By Kira Cordova and Brooke Trout
The new Eliminating Humanities (EH) Department has designed a new 15-credit certificate in Email Writing to help students develop the skills needed to avoid all in-person and synchronous virtual professional communication.
Starting next fall, Western students will have the option to add the certificate to complement any academic major. The certificate is among several new degree options available through the EH
Department, the creation of which was heavily pushed by university donors.
The certificate will focus on developing skills like creating impressive email signatures longer than the body of the actual emails and constructing Outlook and Google calendars that make students appear way too busy to possibly have time to schedule Zoom calls or committee meetings.
In addition to required classes in Nontechnical and Confusing Writing, students in the new certificate will have the option to earn up to six of the nine remaining credits in unspecified virtual internships. Other courses applicable to the certificate include Professional Over-Delegating, Avoiding Human Contact, and Writing for Reddit.
Brady hopes to encourage more Recreation and Outdoor Education (ROE) majors (a group with historically low enrollment in certificates and minors that require actual academic work) to add the new certificate.
Brady noted, “we’re predicting that the certificate’s focus on preparing students for potential professional environments that require sporadically sending emails every couple of weeks will be especially attractive to students whose plans after graduation are to live in their cars and occasionally telework using low-quality free public WiFi.”
The new certificate is also likely to complicate the lives of the university’s Writing Center staff. At press time, faculty for the new certificate were still debating whether assignments for the
certificate’s classes will have due dates and whether they will allow students to submit assignments through their Western emails or require them to communicate through anonymous personal Hotmail accounts.