To conduct the local needs assessment, I propose to do the following tasks:
Task 1: Research technical writing program needs of Midland College faculty.
Midland College has, in the past three years, begun offering a four-year degree in Organizational Management. At this time, the degree plan does not require any writing classes. I want to explore this program in order to find out, first, if a technical writing class would be appropriate for majors in this program, and second, if there is room in the degree plan to add a required writing class.
Furthermore, some of the other majors offered by Midland College require technical writing; I want to find out if a service course would be appropriate for additional majors. Many students transferring to four-year schools need a technical writing class for the major they plan to pursue after transferring; I propose to find out which majors these are and if other majors will require a technical writing class later on.
In addition to this general information, I want to research faculty perceptions of student writing competencies. Specifically, I want to find out (1) what competencies do faculty anticipate their students will need in their careers, (2) what competencies do they think their students already have, and (3) what mechanisms are currently in place to help students develop or i...
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...with them. Also, Lane Community College in Oregon is attempting to start a technical writing program. Communicating with the director of that program will help me further plan the direction for our efforts at Midland College.
Scope of Research
The research that I am proposing to do is extensive and will take at least this entire academic year to complete. Therefore, I need to limit the scope of the research that I conduct for this specific phase of the project. The data that I collect from the faculty members is, I believe, foundational to the rest of the study. Therefore, I will begin my research by conducting a pilot study of the survey instrument for the faculty members and, based on that instrument, begin formulating the kind of information that I need to gather in the interviews. I will also identify specifically which faculty members I need to interview.
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