New minor equips students with digital writing tools

Published Feb 04, 2019

Riverside – When Maxine Adjei-Dadson, a sophomore film major at California Baptist University, learned about a new minor that would give her unique communication skills in a rapidly digitized society, she jumped on the opportunity.

“I am already beginning to grasp that images can convey a story just as powerfully as the written word,” said Adjei-Dadson of her Digital Storytelling (JRN 216) course that is part of the writing and digital minor at CBU.

The minor launched during the fall 2018 semester. It is designed to combine the skills of traditional writing with an understanding of how information in consumed in the digital age. The 18-unit minor includes courses such as Professional Writing, Introduction to Digital Studies, Writing in Context and Literary Journal Editing and Publishing. It is designed to complement a broad range of majors and to prepare students for professional writing in a digital environment by developing and translating their written, analytical and research skills into the workplace.

“Students are going to need to write [after college], to understand how to reach an audience and how to analyze text,” said Dr. Laura Veltman, professor of American literature. “This is a very practical minor. It’s going to say on a resume, ‘I’m good at writing and I can write in a digital environment as well.’”

“Students are living and breathing in a digital environment,” said Jennifer Tronti, professor of English. “This minor should be appealing to anyone who is working in a field that is going to have some type of technology component, but also any field where they do need to do writing as part of their professional environment.”

Marcus A. Heredia, a junior English major, has taken several classes for the minor, including Professional Writing (ENG 302).

“One of the fundamental ideas of professional writing is maintaining ethics in our writing. The writing we perform in a professional environment can be archived and read by anyone in any setting,” Heredia said. “It not only prepares us perfectly for the world ahead of us, but also gives us extensive real world examples to practice.”

Students also will have the opportunity to create podcasts and websites and learn to consider the audience when writing, such as via a tweet or a blog post, Veltman said.

“We worship a God who calls himself the Word,” Veltman said. “He’s a story-teller, so when we create well with words, we’re worshipping God. We want to help our students get a handle on how can we use words and language and stories well.”