When Dr. Kyle Jensen became the new writing program director at University of North Texas, he encountered a set of problems that all WPAs face.The administration was eager to see the program grow, in terms of its enrollment and its visibility across and beyond the local campus. On top of this, the need to secure additional funding for the department--and to update the curriculum--weighed heavily on Kyle and his team. Kyle's curriculum revision needed to accomplish all those objectives without raising the cost for students.
Kyle reached out to our Macmillan Learning Curriculum Solutions team to find out what resources were available to support his plan for the program. Together they generated a set of unique solutions that helped Kyle reinvent UNT's writing program. Kyle selected An Insider's Guide to Academic Writing (Miller-Cochran et al.) as the core text. He then added original content to more clearly articulate the program's goals relative to the university's core curriculum expectations. Textbook author and WPA Susan Miller-Cochran of the University of Arizona visited campus to deliver a professional development event that clarified the tenets of UNT's new approach. With sales from the custom text, the program began to provide revenue for scholarships, author visits and professional development event workshops, and other activities beneficial to faculty and students.
Kyle also drew upon the affordances of Macmillan's trade portfolio to help students develop a stronger engagement with the program's reading and writing assignments. He selected readings from recently published popular texts that address pressing issues relevant to student lives. In addition, he assigned two full-length novels, The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex (both authored by Jeffrey Eugenides). With royalties generated from sales of the custom text, Kyle was able to fund a Fall screening of the film version of The Virgin Suicides--an event that was attended by nearly 1,000 students. Not only was this special event well attended, but it established a broader community of learning across sections in the program.
The culminating event of the new writing program curriculum came in March: a public lecture by Jeffrey Eugenides on how to solve problems in writing. Eugenides' lecture addressed how he didn't want to conduct research while writing Middlesex. He shared that eventually he realized the need to do research which allowed him to finish the book. His lecture connected with students at a fundamental level and was attended by the President, Provost, Vice Provost and College Deans at UNT. It sparked enthusiasm from administrators, faculty, and students alike--as well as from members of the surrounding community. Students were thrilled by the opportunity to personally interact with the Pulitzer prize-winning author; the program benefited from increased visibility, an annual, cost-effective update model for its curriculum, and the ability to attract and retain academic talent.
Kyle's influence and creativity serve as the foundation for a new content model for writing programs everywhere. It is important to share that Kyle and the Curriculum Solutions team were able to deliver this innovative solution without increasing costs for students. Learn more about the response to UNT's event with Jeffrey Eugenides here.
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Brenda Helmbrecht at Cal Poly was a new author for the fall of 2013. Fresh Voices, a collection of writing from first-year students, is intended to help new students create their own voice while progressing as writers. The essays selected for Fresh Voices are a showcase for the talented writers in Cal-Poly's first-year writing program, and encourage a new batch of students to break old habits.
Brenda worked with Hayden-McNeil to create a design and layout that would be functional and eye catching. Color coded tabs help students navigate the sections of the reader with ease, and text boxes lead students to websites with additional information about topics discussed within the reader.
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The English Department at College of the Desert had offered a choice of texts for their instructors to use for their English 061 course, but they saw a need to use one common text so students could switch sections without having to switch to a new book--and so that instructors could have a unified approach. For Fall 2016 they chose Green and Lawlor's integrated reading/writing text Read, Write, Connect, customizing by adding their own student learning outcomes to the front of the book. To further assist students with their writing, they also chose to add at no additional cost two ForeWords modules--Strengthening Academic Writing Skills and Sentence Guides for Academic Writers. With an attractive custom cover featuring a photo of their campus, the book is designed just for College of the Desert students. We look forward to checking back with them to see how their custom edition is working for them and to further refine their textbook to suit their needs.
As a high school, the Lincoln Nebraska Public Schools needed to comply with NASTA specifications, but they were ready to roll to the new edition of Abcarian's Literature: the Human Experience, a college-level text. In addition to making the necessary changes to comply with NASTA specifications, we also created a hardcover edition for them at a reduced cost. Although books were for spring, we sent them in October to give them plenty of time to prepare. We ran with the first printing and sent thirty-six desk copies as soon as they came off the press, free of charge.
