The Writing Initiative

The Writing Initiative

Director's Message

The Binghamton University Writing Initiative is the home of First-Year Writing, the Writing Center, and Campus-Wide Writing Support. Our mission is to foster the academic and civic literacies essential for success in the university and beyond. Our focus on writing is not simply an attempt to help students acquire rudimentary skills, however, but to prepare them to articulate complex positions in a variety of genres and contexts. Designed by specialists and informed by current research, our courses promote writing as a way of learning about and engaging in the most important issues of our time.

We offer undergraduates a range of first-year and upper-division writing courses, publish outstanding student essays in Binghamton Writes: A Journal of First-Year Writing, and provide writing tutoring across the disciplines and for every level of writers. We offer PhD candidates a required course in rhetoric and writing studies, an intensive mentoring program through our Composition Mentoring Groups, and the opportunity to attend conferences and professional development workshops in rhetoric and writing studies.

Through our promotion of writing both within and beyond the academy, the Binghamton community of writers grows. Writing is a lifelong activity, and learning to write well is a process that never ends. The Writing Initiative strives to support writers working in academic, personal, and civic contexts and--through our commitment to best practices in writing instruction--serves as a model for writing programs around the globe. For more on the history of our program, read our "Program Profile" in Composition Forum.

---Dr. Sean Fenty, Director

First-Year Writing Wins CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence

Competing with writing programs across the globe, Binghamton University's First-Year Writing program, a division of the Writing Initiative, has been awarded the 2011 Conference on College Composition and Communication's prestigious Certificate of Writing Program Excellence. Past winners include Duke University, Central European University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Toronto, and Washington State University.

First-Year Writing is proud to join the ranks of these long-standing programs at top institutions. Described by the selection committee as an "aspiring and growing program," First-Year Writing is recognized for our commitment to language diversity; for our theoretically informed sequence of courses; for our thorough and ongoing portfolio and program assessment; for our small class sizes; and for our imaginative approaches to graduate student and faculty development.

Binghamton University and First-Year Writing were honored on April 8, 2011 at the Conference on College Composition and Communication's Annual Awards Ceremony. Along with application coauthors Mark Brantner, former Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetorics, and Kristi Murray Costello, former Associate Director of First-Year Writing, former Director Kelly Kinney accepted the award.