October 9, 2001
to review new core proposal
Changes emphasize upper division writing skills
By Jacque Petersell
The University Core Curriculum redesign committee will review
a proposal this month to
place more emphasis on writing skills in upper division courses
within each major.
Chairman Richard Enos said he hopes the university will hire
a person with comprehensive writing skills and knowledge of
several areas of study to coordinate upper level writing emphasis
classes across each discipline.
Carrie Leverenz, director of composition, coordinates curriculum
methods and content in the freshman and sophomore English
composition classes. Enos said the new coordinator would complement
Leverenzs duties by reformatting courses to teach students
how to communicate ideas to those who are not experts in their
said extra writing classes are especially important for majors
that do not normally emphasize writing, such as math and science
have brilliant students in science and math, but they have
problems with writing, Enos said. In every discipline
you must be able to articulate the complex ideas of your field
to a non-expert.
majors would either need to add classes or adjust class requirements
to fit the writing emphasis
To fulfill writing emphasis requirements, a course must include
assignments with certain word counts and an approved revision
Williamson, chairman of the engineering department, said his
students do not have difficulty writing. He was concerned
about what classes may be eliminated from the curriculum to
add more writing courses.
said the writing classes are not meant to take away from any
classes in the curriculum, but are intended to supplement
classes the students are taking in their major. Enos said
some courses that already involve writing could be redesigned
they fit the criteria of a writing emphasis course.
Vacek, a senior marketing major, said he may not like taking
extra writing classes within his major, but having the right
communication skills is important in the business world.
need to be able to communicate within the company, Vacek
said. Extra writing classes will help (with communication
skills) more than analytical classes.
Branstetter, a senior engineering major, said many of her
classes already teach how to write to those who are not experts
in the field, but they do not receive writing emphasis credit
for those classes. She said having additional classes to teach
them how to write would not be beneficial.
would be really redundant, she said. We are already
getting (the writing skills) in our
UCR redesigning committee will meet once a week throughout
October to look at and make revisions to the draft, Enos said.