Interdisciplinary Writing Program Instructor Policies

Teaching in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program offers an almost infinite variety of pedagogical and curricular possibilities. There are however a few important program-specific as well as institutional policies that must be adhered to. Continued employment in the program is dependent on compliance with these policies; if you feel you are not able to comply, please contact program director Megan Callow ( as soon as you can.

Instructional Policies


You are responsible for providing the following items, at the time specified, to the IWP office or to program coordinator Karen Wennerstrom (

  • Before the quarter, you must submit your office hours via Catalyst form (to be sent to you by Administrative Coordinator Annee Fisher). You are required to hold a minimum of 2 office hours per week, one of which must be held in your campus office.
  • After the quarter, you must upload your course files to the program Sharepoint site. Instructions for accessing the site and uploading files are here.
  • After the quarter, you must submit electronic copies of your course evaluations to Karen Wennerstrom.


A course syllabus is an essential tool for communicating course content, policies, and structure. All IWP instructors must provide a course syllabus within the first week of instruction that includes the information outlined below. The Expository Writing Program (EWP) offers a helpful and detailed guide for creating a course syllabus (note that EWP-specific syllabus requirements are not necessary to include in IWP syllabi).

  • your name
  • how to contact you
  • office location
  • office hours
  • relevant information about the linked lecture (if applicable)
  • readings in the course
  • a description of the course
  • a description of the assignments
  • a description of student responsibilities
  • a description of how grades will be figured
  • you may optionally include the statement on anti-racist pedagogy
  • any relevant and required institutional syllabus statements (see here; please note that the statement on religious accommodation must be included on all course syllabi, as of Autumn 2019)


Instructors must provide their students with a course calendar indicating due dates. Such a calendar may change over the course of the quarter, in which case updated calendars should be distributed. This policy is meant to keep instructors and students informed and up-to-date about expectations and developments in the class. Pre-formatted course calendars can be found in the EWP Syllabus Guide.


All instructors are required to hold a minimum of two office-hours per week. One office hour may be virtual or held elsewhere on campus, if you choose. Office hours and locations must be communicated to your students, stated in your syllabus, and updated quarterly with the English Department staff in Padelford A-101.

General guidelines for holding office hours can be found here

Guidelines for virtual hours here:


Your 5-credit writing course is independent from the lecture course with which it is linked. Even if that class is canceled, you are required to hold class during all scheduled meeting times. If for some reason you will be unable to hold class, you are required to follow the English Department Sick/Leave/Cancelled Class Policy listed below.


As an instructor in the IWP, you are expected to hold writing conferences with students each quarter. Typically you will hold one conference for each assignment sequence, and conferences should be twenty minutes in duration (per student; meeting will be longer if you do group conferences). You may cancel a comparable number of class periods to accommodate for writing conferences in your and your students' schedules. This policy is in place to enhance individualized instruction and encourage students to reflect on their work.


In order for students to understand and practice writing as a process, all IWP courses assign writing sequences (typically three, but sometimes two per course). Each sequence will culminate in a particular composition (the timing, stakes, scale, content, and form of each assignment will be developed by the instructor, and informed by the linked lecture). Because IWP courses are taught in tandem with linked lecture courses, sometimes instructors need to be flexible about what and when they assign a given sequence. Instructors are expected therefore to inform students of their assignments and deadlines with all reasonable haste, and to communicate any changes as soon as possible. It is expected that all major assignment expectations will be distributed in writing and discussed orally.


It is expected of instructors that student work will be returned in class in a timely manner. As a general rule, student work should be returned with comments within at most a week of being submitted by students. At the end of the quarter, please hand back all student work with comments by the time you submit course grades. Providing feedback along with your assessment helps students learn, and it is the courteous thing to do. Also, please protect student privacy by disposing properly of any materials with students identifiers on it (including written work, class rosters, etc.). See Karen Wennerstrom for assistance in shredding sensitive materials.


Instructors are required to hold class during all scheduled meeting times. If you need to miss your class for any reason other than student conferencing (including illness, bereavement, childcare, or academic conferences), the procedures outlined in the Guidelines for Cancelling IWP Classes must be followed.

According to the bargaining agreement between the University of Washington and UAW Local 4121, you are entitled to limited paid leave each academic year. Please note that absences in excess of your leave as outlined in the union contract may result in unpaid leave. You may read more here:

Training and Mentoring Policies


All incoming (those who have not taught for the IWP before) instructors are expected to attend orientation, and these hours are accounted for within their ASE contract. If instructors cannot attend orientation they must notify the program director upon application for employment in the program. Orientation dates and times will be provided at the time that an employment offer is made.

2. ENGLISH 592

All incoming instructors must successfully complete the 3-credit course, English 592, during the Autumn quarter of the the first year they teach for the IWP. This course is meant to provide a background in composition pedagogy and disciplinary writing. Continued employment is contingent on instructors' participation in the course; if you cannot attend a session, please inform the program director as soon as possible.


Each quarter all IWP instructors (experienced and incoming) will be placed in "Mentor Groups," facilitated by one or two core faculty. Instructors should receive information about their mentor groups at the start of the quarter, and should expect to participate in approximately 3 1-hour meetings with their mentor group over the course of the quarter. PTLs are encouraged, but not required, to attend.


Teaching in the IWP is a rich professionalizing experience for our instructors, and it is our aim to create as supportive and formative environment as possible. If you do not feel you are getting the support you need, please contact your mentor group leader or the program director to get the support you need. This support can come in the form of regular one-on-one meetings, class observations and feedback, or other professional development opportunities.

University Policies

As an instructor at the University of Washington, you are required to abide by University Policies regarding privacy, sexual harassment, and copyright law. These policies are explained in the UW Policy Directory and at several UW websites.

Areas of particular interest include (but are by no means limited to)...