It is not news that writing, and good writing, has become essential in every field of study and profession as well. Today’s students need a more diversified writing education, as I have enumerated on my post on Teaching Writing for STEM here.
There has been on-going conversation and effort in this area, which is exemplified in this must-read blog post for both STEM and language teachers.
In 2006 when I arrived as president at Harvey Mudd College, a small (800 students) science and engineering college in Claremont, Cal., my first order of business was to lead a strategic planning exercise that engaged the entire campus. We developed a strategic vision centered on six themes. The first step toward our new vision was to restructure our core curriculum—a proud tradition, and, as such, challenging to change.
Our students major in STEM fields but also have a concentration in the humanities, social sciences and the arts (HSA). As a liberal arts college, we value students’ development as communicators, thinkers and scientists. Since our founding, we have focused on teaching our students to write, but this emphasis was centralized among HSA faculty. To communicate that writing is important across the STEM disciplines, we decided to try something new: engage faculty from all departments to teach WRIT 1, our first-year, half-semester introduction to college writing.