English Department to Offer Writing Certificate

Waynesburg University’s English and Foreign Languages Department is currently working to launch a Professional and Grant Writing certificate for this upcoming Fall 2023 semester. This program has been passed by the curriculum committee and is currently undergoing a vote by the faculty. 

“The main objective of this certificate is to offer a bundled professional writing skill set to students and professionals who may not be able to enroll in a full writing major,” said the English and Foreign Languages Department Chairperson, Jill Sunday. “When we designed the certificate, we thought of students outside the major who would be interested in and benefit from the courses offered in this program.”

Undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to add the certificate to their existing major. Students will complete four courses and twelve credit hours; these courses will consist of Research Writing, Digital and Public Writing, Business and Professional Writing and Grant Writing.

“Eventually we will make these courses asynchronous and the program could be completed online,” said Professor of English, Dr. Jamie Dessart. “At the start, the certificate will be completed in person.”

“Departments have been encouraged to package marketable skills in certificate programs to not only showcase department skills but also to encourage students and professionals to add stackable certificates to their credentials,” said Sunday. “The idea of stackable certificates is appealing to both undergraduates and professionals as documentation of special areas of expertise.”

According to Sunday, the addition of a certificate of this nature will add an excellent opportunity for a student’s resume. Employment opportunities will enhance due to employers seeking communication and writing proficiency in their future employees.

“A Professional and Grant Writing Certificate will serve students in any field. Everything that I have learned so far has helped me reconsider how I communicate with people, and how best to reach my audiences,” said sophomore professional writing major, Olivia Sanvicente. “All the courses that I have taken are thought-provoking and require you to be open to encountering new styles of communication. Writing and being a clear communicator is a skill that takes practice, and these courses are designed to offer that practice.”

Current professional writing majors will not benefit from the certificate as their major requirements surpass the fulfillment needed. Ideally, the English and Foreign Languages Department plans to bring the professional writing major to the spotlight. Enrollment and interest in the four classes listed will enable updated courses and content for this department, major and the certificate program.