Another General Studies Writing class may be added to schedule

Dominic Binkley and Dominic Binkley

Incoming freshmen could be required to take more General Studies Writing classes in the future.

Students and faculty have been discussing the possibility of adjusting the GSW curriculum to include more coursework geared toward students’ specific majors.

The idea was initially brought up at an Undergraduate Council meeting this past month and several different possibilities were laid on the table.

One option was to change the GSW curriculum from its current two-semester requirement to a three-semester requirement, said Jeff Devereaux, a student who served as a temporary representative for USG during the meeting.

“Basically they’re trying to look at GSW and incorporate the oral communication into the curriculum but also to make it more departmentally specific,” Devereaux said. “They’re working with specific departments and the different styles of writing that each department requires.”

Sue Houston, vice provost for Academic Affairs and the head of the Undergraduate Council, said there have also been broad discussions among several faculty groups about possible additions of writing intensive coursework for particular programs.

Houston said she thinks it’s healthy to have the discussions because they lead to better ways of presenting writing and oral communication skills to students.

“All faculty are invested in students having the skills and the support to develop communication skills both oral and written so I think we’re always trying to look at ways we can help support that better,” she said.

Devereaux said he thinks the current GSW curriculum isn’t serving all students and incorporating more oral communication coursework can help.

“I think incorporating oral communication is really important in our general education and I think we do that well with Communication 1010 but I think incorporating it into the General Writing Studies class as well will really benefit the students and help better prepare them,” he said.

Freshman Kennadie Lopez said requiring students to take an extra semester of GSW would be a bad idea because two semesters is already challenging enough.

“They already make it too complicated and they already have too many specific things students have to do instead of letting them free-write like they want,” she said.

However, she said including an oral component to the course could be helpful if it had a better grading system.

There haven’t been any formal proposals yet but like all curriculum issues, any proposal would be brought before several faculty groups who would decide whether to make any changes, Houston said.

The Undergraduate Council would be the most formal group who would consider a formal proposal and then the Faculty Senate would likely consider it as well, she said.