Possible writing studies minor could help graduates succeed in workforce
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:09
A potential writing studies minor will provide students the opportunity to choose one of three tracks to aid in their future career, regardless of their major.
“We did some research and found a writing studies minor is a more versatile degree,” Kristi Costello, assistant professor of English and writing program director, said. “It’s more appealing to not only students, but faculty and employees.”
What began last semester as a potential creative writing minor has now been broken into three tracks and grouped under a writing studies minor. Students have the option of following a creative, professional or general writing path.
Costello said the minor would cover the production, circulation and uses of writing and aims to familiarize students with guiding research, theories, genres and practices of writing studies.
She added the creative portion of the minor will include general courses such as poetry and drama, and playwriting and screenwriting. The professional writing will prepare students for writing in their profession with practical and technical writing courses, and the general study will be for students who don’t have a direct focus.
In each of the tracks, students will be required to participate in a three hour credit internship.
The creative writing track, for example, would allow students to intern with magazines in the area, working on editing skills and participating in workshops, and students on the professional writing path could work with the tutoring center or offices on campus that need assistance writing copy and web text.
Costello said the internships will help students graduating with the minor to gain as much experience writing as possible before entering the workforce.
“A survey of 120 major American corporations employing nearly 8 million people concludes that in today’s workplace writing is a ‘threshold skill’ for hiring and promotion among salaried employees,” according to a report from The National Commission on Writing.
Costello added the department will work with those graduating on courses they have already taken that could work toward the minor.
She said there is a long list of electives being drawn up, and each of the three tracks will require six electives.
“We’re hoping less than a year from now people will be able to start signing up for courses,” she said, adding that before the minor can be implemented it will have to go through board approval.
Melissa Martin, a sophomore English major of Trumann, said she would like the option of having a creative writing path in a minor.
“I just enjoy writing and I would like to take a lot of classes to improve my writing,” Martin said.
Martin said with the new minor, more people might be interested in writing that wasn’t necessarily research-styled. She added she wishes there was a creative writing major to draw more people in.
“I want to be a teacher someday and be able to help students express themselves through writing,” John Hancock, a junior English major of Harrisburg, said.
Hancock said the creative writing classes he has taken so far have helped him become more expressive in his other courses, and that the new writing minor could aid in further recruitment for A-State.
“Diversity is always a good thing,” he said. “I think anytime there are new classes or degrees offered by the university, it will be more attractive to prospective students.”
For more information on the writing studies program and courses, contact Kristi Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org.