Business major

Polk State English Department Announces Major-Specific Composition Courses

posted on by Polk Newsroom

English Composition is a required course for any Polk State College student seeking an Associate of Arts or Bachelor’s degree. The English department, however, takes a more focused approach based on students’ fields of study.

Beginning in the fall, the department will offer Composition I and II (ENC1101 and ENC1102) to students in five selected majors: Business, Education, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), and Psychology. Courses will prepare students to write for their chosen careers. Students who have declared one of the five majors and wish to enroll in a major-specific English course can find the section number in Passport to enroll.

Major Teacher Days Time Location Section
Company Rebecka Ramos Tuesday and Thursday 12 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Live via Zoom 104379
Education Carole Martinson monday and wednesday 1:30-2:45 p.m. land of lakes 103679
Feeding with milk HD Child Tuesday and Thursday 9am-10.15am land of lakes 103265
OTA Sherry Siler The student’s pace The student’s pace On line 1102979
Psychology Rebecka Ramos Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:45 a.m. Live via Zoom 102580

“Bridge courses like Comp I have high dropout rates,” said English teacher Rebecka Ramos. “One of the reasons is that students just don’t see the value in it. Research shows us that the earlier students can connect to their careers, the more likely they are to stay in college.

Courses are part of Polk State’s Pathways model, which provides step-by-step instructions and curriculum maps for specific degree completions.

“This is a great opportunity for students to apply an English/literary lens to their chosen path,” said Larry Pakowski, Associate Vice President of Student Services. “Often, students will connect most richly with a subject that matches their specific interests, passions, and goals.”

Ramos said the idea originated at Polk State’s Professional Development Day in April. More than 20 professors from the English department gathered for a “listening visit” when Sherry Siler, also an English professor, voiced the idea. Ramos said the band embraced the concept.

“One of the reasons I think we have so much support is that there aren’t many institutions that focus on composition for career paths,” Ramos explained. “Few institutions meet the needs of students in this area. That the whole department agrees on something like that is a big deal.

While most composition courses are taught in Modern Language Association (MLA) instruction, typically reserved for the arts and humanities, cohorts will be taught in the American Psychological Association (APA). This format is more common in technical works for the social sciences.

“Business majors may not need to be able to write an essay, but they will need to know how to write a business composition,” Ramos said. “We will work closely with department heads to ensure the program is consistent with this major.”

The five selected majors are among the most common for Polk State students. Only one course for each of the five majors will be offered in the fall, but Ramos hopes that will expand. She also expects the English department’s focused approach to eventually be available to more majors.

“We’re very keen to see which cohorts are in high demand,” she said. “While we will have more faculty, we would like to see more cohorts.”

Although the English department is delivering the classes, Ramos said the success of the cohort will be a collaborative effort.

“The most important thing is that this is not a standalone initiative,” she said. “It’s part of our department’s strategic plan, but we rely on Student Services, our program directors, our (Quality Improvement Plan), etc. We’ve worked with students in mind to give them what they need to succeed.

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