UCSB’s Writing Program Looks to Make Additions

Illustration by Echo Dieu

Madison Kirkpatrick
Campus Beat Reporter

Earlier this year, UCSB’s Writing Program looked into new additions for the program — for instance, the creation of a major within the program, and the approval of a new track in the professional writing minor. 

The plan for the major did not come into fruition, said the Writing Program’s associate director, James Donelan, in an interview with The Bottom Line. Instead, an addition to the writing minor was added. 

The major was originally proposed as part of a review of the Writing Program; this review occurs about once a decade. The department planned for this addition of a major and the timeline was flexible for the major to come into fruition, but it was proposed to be done reasonably soon. 

Donelan explained that other committees, including the dean, will review the program. They discussed finances, resources (i.e. faculty), and how the major would fit into the schools’ plans.

“We are getting new faculty at a steady but slow rate, more people could help but they need expertise. We could not increase the burden on those who already work for us. Our job is major,” said Donelan. It’s important to Donelan that they do what they can to the best of their ability. 

One new addition that the department will begin to offer next year will be its journalism minor track. Last year the school had created a journalism certificate via the university’s Professional and Continuing Education Program. Based on the success of the certificate, the department decided to offer an official minor track within its department. 

According to writing professor Nomi Morris, the new track will have classes specifically tailored to journalism. These classes include Advanced Beat Reporting and Multi-Platform Journalism. Students will also either do an internship or a digital journalism course.

This addition will also help numbers in the minor. The minor will be expanded by 25 students, or 20 percent, allowing the students who are interested in journalism to pursue this specifically rather than take multimedia or editing courses.

Donelan ended his comments about the proposed writing major by saying: “Saying no makes us do better and do [work with more expertise],” explaining that developing a major will take time, and nobody is upset that its effects are not immediate. 

Finally, Donelan also mentioned a few unnamed tracks. These are being put on the back burner for now while the department decides if they are worth applying. No matter what the decision is, this can help the minor be as applicable and beneficial as it is meant to be.