number of full-time and part-time instructors, number of TAs.
  3. A description of the principles underlying the program and the ways writing pedagogy grows out of those principles. Also in that document might be the history of various orientations toward writing at that institution and how the latest program (the one being considered for an award) grows out of or dramatically departs from the previous ones.
  4. Sample syllabi, including course learning goals.
  5. A description of in-house professional development for faculty and teaching assistants.
  6. A description of the context for the program within the department, college, and/or institution.
  7. DVDs, CDs, videos, or links to pages on the program’s Website that chronicle the program’s activities.
  8. Demonstrated success and the measures used to determine success.
  9. Direct evidence of innovation, as well as it implementation, institutionalization, and sustainability.
  10. Evidence of effective operation.

CCCC will announce the award in CCC, on the Website, at the annual meeting, and on appropriate listservs. Winners will also be recognized at the annual Awards Session at CCCC. At that time, the program will be presented with a certificate. CCCC also will assist in sending a press release to the campus media office, to appropriate campus administrators, and to local newspapers.

For additional information, please contact the CCCC Liaison at

Congratulations to the 2021–2022 Recipients!

Georgia Institute of Technology, Writing and Communication Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: The Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech is defined by its effort to provide its students and faculty with innovative, human-centered perspectives at the intersection of humanities, arts, social sciences, and STEM. The Georgia Tech Writing and Communication Program take two program elements as the hallmarks of academic success. The first is the first-year writing curriculum — a multi-modal, humanities-centered, seminar-style approach to the introductory composition classroom, in which recent PhDs design seminars centered in their area of expertise. These courses guide students to explore and develop their expertise as multi-modal communicators. The second mark of distinction is all writing faculty are on full-time lines with the same health and retirement benefits as all other faculty in the School of Literature, Media and Communication. Moreover, the committee felt this was a strong innovation program comprised of award-winning educators, researchers, and students who draw on the benefits of a technologically-focused research university and an impactful liberal arts experience. The Georgia Tech Writing and Communication Program (WCP) provide instruction in multimodal composition, business and technical communication, humanities, and research writing to approximately 5,000 students a year.

Lehman College, CUNY, Writing Across the Curriculum Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: Lehman WAC’s excellence in the face of COVID-19, particularly its commitment to diversity and inclusion was recognized with an International Across the Curriculum 2021 Honorable Mention award for Outstanding Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Field. With dedicated service from faculty, three WAC-affiliated faculty are currently collaborating on a book chapter chronicling the effort to extend the Lehman College Latinx Student Alliance’s push for anti-racist curriculum beyond the English department and across campus via WAC. Finally, perhaps the best measure of Lehman WAC’s long-term success as a program is its book Public Voices: Writing across Lehman College 2003-2012 composed by faculty.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: One outstanding practice in WRAP is the writing assessment implementation of incoming first-year students through the first-year essay exam (FEE)) and incoming graduate students through the graduate writing exam (GWE)), with strong ongoing assessment offering a rich set of data for understanding the communication abilities, and needs, of MIT students. Particularly, WRAP administrators have developed an innovative assessment system using the “generative rubrics” to both automate some features of the feedback system, and to collect detailed data about their students’ conceptual, procedural and strategic communication knowledge. In closing, with several areas of honorable mention and outstanding service to faculty, staff and students, the committee endorses the WRAP Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The impressive WRAP Program extends its diversity initiatives by working strategically to address educating a diverse community of scholars making it evident even in its hiring practices.

Miami University, Howe Center for Writing Excellence
The Selection Committee provided these comments: The program authenticates its description of “excellence” exemplifying best practices in the fields of writing studies and writing centers/WAC and operates by researched-supported guiding principles funded by the generous $15 million donations. The HCWE consists of both a faculty-facing writing across the curriculum (HWAC) program and a student-facing writing center (HWC). Impressively, HCWE extends and sustains an extensive faculty development and student support center which is committed to engaging in scholarship about the teaching and learning of writing. The HCWE Program endorses best practices in an effort to create a culture of writing on campus, wherein faculty members from all divisions take shared responsibility helping students learn to write in their disciplines.

Moravian University, Writing at Moravian Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: During summer 2021, WAM revised aspects of the program in response to the pandemic and urgent calls for writing programs to address the social inequities, regulation, and racism perpetuated in/through writing and writing instruction/assessment. WAM currently defines writing through a multimodal lens as any form of multimodal communication (i.e., as communication in which audio, visual, spatial, gestural, and/or alphanumeric textual components convey meaning) and encourages writing transfer “not just from first-year writing to courses in the disciplines, but at every stage of a student’s college writing career.” Moreover, Writing at Moravian is also committed to providing ongoing support and professional development opportunities for faculty teaching within the program as well as for the student Writing Fellows who support WAM-affiliated courses. With modifications to WAM, the program is sensitive to students’ writing progress offering opportunities for them to converse with their advisors and meet with the Director of Writing in early August to discuss their placement and potentially move to a different section prior to the start of/during the first week of the fall semester.

North Central Texas College, First-Year Composition Textbook and Common Read Project
The Selection Committee provided these comments: The First-Year Composition faculty has been progressively engaged in innovative and impactful projects developing writing achievement for first-year students. Notably, first-year Composition faculty launched the “textbook project,” as it became known around campus to create an invigorating, exciting, and collaborative academic experience for its students and faculty that relied on five key components: an NCTC-specific custom textbook, campus-wide common reads, faculty, and student resources in the college’s LMS, a college-wide lecture series, and faculty professional development. Since the project’s launch in 2018, the First-Year Composition Program has developed into an exciting and innovative vision that has fostered collaboration across the college, and has promoted equity for its 3000 students across the division’s 200 sections of Developmental English and First-Year Composition on six campuses, thirteen off-site instructional sites, and online. In addition, a four-year review has shown that the “NCTC Textbook Project” has positively impacted student success and achievement, including during a pandemic.

