Welcome to the WCC!
The Writing and Communication Centre is an academic support unit that supports students, staff, and faculty as they build communication excellence at the University of Waterloo. Our work is guided by the principles laid out in our mandate, vision, and mission statements.
- Our teaching philosophy
- Strategic Plan (2018-2023)
- What you can expect when you come to the WCC (video)
Our mandate is to:
- Support the continuous learning and development of students, staff, and faculty in academic and professional writing, speaking, and visual presentation.
- To facilitate the production and publication of written scholarship.
- To ground our teaching practice in research on writing, rhetoric, composition, and language acquisition.
- And to contribute to the broad fields of writing studies and teaching/learning scholarship.
As a hub of research and expertise, the Writing and Communication Centre will foster excellence in written, spoken, and visual communication within the University of Waterloo community.
The Writing and Communication Centre engages, encourages, and empowers members of the University of Waterloo community to better articulate ideas while meeting the varied expectations of their disciplines and vocations.
To achieve our mission, we deliver timely and focused individualized teaching at all stages of the composition process. We help students, staff, and faculty:
- Synthesize, integrate, and share best practices in communication
- Experience their work as others do
- Support and promote a lively, cross-disciplinary writing culture on campus and online
- Develop skills and strategies that last a lifetime
Teaching is core to the work of the Writing and Communication Centre. We teach in a variety of contexts and modes and through a variety of activities. The following principles outline the values and commitments that are at the centre of our teaching practice.
Students, staff, and faculty are our partners in learning.
Our teaching is individualized and collaborative. We work alongside writers and speakers to help them see how their audience receives their work, to introduce new strategies, and to build confidence and competence. We provide our learning partners with information and choices, but each person is always the decision-maker over their own work.
We are committed to equity, access, and inclusion.
We are committed to teaching strategies that respect diverse abilities and racialized, Indigenous, religious, gender, and sexual identities. We help students navigate questions about the relationship between language and identity. We aim to provide barrier-free access for all students and community members by offering services in multiple sites across all University of Waterloo campuses, and by paralleling, where feasible, services online.
Language and communication are connected to students’ identities.
We recognize that language is intimately connected to identity and equity, and we are committed to advancing and supporting writers’ and speakers’ rights to engage with their language(s) on their own terms. We acknowledge that there are multiple, valid Englishes, and our teaching practices value students’ agency by empowering and supporting their rhetorical and language choices.
Writing and communication happen in a global context.
We regard multilingualism as an asset in the learning and writing process. In a global context, speakers of all languages, including English, must learn to communicate across cultures and fluencies as speakers and listeners, writers and readers.
Writing and communication are not separate from other disciplinary work.
Writing and communication are part of research, discovery, knowledge creation, learning, and critical thinking. In our teaching practice, we encourage people from all disciplines to see writing and communication as integrated with their research, learning, and scholarship activities.
Writing and communication are social, meaning-making activities.
In all communication, meaning is negotiated between people. By analyzing the conventions of genres and discourses and by serving as an audience for writers and communicators, we make the contexts of communication explicit. We emphasize that writing and composing are iterative processes that are part of meaning-making.
We are committed to continuous learning and improvement.
We value teaching as a reflexive practice. Together, as professional and student staff, we are committed to ongoing improvement by sharing and integrating current research in rhetoric, composition, communication, teaching and writing centres.
We are proud to share our Strategic Plan with our University of Waterloo community. Please make sure to check out our Strategic Plan 2018-2023 web page for more information, including the complete PDF document.