College English receives new name, curriculum

Azka Khan

This year’s freshman-level English title switch might lead to increased fears of late nights spent on book reports, last-minute papers and strict word counts – or at least carpal tunnel syndrome.

The change from College English I and II to College Writing I and II has been three years in the making.

“The curriculum had not been revised for over 10 years,” said Writing Program Coordinator Brian Huot. “The courses are completely different.”

Provost Paul Gaston approached the English department to change the College English curriculum to one that met the needs of students today, Huot said.

The new College Writing courses implement more technology, especially through WebCT Vista, Huot said.

“I like how it has the computer and technology element,” freshman education major Krystle Moisio said.

Huot said the focus is on producing texts through a variety of different contexts. Also, there is more demand for using pictures, graphs and diagrams.

To focus each course more fully on a particular subject, every Writing I class has a theme.

“Each instructor picks a theme – it’s a teaching tool to get more in-depth rather than just scratching the surface,” English graduate assistant Jonathan Halsall said.

The writing courses use WebCT Vista to supplement the assignments and lectures.

“I do like the way that we have Vista. It’s a very effective way to learn and turn in an assignment,” said freshman architecture major Nick Boka. “Technology is an important part of the future and I’m glad we’re learning about it more.”

According to the curriculum change documents, students in the Writing I course should not only practice good writing, but also the processes of good reading.

“I enjoy the texts. The way they are written helps me a lot with my major,” said Kim Ferry, freshman visual communication and design major.

The remedial course called Intro to College Writing IS is taken before a student is allowed to take College Writing IS.

The “S” stands for stretch, Huot said, adding that the stretch course allows the student to take the introduction course and College Writing I with the same instructor and students. The student would be in the stretch course for one academic year.

“With this structure, they do learn more and they bond with the instructor and students in the class,” Huot said. “When they are taking a remedial course we want to give them as much support as we possibly can.”

With the change in place, freshmen will no longer be able to take both the required Writing I and II classes in the same year. The College Writing II class is offered specifically to students with sophomore status.

College Writing II sharpens writing skills learned in the prerequisite with a continuing emphasis on the use of technology. In addition, the second course might be used to introduce writing skills that pertain to certain majors.

Huot said that it is possible that the Writing II course could be grouped in major specific sections, which would allow the course to focus on relevant context closer to the student’s field of study.

“Other departments can work with us to create these special sections and provide specific material and content,” Huot said. “But we would still continue to oversee the course.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Azka Khan at [email protected].


The Writing Center is available to help students throughout the semester. The Center offers tutoring and will help with any written assignment.

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Wednesday – 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday – 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Friday – 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

The Writing Center is located at 318 Satterfield Hall. Visit or call (330) 672-1787 for more information.