Mason Ranked in Two New U.S. News Categories

Posted: September 18, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

U.S. News and World Report’s 2003 edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks George Mason 4th in the nation in Writing in the Disciplines and 18th in Learning Communities. The rankings are listed under a new category in U.S. News called “Programs that really work.”

Joining George Mason in the top five in the writing category are Harvard, Cornell, Yale, and Princeton. The ranking indicates that the schools “make the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum” and encourage students to “produce and refine various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines.”

The Writing Across the Curriculum Program at George Mason was conceptualized by Chris Thaiss and is currently directed by Terry Zawacki. The two have coauthored two articles on writing in the disciplines, and are currently working on a book for which they have received a research grant from the Association for Writing Program Administrators. Over the past year, the Writing Assessment Group, comprised of faculty members across the university, has developed an assessment plan that engages faculty in evaluating the writing of upper-division students.

The Learning Communities ranking represents an education concept that involves students typically taking “two or more linked courses as a group.” According to U.S. News, the idea is for students to get to know each other and their professors very well, and as a consequence, for learning to continue after classes end. New Century College, offering an integrated studies degree, and Mason Topics are well-respected learning community programs at George Mason.

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