Access and Excellence: The Writing Program Then and Now

Community Engagement Research

By Jennifer Clary-Lemon

This interview-based study of ten teachers and administrators fundamental to the establishment of the University of Winnipeg’s Writing Program examines the discourses of access and excellence that emerged in discussions of its establishment and change over time. Such discourses set up common arguments about the function of higher education, its purpose, and who it should serve. Terminology associated with both access and excellence implies a view of education dependent on academic standards and quality control. A discourse analysis on the interview transcripts resulted in five themes that showed varied approaches to conceptualizing access and excellence in the Program’s 30+ year history: 1) Access as Unqualified/Underprepared; 2) Access as Social Justice/Inclusion; 3) Excellence as a Standard/Exclusion; 4) Excellence as Research; and 5) Access and Excellence as Developmental Processes.

The Writing Program poster

Click here to download the report Access & Excellence: The Writing Program Then and Now.