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Program for Writing Across Campus Instructor Policies

Teaching in the Program for Writing Across Campus (PWAC) 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.

If an ASE does not meet the requirements stated in the QJDA, the PWAC Director will meet with them and outline a set of strategies designed to help them fulfill departmental requirements and the policies below. If the above-mentioned strategies are not met by the end of the next teaching quarter, the instructor will receive a letter from the director detailing requirements that must be met. If the requirements are not met by the end of the next quarter, the instructor may be ineligible to continue their ASE position. 

Course Evaluation Policy

Each ASE teaching a course in the English department shall order and administer student evaluations each quarter that they teach (following procedures in the program in which they are teaching) and submit the evaluation report at the conclusion of the quarter to the relevant program director.

Student evaluations for ASE-taught classes are used in the following ways:

  • To understand broader patterns of student experience across a program or over time;
  • To understand where we need to iterate or grow in our programs;
  • To identify when support may be needed on a group or individual level.

The English department does not use student evaluation data to determine ASE teaching appointments or to rank fellowship and award applications. ASEs who apply for teaching awards and other forms of pedagogical recognition may be asked to share student feedback, including course evaluations, but those evaluations are expected to be contextualized as part of a broader teaching portfolio, not treated as self-evident forms of data.

Instructional Policies


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

  • Before the quarter, you must submit your office hours via Google form (to be sent to you by Administrative Coordinator Annee Fisher). You are required to hold a minimum of 2 office hours per week, in the location of your choice (see section 4 on office hours below).
  • By the end of Week 1, you must submit your course syllabus to Karen Wennerstrom at
  • After the quarter, you must upload your course files to the program Sharepoint site. Instructions for accessing the site and uploading files are here. Your course file should include:
    • A cover letter to future teachers of the course talking about successes, pitfalls, suggestions, or student profiles, etc. (no more than a page)
    • Your course syllabus
    • The linked lecture syllabus
    • All major assignment sequence prompts
    • A small selection of other activity or low-stakes assignment prompts (whichever you think future teachers might like to know about)
  • After the quarter, you must submit electronic copies of your course evaluations to Karen Wennerstrom at


A course syllabus is an essential tool for communicating course content, policies, and structure. All PWAC instructors must provide a course syllabus on the first day of the quarter that includes the information outlined below. The Program on Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) offers a helpful and detailed guide for creating a course syllabus (note that PWR-specific syllabus requirements are not necessary to include in PWAC syllabi). Please send your syllabus to Program Coordinator Karen Wennerstrom at by the end of Week 1.

  • 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 PWR Syllabus Guide.


All instructors are required to hold a minimum of two office-hours per week. Office hours may be held in your Padelford office, virtually, or may be 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 writing course is an independent, 5-credit course, even if it is linked with another lecture course. 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.


No more than 20% of your class meetings will be outside the classroom, including required conference appointments, which substitute for scheduled class meetings. For information on missing class for un-scheduled reasons, please see #10 below.


As an instructor in the PWAC 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 PWAC 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 PWAC 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. Feedback on major assignments should align with previously shared and discussed assessment criteria. 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 PWAC Classes must be followed.

According to the bargaining agreement between the University of Washington and UAW Local 4121, you are entitled to limited sick leave and a personal holiday 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 PWAC 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 in PWAC. 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.


All PWAC instructors (experienced and incoming) are expected to participate in ongoing mentoring and professional development. In order to stay current with program policies and best practices for teaching, you shall participate in two training and mentoring events this quarter for up to three hours. Relevant events will be publicized and you can select events that speak to your own teaching interests and needs. The program director is also available for one-on-one meetings, class observations and feedback, or other support.

Teaching in the PWAC 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, the program director to get the support you need. 

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)...