The Writing Arts Program Receives National Recognition!

The Writing Arts Department has much to be proud of  and their achievements are gaining national attention in a number of ways.  Some recent highlights:

Work from faculty members was published in the new text What We Are Becoming: Developments in Undergraduate Writing Majors (Utah State U P, 2010).  Jennifer Courtney, Deb Martin, and Diane Penrod wrote the chapter The Writing Arts Major: A Work in Process,” which traces the history of the major, focusing on the changes it has undergone.   Sandy Tweedie, Jenn Courtney, and Bill Wolf contributed “‘What exactly is this major?’ Creating Disciplinary Identity Through an Introductory Course,”  discussing the role of introductory courses in writing majors and offering the Rowan curriculum as a model for other programs, few of which have intro courses.  In the afterword of the text,  Susan McLeod (noted scholar of writing program administration and curriculum) discusses the increasing interest in writing programs and encourages a national conversation about outcomes in the major, pointing to the Rowan program as one of the few that has these. She goes on to say, “Once we have begun to discuss outcomes, we can then discuss what the gateway course to the major should look like,” adding that Rowan’s provides “an excellent example” of one.

In another nod to the excellence of the Rowan program, McLeod and co-author Deb Balzhiser have also written the lead article in the February 2010 issue of College Composition and Communication, “The Undergraduate Writing Major: What Is It? What Should It Be?” In this article they consider both gateway courses and capstone courses, presenting a model of excellence in capstones that replicates the Rowan experience and specifically noting that our intro course is  one that “might serve as a model for other such courses,” (and include a lengthy discussion of our Intro to Writing Arts course).

At the recent Conference on College Composition and Communication (the worlds largest writing education organization –  in Louisville, the Balzhiser and McLeod article was discussed by several other participants at CCCC’s, including Andrea Lunsford during her standing-room-only featured presentation, bringing even more attention to the Rowan program.

On a local level, the Office of Media & Public Relations, has produced a wonderful review of the Writing Arts major that appears on the Rowan news site. The story can be found at

Congratulations to all of the members of the Writing Arts program!  Your accomplishments never cease to impress!


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