Whether you’re pre-med or pre-law, an aspiring corporate employee or an independently-minded entrepreneur, success in today’s job market all boils down to one factor: writing skills.
Beginning in the fall of 2009, the University Writing Program will offer a 20-unit Expository Writing minor designed for students in every field of study who want to boost their writing skills and be better prepared for life in the professional world.
“By having this minor, you can list on your resume that you have excellent writing skills, and be confident in it,” said Eric Schroeder, the faculty director for Summer Abroad and a key player in the development of the new program. “When you leave here and you’re in the job market, an employer never asks to see your diploma. They don’t care if you were a history major or what classes you took. What they care about is what you can do for them, and knowing how to write is essential.”
The program consists of four upper division writing classes on a variety of cross-discipline topics and a four unit writing internship, which can be coordinated with University Writing Program advisors. Classes are sorted into three categories: Writing in Academic Settings, Writing in the Professions and Theory, History and Design. Students take one course in each of the topics, and an additional course of their choosing.
“Professional success depends not just on what you do, but on effectively communicating what you do,” said Gary Sue Goodman, the assistant director of the University Writing Program for Writing Across the Curriculum. “The minor is designed to teach students systematically how to improve their writing by going beyond just the basic required courses, and also will provide certification that they’ve done that.”
For students in the liberal arts, the minor is a natural supplement to majors such as English, communication, political science, history and international relations, which often require writing classes that already count for credit within the minor. For students in the sciences, the minor aims to provide valuable real-world application for research and thorough preparation for postgraduate publication.
“A scientist doesn’t just need to write reports and books – it’s crucial to write grant proposals, and to know how to alter their style for a variety of rhetorical purposes,” Goodman said. “The minor will also provide opportunities for students to experiment with their writing process – to learn how they get words onto paper most efficiently and effectively.”
To find out more about the minor and how to prepare if you’re interested in declaring come fall 2009, visit the official University Writing Program website at writing.ucdavis.edu.
MICHELLE IMMEL can be reached at email@example.com.