English department tries new curriculum

By introducing experimental classes, they hope to allow students to step out of comfort zone

There is a heavy stereotype that lingers over the English Department and the English major. The assumption about the English major is that there is a lack of job opportunities out there for those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree concentrating in English. Other than a career in education where can English majors go?

Winthrop is trying to lessen that stereotype and reveal to the public just what a major in English can do for the world and the job market. Dr. Amanda Hiner, assistant professor of English at Winthrop University is praised by her peers on her research into marketable jobs for English majors. With this research other professors, such as assistant professor of English, Dr. Sarah Spring, can develop a curriculum that will help students comprehend and learn the skill sets needed to acquire their dream jobs.

“I was hired to help develop the writing program at Winthrop,” Spring said. “The job is to respond to student need and desire as well as the job market.”

With this new curriculum, though, some students may have reservations about trying experimental classes that may not last and waste their time.

However, for classes that Spring teaches, such as WRIT 368X, Writing for Professionals, the feedback has been phenomenal.

“The class was taught last year and was very successful,” Spring said. “The feedback from students has been amazing.”

WRIT 368X is an approved technology credit for the touchstone core program and beneficial to students that range outside of the English major.

The students of the class interweave with the students of MCOM 241, media writing. This opportunity allows students to step out of their safe little bubble and interact with students in different majors. Stepping out of a student’s comfort zone may seem scary, but in the real world of careers, students will be working with people who are from a variety of backgrounds that range from chemistry to computer science.

“Most of the courses will be taught with the idea that it will become permanent,” Spring said.

These “experimental” courses aren’t just helpful in opening students’ eyes to the job market, they are here to stay. These classes are supposed to be interdisciplinary with a touch of fun. They are not meant to bore, but teach in a way that students will find interesting and helpful.

“Experimental means trying something new,” Spring said. “It’s exciting.”

Classes such as WRIT 368X are not stale, but rather they showcase the importance of the different skills a student must learn when preparing for a lasting job. Professors like Spring and Hiner work hard to show the public and the student population that these skills are able to grow and benefit students from all majors.

Source: By introducing experimental classes, they hope to allow students to step out of comfort zone

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