Writing Program

A Message from Dr. Staci Shultz, Director of Writing

Welcome to STAC’s Writing Program! 

Why do I have to take TWO years of writing courses?
I’m not an English major; why do I need to take so many English courses?
I won’t need to write in the career I’m pursuing, so these classes are a waste of my time.

Do these sound familiar? Have you asked yourself these very same questions or made these very same claims?

It’s true: a two-year Writing Program is unusual. But it’s also really exciting. Here at STAC we are deeply committed to developing students’ reading, writing, and research skills and to graduating students who are effective communicators. No matter your major, no matter your intended career, you simply must be able to communicate effectively. The Writing Program, which is connected to the English Department, aims to give you that experience.

Over the course of two years, your English instructors will help you become a flexible, critical, engaged writer who can critically assess a writing situation, respond to it, and then easily transition into a very different writing situation that requires an entirely different set of skills. Not only will you develop the necessary skills to write critical and creative academic assignments, but you will also develop the skills to effectively participate on social media, write professional correspondence, and create dynamic presentations. We want you to write effectively in all aspects of your life—to be able to articulate yourself in your academic, social, and professional worlds.

Two-Year Curriculum

As instructors, we strive to design courses that tap into students’ interests and also encourage you to recognize and deepen connections across all of your courses. Below is a description of each course in the Writing Program.

English 101*
Most students start with English 101, a course designed to introduce students to college-level writing and help prepare them to meet the demands of a range of writing assignments. The texts students read are primarily non-fiction (essays, documentaries, etc.) and serve as models for students. By the end of the semester, students should be able to recognize and respond to arguments; write clear, organized, and compelling arguments; use evidence to support their claims; evaluate and integrate a variety of sources; edit drafts; and respond to peers’ work.
*Some students are placed in English 100 if it seems, based upon test scores and grades in high school, they might benefit from additional support before they dive into English 101. English 100 moves more slowly with more emphasis on developing reading skills. Students receive 3 elective credits for this course.

English 102
English 102 serves as an introductory literature course, building on the skills students develop in English 101 while also helping them, through study of the short story genre, develop a vocabulary for discussing literature. Instructors design themes.

English 200, 201, 203, 205, 211 & 221 
Once students have completed English 101 and 102, they move on to the 200-level English courses. These courses deepen students’ critical reading, writing, and research skills. Furthermore, instructors aim to design courses that tap into students’ interests and encourage them to make connections across their classes. These are some of the exciting courses we’ve designed that intersect with popular majors such as Criminal Justice and Psychology:

  • Literature of the Fantastic
  • Argument & Evidence
  • Criminal Minds
  • Jane Austen
  • Graphic Novels Around the World
  • Illness and Disabilities
  • Sports in Literature
  • Modern Monsters and the Undead
  • Adolescent Literature

I hope I have convinced you of the value of a two-year Writing Program! And I hope you might even feel a little excited by our course offerings. If you have questions or would like to chat with me, drop me an email at [email protected].

Writing Lab

If you feel at all nervous about all of this reading, writing, and research, I hope you will do two things:

  1. Go to your prof’s office hours! We hold office hours so you can come talk to us about the class. Come by and talk with us so we can offer support.
  2. Go to the Writing Lab! We have writing tutors available to support you in all your writing endeavors. The Writing Lab is housed in the Center for Academic Excellence in Spellman 111.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Phone: 845-398-4090

To make an appointment with a tutor:

  1. Stop by Spellman 111 
  2. Call 845-398-4090


In addition to your instructors and the Writing Lab, there are tons of really great resources for you to consult online—and many are interactive. Here are just a few we recommend:

Purdue Online Writing Lab
Grammar Girl
Daily Grammar
Grammar Bytes