The English faculty at Old Dominion University had been using Kennedy's Backpack Literature from Pearson. They were looking for something that would allow them to add in their own content. This content was different from what we typically see in English custom: material about the department or the writing center. Instead, through the inclusion of original works of poetry and fiction from the ODU faculty they strove to show students the value of literature and creative writing. Roughly two poems from each faculty member plus a short story, we added about 30 pages to the back of Literature to Go. The faculty received a $1 royalty to support underfunded programs. Additionally, they invited franchise author, Michael Meyer, to visit the school that spring.
Pikes Peak Community College first adopted the Second Edition of From Inquiry to Academic Writing for their year-long Composition I and II course to provide students with the most comprehensive rhetoric/reader they could find and with additional readings and student essays they chose added for maximum effectiveness in the classroom. They were so happy with their custom edition that when the Third Edition came in out in 2016 they revised their custom, working again with our editorial staff to update their supplementary readings to go with themes taught in the book.
A Student's Guide to Foundations Writing is the University of Arizona's proprietary composition course text that is now in its 38th edition. Hayden-McNeil/Macmillan Learning Curriculum Solutions has worked with UA since 2004 on this special program and continues to fund an annual development grant as part of our services. The University of Arizona's Writing Program Guide is comprised of 5 parts:
The Guide has been a collaborative effort of UA faculty, graduate students and foundations writing students. New to the program in fall 2017 is the inclusion of access to Macmillan Learning's digital support tools for English composition - Writers Key and Writer's Help 2.0. The text is printed on 100% recycled stock and contains permissioned work in addition to their original content. The Foundations Writing Program will be evolving to 100% digital resources for 2018/2019.
In the spring of 2016, instructors at the University of La Verne's writing program were looking for a rhetoric to address both the culture-writing approach common in the first semester and a research-based approach for the second semester. To keep the cost to students reasonable, they wanted to create a text that included only the content they needed. The curriculum solutions team at Macmillan Learning sent copies of existing Bedford texts that covered these types of writing, and writing program chair Jolivette Mecenas was excited that she could pick and choose the coverage she wanted and add her own content as well. Our editorial staff worked closely with Professor Mecenas to create the University of La Verne's own unique two-part rhetoric, with Part 1 containing chapters from Lunsford's The Everyday Writer, with its great coverage of the writing process, and Part 2 containing chapters from Palmquist's popular Bedford Researcher on the research process. The school added their own introductory text at the beginning of the book, including a welcome letter to students and information about their writing program. Lastly, we designed an attractive cover using school colors and photos of their campus, including their leopard mascot. Professor Mecenas was thrilled with the results, telling us: "The book looks great - exactly the book we were looking for!"
More than ten years ago, our sales team began working with the English Department at U T Knoxville to learn about their new approach to teaching English 102, working with them as they class-tested several Bedford/St. Martin's writing texts. Out of this was born, in 2006, one of our first complex Bedford/St. Martin's custom texts. Working with the composition director, our in-house team helped them craft a book that combined the chapters they wanted from five different Bedford texts with their own content, photos, and student essays. The resulting book was carefully edited and beautifully designed, with all the varying text styles and pedagogy seamlessly woven together to make an effective text for their course. Over the years, our curriculum solutions team of editors, sales reps, and specialists has continued our successful partnership with the department, working together to revise their content and switch out the Bedford content as needed through four editions, addressing the changing needs of the course to provide great service and a superior custom rhetoric.
The faculty at Washington State University were interested in Markel's Technical Communication, but knew they wouldn't cover all the material. To accommodate for this, we removed five full chapters and the appendix handbook. Rather than repaginate completely, we updated the front matter and TOC to reflect the jumps in the page numbering. Additionally, we added a full index for further clarity. The book was also given a custom cover that included the school and course name. Ultimately, the custom paperback was packaged with six-month access to LaunchPad. Meaning, students had the best of both world: a print book tailored to their course and a digital option with accompanying resources as well.