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Opportunities for Professional Writing Students

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Writing Fellows Opportunities for Professional Writers 

The faculty of the B.A. in Professional Writing at Penn State Berks believe that hands-on experience is a vital part of your undergraduate education.

The Professional Writing program sponsors several hands-on, experiential education projects including: 

Student Newspaper

The student newspaper, Berks Collegian, provides an opportunity to sharpen skills in newswriting, basic not only to journalism, but also to public relations, corporate communications and advertising. Students gain experience in visual communications -- editing, layout and graphics. Moreover, work published in the newspaper can be a central part of the all-important writing portfolio. Many students in Professional Writing write for the newspaper and/or hold editorial positions.

Students can take Comm 260W, News Writing and Reporting, and Engl 110, Newspaper Writing practicum, to help develop their newswriting skills. Both courses fulfill requirements in the Professional Writing major and minor.* These courses are taught by Dr. Gary Kunkelman, a former journalist and editor, who is also the faculty adviser to the student newspaper. You can reach him at gak12@psu.edu.

*English 110 is offered every semester. A 2-credit course, English 110 can be taken by any student for a maximum of 6 credits, but only 3 credits will count toward the major requirements. The remaining 1-3 credits will count as electives.

The Writing Fellows Program

The Writing Fellows Program provides a corps of trained students to assist faculty in their classrooms by offering various forms of writing support to students enrolled in the course. Among other skills, Writing Fellows are trained to facilitate peer response groups, work one-on-one with student writers, and present mini-lessons on writing-related topics.

Many of the Writing fellows are students in the Professional Writing program. Writing Fellows are selected because of their skill in writing, grade point averages, commitment to learning, and/ or their commitment to helping others to learn. All Fellows take a 3 credit course, English 250: Peer Tutoring in Writing, where they receive training in writing theory, peer tutoring theory, and small-group work. As part of the course, each student works in a peer group helping other student writers. After successfully completing English 250, students may apply for a position as a Writing Fellow for the college. Dr. Holly Ryan (holly.ryan@psu.edu) coordinates this program.

English 250 fulfills three credits toward the major in Professional Writing.