Since the summer of 2014 I have served as the lead writing instructor for the University of Michigan Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP). The program was started at Yale in 2012, and in 2014 expanded to Harvard and the University of Michigan. I had the privilege to serve as one of 8 writing instructors in the entire National program in 2014.
A major part of my role in preparing for the U of M program was developing and adapting the writing curriculum based off of the Yale 2014 WSP syllabus. As a part of this process, I composed an outline of my goals and pedagogical approach for my writing classes. Each year I have also hired additional writing instructors, including Mary Beth Harris, Amy Elliot, Nick Marino, Dan Liddle, Jeff Amos, and Bess Cooley, to join the team at U of M.
Over the week of July 20-27, 2014 we had 10 student veterans participate in the project. In subsequent years the number of students has reached as high as 30. In that week, they wrote 3 major writing assignments: a personal narrative, 2-4 page rhetorical analysis, and a 4-5 page argumentative essay. Throughout these assignments, we focused on helping students develop and establish their own writing process, as well as on providing a variety of structural tools and templates that they can apply to their coursework regardless of their future academic plans. No grades are assigned in WSP; instead, we focused on providing thorough comments that highlighted strengths and areas for improvement in each student’s writing.
While the curriculum has been revised over the years to now include only 2 assignments during the week, the program has continued to expand.