Environmental Design Building
1060 18th Street
ENVD Rm. 1B60
317 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
(303) 492 8188 | pwr@colorado.edu

Writing & Rhetoric in Residential Academic Programs

The PWR has enthusiastically taught in UCB’s residential learning environments from their inception. Through our participation in the A&S core, and as integral to the first-year experience, writing and rhetoric courses fit a learning model that features coherent curricula and a cohort experience. The PWR specializes in small seminars, where expression, persuasion, and performance determine the values and practices of a “discourse community.” Writing and rhetoric courses, whether for entering or continuing students, foster camaraderie and a respect for difference. Diversity through discourse, then, assists students in transition to scholarly and civic engagement on campus and in the Boulder community. All PWR classes are in a sense residential, as the field has long considered, because Rhetoric and Composition challenges students to broaden their landscapes of ideas, policies, media, and authority. Our courses prepare students to succeed in disciplines and professions but also for life-long learning in a global society. PWR RAP courses demonstrate our commitment to writing across and in disciplines (WAC, WID), a feature of higher education in the US and globally, and because each RAP is themed by one UCB’s core disciplinary foci.

There are currently 14 RAPs and 5 Living and Learning Communities (LLC; thematic resident halls without a curriculum) at UCB. The Residential College Model is one of CU’s core missions in the Flagship 2030 mission and is a core element in the 2011 campus master plan. CU is committed to housing all first-year students in a RAP or LLC by 2030, and by 2015, nearly 60% of all entering students will live in a residential cohort. With the first-year experience firmly anchored in residence halls, RAPs plan to host more upper-division courses, which suggests that the PWR’s upper division curriculum will contribute there as well.

teaching in the RAPs

Two of PWR’s faculty, Damian Doyle and Orly Hersh, as Instructors pioneered the position of Faculty-in-Residence in the Communication and Society RAP. Orly Hersh in 2012 became the COMM RAP's Associate Director, the first Instructor to hold that position at UCB.

From 2008 to 2014, 43 PWR faculty have taught in RAPs, documenting the program’s commitment to residential learning, WAC/WID, and community engagement. Many of these courses infuse the program’s other initiates, such a digital composition, diversity or creative non-fiction into residential learning communities. In six years, the PWR has delivered 181 sections, averaging 30 sections per year. The following graph illustrates the growth in PWR RAP sections over a six-year period.

writing courses in the RAPs

For scheduling and staffing questions: Linda Nicita, linda.nicita@colorado.edu
For policy questions: John Ackerman, john.ackerman@colorado.edu

Sample PWR RAP Sections


WRTG 3020 Travel Writing Honors RAP Christine Macdonald
WRTG 1150 Writing and Rhetoric Health Professions Don Wilkerson
WRTG 1150 Representations of Science Baker RAP Lonni Pearce
WRTG 1150 Food Studies: Service Learning Libby RAP Veronica House
WRTG 1150 American Ideals Global RAP James F. Walker
WRTG 3030 Science and Society Engineering Honors Rolf Norgaard
WRTG 1150 Writing as Design Sustainability (SSI) John Ackerman