Improving student writing is topic of QEP

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Jason Jones, Writing Center director, works with peer consultant Lizzy Davis, a freshman studying radiology technology from Independence, on helpful writing tips.  (Photo by Allen Brewer)

By Allen Brewer

As part of the 2016 Northwest Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a new program has been designed to assist students. The topic of the QEP is to improve student writing, in hopes of preparing the students for the future challenges of academic and professional writing.

“Writing is an essential academic skill,” Leelee Haraway, English instructor and QEP co-chair, said. “When writing skills improve communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills improve.”

Recent surveys at the college show that writing is a key area that has been lacking and is in need of improvement. To reach  the goal of higher scores in writing comprehension skills, Northwest has added new features to assist their students’ knowledge in writing.

A Writing Center has been established on the Senatobia campus to assist students with the stages of the writing process. Students who visit the center will be able to talk one-on-one with peer consultants about problems they have with writing submissions.

The Senatobia Writing Center, located in the McLendon Center in room 222, is hosting a logo contest for its grand opening. The contest will last until March 31, 2017, and submissions can be anything from a picture to a quote,

(although quill pens and typewriters are not advised).

The winning logo will be featured on the sign to the new Writing Center at the DeSoto Center in the fall of 2017 and featured on signs and other marketing materials for the Writing Center.

“We will work with any student on any composition they are writing,” Jason Jones, Writing Center director, said.

Within the next two years, the Writing Center will expand services to both the DeSoto campus and the Oxford campus.

A new Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) has also been implemented to allow students to take Developmental English and English Composition I their first year as corequisites instead of prerequisites.

By combining these two courses, students will be able to take English Composition II the next semester and not get behind in graduating, to allow for a faster pathway.

The current curriculum alignment for English Composition I and Composition II is still enacted so that students must take both composition classes consecutively before taking other English courses. The new ALP will help students who had poor scores in writing not get behind in graduating.

“Because students in ALP will be enrolled in both Developmental English and English Composition I during the same semester, they will get the support provided through the Developmental English course at the time when they need it most: when they are working through the challenges of their English Composition I assignment,” Haraway said.

For more information on the QEP, see page 8.

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