Rowan University, First-Year Writing Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: The First-Year Writing Program at Rowan University is highly collaborative and inclusive of faculty of all ranks, and it offers a robust set of professional development activities and mechanisms for faculty to vocalize their concerns and shape the practices of the program. In addition to its progressive curriculum, the program has made transformative use of assessment data and undertaken a multi-year investigation of racial equity in grading that promises to challenge assumptions about revision, portfolios, and grading contracts. Faculty routinely present best practices and innovations generated by or learned through the First-Year Writing Program at a number of prominent venues. In 2021, first-year writing faculty Catherine Romano and Anna Bassiri won an Excellence in Diversity Award for a Group Project for developing a College Composition I themed course on linguistic diversity/justice, “Your Own English.”. Furthermore, several writing faculty participated in the Philadelphia Writing Program Administrators Spring 2021 Conference.

Salt Lake Community College, Writing Across the College Program
The Selection Committee provided these comments: The WAC Program provides a host of resources that promote student success in writing by directly serving SLCC faculty, staff, and administrators. Commendable practices of Writing Across the College consist of two distinct branches of programming: (1) Writing in the Classroom and (2) the Professional Writing Center.
Furthermore, the Writing Across the College Program offers ongoing faculty development workshops offered to tenure-line and adjunct faculty. Workshops focus on “Equitable Assessment Strategies” guiding faculty to examine their assessment and feedback practices through an equity lens and invite them to revise their practices for two assignments. Similarly, “Strengths and Stresses of Working with Student Writing” is a workshop designed for an annual adjunct faculty conference.

Writing Program Certificate of Excellence Winners


Georgia Institute of Technology, Writing and Communication Program
Lehman College, CUNY, Writing Across the Curriculum Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Program
Miami University, Howe Center for Writing Excellence
Moravian University, Writing at Moravian Program
North Central Texas College, First-Year Composition Textbook and Common Read Project
Rowan University, First-Year Writing Program
Salt Lake Community College, Writing Across the College Program


Syracuse University, Writing Across the Curriculum
Thomas Jefferson University, Writing Program
University of New Haven, Writing Across the Curriculum Program
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, First Year Writing Program


University of Washington — Seattle, Expository Writing Program


Indiana University, Composition Program
National University of Singapore, Writing and Critical Thinking Programme, University Scholars Programme
Temple University, First Year Writing Program
Texas A&M University – Commerce, Writing Program


Dickinson College, Writing Program
George Washington University, Writing Program
University of Arizona, Writing Program
University of Maine, College Composition
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University Writing Program
University of Oklahoma, First-Year Composition Program
University of Oklahoma, Writing Center
University of Pennsylvania, Critical Writing Program
Winston-Salem State University, Writing in the Majors Program


Boston University, College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Writing Program
Salt Lake Community College, English Department
University of Maryland, Writing Programs: Academic Writing, Professional Writing, Writing Center
University of Wisconsin Colleges, Writing Program

Oakland University, Major in Writing and Rhetoric
Roger Williams University, Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Community College of Baltimore County, Developmental Writing Program
Illinois State University, Writing Program
Northeastern University, Writing Program
University of Alberta, Writing Studies 101: Exploring Writing

Montclair State University, Center for Writing Excellence
St. John’s University, University Writing Center & Writing Across the Curriculum Program
University of Colorado at Boulder, Program for Writing and Rhetoric
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, First-Year Writing Program

Emerson College, First-Year Writing Program
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, First-Year Composition Program
Oakland University, Department of Writing and Rhetoric
Pennsylvania State University, Rhetoric and Writing Program
University of California, Santa Barbara, Writing Program
University of Central Florida, First-Year Composition Program
University of Colorado, Boulder, McNeill Writing Program


Appalachian State University, Vertical Writing Curriculum
Montclair State University, First-Year Writing Program
St. Louis Community College, ESL Program
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Undergraduate Rhetoric Program
University of South Florida, First-Year Writing Composition Program
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Writing Program
The University of Texas at El Paso, First-Year Composition


Binghamton University, State University of New York, First-Year Writing
University of Connecticut, University Writing Center
Wheaton College, Writing Across the Curriculum Program


Louisiana State University, Communication across the Curriculum Program


North Carolina State University, First-Year Writing Program
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Writing Program
Washington State University, Writing Program


The University of Denver, Writing Program
University of Toronto Scarborough, Writing Centre


Ball State University, Writing Program
Michigan Technological University, Writing Center
Purdue University, Introductory Composition
Swarthmore College, Writing Associates Program
University of Toronto, Office of English Language and Writing Support


Duke University, University Writing Program
Eastern Michigan University, First-Year Writing Program
Marquette University, First-Year English Program

Winter 2005

Carleton College, Writing Program
The Ohio State University, First-Year Writing Program

Fall 2004

Central European University, Center for Academic Writing
Clemson University, The Advanced Writing Program
Michigan Technological University, Department of Humanities Writing Program
Michigan Technological University, Scientific and Technical Communication Program
Purdue University, Writing Lab
Rowan University, Department of Composition and Rhetoric
Saint Joseph College, Writing Portfolio Program
Salt Lake Community College, Community Writing Center
San Francisco State University, Technical and Professional Writing Program
University of Missouri, Campus Writing Program
University of Washington, Engineering Communication Program

Renew Your Membership

Join CCCC today!
Learn more about the SWR book series.
Connect with CCCC
CCCC on Facebook
CCCC on LinkedIn
CCCC on Twitter
CCCC on Tumblr
OWI Principles Statement
Join the OWI discussion


Copyright © 1998 - 2022 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use