Graduate Writing TA Program

Graduate Writing TA Program

What is the Graduate Writing TA Program?

The WAC Fellows Program seeks to explore ways to increase the quantity and quality of teaching writing in classes conducted by graduate teaching assistants in a variety of disciplines across campus. They explore the effectiveness of various pedagogical methods and tools for developing writing practices and assessments that occur in undergraduate classrooms taught by graduate students. Two main pedagogical methods under investigation in this study include Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines.


WAC Fellows is a professional development program for graduate teaching assistants, from ALL disciplines, designed to assist GTAs in increasing the amount and improving the quality of writing that occurs in their undergraduate classrooms. WAC Fellows, also known as Graduate Writing TAs, join a cohort that meets for one or two semesters to discuss writing practices and implement writing assignments. WAC Fellows must apply, interview, and, if selected, earn a professional development stipend! To apply to become a WAC Fellow, please click-on the following link and complete the Google form: CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Research Focus

The WAC Fellows Program helps Clemson University to reestablish practices that support writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines, using writing as a primary tool in:

1. the process of learning,
2. communicating what has been learned,
3. improving critical thinking, and
4. building confidence in writing and communicating abilities for various academic, business, and public audiences.


Research in the WAC Fellows program will focus on helping graduate students improve teaching and assessing writing in their undergraduate classrooms. They will learn how to implement 1) low-stakes writing, 2) rubric design, and 3) assessment strategies within existing syllabi, whether engineering, science, social science, humanities, or other discipline.


Cameron Bushnell

Director of the Pearce Center for Professional Communication


Katalin Beck

Senior Lecturer


Phil Randall

Senior Lecturer


Graduate WAC Fellow Reflections

Amir Malek, a Ph.D. student in the department of mechanical engineering, became involved with the Pearce Center’s WAC Fellow program when he realized there was a serious need for engineering students to improve their writing skills. He loved teaching but found it difficult to grade his students’ work. “I constantly came across assignments that were great content-wise, but they struggle to convey the message due to the lack of writing skills,” said Amir. He assumed this was “the curse of engineering majors” until he became familiar with the Graduate Writing TA Program. “This program made it possible for me to provide my students with engineering-friendly writing tips,” he explained.

Amir Malek

Mechanical Engineering

As a WAC Fellow, Rachel is constantly working on incorporating written communication into her STEM background. When asked how she got involved in the WAC program, she explained, “As a teaching assistant in biological sciences, I was seeking ways to improve my skills and help my students achieve higher quality writing. When my advisor recommended this position, I knew it was the right fit. I believe it is critical to communicate scientific research effectively, both with other scientists and with the public.” Her top tip for effective writing is to know your audience and then write clearly and briefly for that audience. Rachel also completed her bachelor’s degree at Clemson.

Rachel Ham

Biological Sciences