New English course works in conjunction with Writing Center


Christa Vasile

The Writing Center is located in Miller 13. Students will be working 1 hour per week for a writing praticum.

Katie Walsh, Managing Editor

The English department recently announced that the English and Communication Major that is located on the Pleasantville campus will be undergoing changes to become the Writing and Rhetoric major. The change will focus more on the writing component of English, rather than the literature.  The major change will be implemented in the Fall of 2020.

As a result of the new major, ENG206: Intro to Writing Studies was created. This course will serve as a gateway for the Writing and Rhetoric major. In addition, the course also serves as an AOK 2, an AOK4 and a Writing-Enhanced Course. 

Assistant Professor and Director of the Pleasantville Writing-Enhanced Program, Travis Webster will serve as an instructor for the course. The course description explains the class will serve as an introductory towards the Rhetoric and Composition, Creative Writing and Professional Writing Fields. 

However, in the original description on Schedule Explorer, information was left-out regarding the fact the course will be working with the Writing Center on campus. 

Webster sent out an email prior to Thanksgiving Break to students who registered for the course explaining that the course will be linked to a one-hour practicum with The Writing Center.

The practicum will focus on learning about and possibly working within the Pleasantville Writing Center,” Webster’s email stated.

 In addition, the course changed from being a 3 hours time commitment each week to becoming 4 hours.

The linkage to the Writing Center is intended to help students apply the theory they will be in the classroom to a real-world experience. Students will be working with the new Writing Center Director, Kate Mulhollem and be conducting one-on-one consultations. 

Mulhollem says the practicum will be a way for students to develop their skills from ENG206 and help students decide if a job in the writing center is a match for them

“The practicum will be designed to train new writing consultants. ENG206 will frame our work; consultants will review best practices, observe other consultants, and eventually work with students in one of our English courses,” Mulhollem said. 

Mulhollem also explained how this collaboration could help improve the quality of writing center employees through the consultant training, and by understanding the variety of writing styles. 

“We want to ensure that our writing consultants not only know how to talk about writing, but also to experiment and practice different strategies before they become writing consultants,” Mulhollem explained.

Webster describes this course as a good fit for anyone interested in learning about research in writing studies field or anyone interested in working one-on-one with other writers.

“206 and the practicum is the perfect paired course for anyone interested in writing studies, writing centers, tutoring, education, and communication, and has broad and interesting implications for other fields like law, criminal justice, and digital media studies,” the instructor said.

Furthermore, Webster explained the delay for information was caused by waiting for approval for the collaboration to occur. 

“It’s unfortunate that the linked practicum was added late to Schedule Explorer,” Webster said. “Curricular processes sometimes take longer than anticipated. We, as a department, have tried to keep students as up-to-date as possible with time to make schedule changes should the course not match their interests.”