When I was deciding where to attend college, a big influence was whether or not the school offered a degree in writing. Some schools had English Writing majors, some offered various writing minors, and a handful didn’t have much to offer on the writing front. When I was looking at colleges three years ago, Grove City was one of the schools that didn’t have a writing program. I was heavily considering majoring in English due to my passion for writing, but I found out that Grove City’s English major requirements are very heavily literature-based, and its only writing classes are offered as electives.
Luckily for me, during the fall semester of my freshman year (fall 2014), a new writing program was in the works. In addition to the initiation of the new required writing class for freshmen, five new writing concentrations also became available in 2015. The concentrations are available to students of all majors, and they allow students to expand whatever degree they have and gain invaluable resume-boosting writing skills. Additionally, while a minor generally requires between 18 and 24 credits, these writing concentrations range from 15 to 17 credits. Almost any major has room for a writing concentration, and this is made especially possible due to the fact that all five classes share a common denominator.
Technical and Professional Document Design is an online summer class that is required for any writing concentration. While the additional tuition cost can be off-putting, the course allows students to leave more time in their semester schedules for other classes that they need. It also acts as a great foundation for visual design skills, which is invaluable for students interested in gaining a basic understanding of design or going on to pursue a design minor. Class assignments include textbook readings, critiquing designs and websites, giving their classmates feedback in an online forum, and creating infographics, website homepages, info cards, newsletters, flyers, and brochures. One of my favorite parts of the class was that I got to focus on learning design basics, and we weren’t required to learn any specific design software; we could use whatever we were comfortable with.
Other than the foundational class, the five writing concentrations vary. Between the Professional, Business, Creative, Science, and Technical Writing Concentrations, anyone can find something to suit their interests or to complement their major.
The professional writing concentration aims to give students the written and visual communication skills they need to effectively communicate in a professional setting. In addition to Technical and Professional Document Design, it requires four courses: Technical or Business Communication, Writing for the Media or Journalism, Public Relations, and Internet Content Marketing. These classes build a foundation for students that focuses on how to communicate through professional documents, writing for print, online, and on-screen media, working in a team on a PR campaign, and creating online content.
The business writing concentration is similar to the professional writing concentration, but it focuses less on media writing and more specifically on business and writing. It also gives students more freedom to choose which classes they can take to fulfill the concentration’s requirements. In addition to the foundational course, it only requires two others: Business Communication and Internet Content Marketing. Other than that, students can choose two classes out of a list of six: Cost Accounting, Principles of Marketing, Business, Ethics, and Society, Business Law or Law for Entrepreneurs, Digital Marketing, and Corporate Healthcare Innovation. I began pursuing a business writing concentration in the first semester of my junior year, and it will have taken me only two semesters (and two online classes) to complete. I chose Principles of Marketing and Digital Marketing to complete my concentration; one of its greatest perks of the business writing concentration is the autonomy that the student gets in choosing his or her classes. Additionally, when I paired my business writing concentration with my communication major, I had already completed every course required for the professional writing concentration, so I was easily able to add that to my transcript without having to add a single extra class.
The creative writing concentration is sure to be one of the most popular writing concentrations at Grove City College, especially among English majors and creative minds. Requiring only Technical and Professional Document Design and Creative Writing, it also gives students the opportunity to make their concentration their own. Other than that, students choose three classes out of a list of six: Creative Nonfiction, Advanced Poetry Writing, Advanced Story Writing, Playwriting, and Screenwriting. This concentration could easily be customized for students whose passions lie in theater, cinema, poetry, and novel writing.
Science Writing and Reporting
The science writing concentration is a prime example of one of those times when having writing skills can prove beneficial for students in any field. Science writing and reporting students will discover how to translate scientific data into everyday language for the readers of science journals, PR and media for research and technology companies, science and technology documentaries, and of course, science fiction novels. The science writing concentration requires students to take Technical Communication, Technical and Professional Document Design, Writing for the Media and Journalism, and two classes from a line-up of biology, chemistry, psychics, engineering, and computer science courses. This concentration is the perfect mixture of humanities, science and technology, and writing for the logical but creative mind.
The technical writing concentration is possibly Grove City College’s most academically diverse writing concentration. Pulling classes from areas such as design, computer science, and STEM, this concentration really is what you make it. The technical writing concentration requires the student to take four classes – Technical Communication, Technical and Professional Document Design, Introduction to Visual Communication Design, and Interactive Design and User Experience – and a final class from a list of several. This list includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, and physics classes. This is the ideal concentration for a student interested in design and finding a way to visually communicate logical and technical information.
For more information on writing concentrations and the Writing Program, contact Dr. David Hogsette at email@example.com