Trine's Board of Trustees approved a new major in Professional Writing and English Studies (PWES), to be offered through the department of Humanities and Communication. The program is now accepting students for Fall 2014.
Unlike traditional English programs that focus exclusively on literature, students in PWES will take classes in professional and technical writing and communication along with a strong literature curriculum. They will also get multiple internship and practicum experiences before graduation.
Humanities and Communication professor Justin Young, who helped develop the major, said that the goal was for students to be equally prepared either to get a job as a professional writer or to step into a rigorous graduate program in literature or composition. Additionally, students interested in teaching high school English will be able to apply to one-year "transition to teaching" programs after completing their BA.
Young said, "You have to be smart to be an English major—reading and analyzing literature isn't easy. So while any English program can teach you to do that, this one actually asks, 'What's next?' Once you graduate, where do you go? This program has the built in versatility and experience that most programs lack. It really is an English major for the 21st century."
Current Humanities and Communication chair Tim Hopp is equally positive about the program. "I'm really excited about the opportunities that this provides for students. Not just personally but also professionally, because the ability to do critical thinking and the ability to write well are hallmarks of what we expect from a college graduate," he said.