Leah Power’s Q&A with Dr. Rachel N. Spear,
FMU’s Composition Coordinator
Q: How has the composition program changed?
A: The composition program moved from a three-course sequence, which included English 111, English 112, and English 200, and to a two-semester model with these courses:
- English 101 or English 101E (plus English 101L)
- English 102
Upon entering FMU, students will self-select into English 101 or 101E, the “extended” version which provides supplemental instruction in a writing studio. Once students successfully complete their first semester, they will progress to English 102.
English 101, English 101E, and English 102 will be capped at 15 students per section, enhancing teacher-student interactions as well as writing communities.
Q: What brought about these changes?
A: When we examined our former program closely, we noticed several things: the need for students to learn analytical and argumentative writing earlier, a stark disparity with similar institutions and within the discipline itself, recent changes in South Carolina’s high school standards, and issues with transfer credit. Based upon internal and external data, the English Department worked collaboratively to imagine a better program for our students while also staying true to our programmatic goals. Continue reading