Wiley College has implemented the first Debate Across the Curriculum program in American higher education as part of its Quality Enhancement Plan, entitled Communicate Through Debate.
Wiley College has implemenedt its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), by means of a Debate Across the Curriculum (DAC) model to meet four student learning outcomes: (1) Students will be able to compile and analyze empirical and expert evidence from diverse media to support a logical claim; (2) students will be able to draw conclusions by evaluating an argument to determine the veracity of the evidence and the logic of the idea; (3) students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of a well-formulated argument that uses evidence to support their position; and (4) students will be able to recognize opposing viewpoints and utilize research evidence to champion their position through the exchange of verbal questions and answers. The Debate Across the Curriculum model will ensure that students at every level receive the training and mentoring needed to meet the intended student learning outcomes. Every academic department has embraced this effort by proposing courses for implementing the QEP; consequently, every discipline offered is represented and the QEP initiative will eventually impact every student who enrolls to complete a major or concentration at Wiley College.
Beginning fall 2012, during Phase I - the preparation stage of the initiative - and prior to implementation, the faculty received training to integrate assignments into their course content that will meet the expected QEP student learning outcomes and to coach students for in-class debates. Phase II - Year One - began in 2013, wherein faculty introduced “Communicate through Debate” into the College's curriculum beginning with entering freshmen, including those in developmental courses, who were taught the basics of argumentation. During that time and onward, "forensics specialists" will continue faculty mentoring by working in classes with faculty and modeling approaches that engage students while they are participating in class debating activities.
During Years One through Four of the initiative, students, representing their majors, clubs, and even classes, will participate in an annual intramural debate tournament where they will attend debate clinics to learn how to refine their skills. Those who have become seniors by Year Four will participate in an exhibition debate tournament for students in the senior class.