We have been referred to as the guinea pigs of the program but we prefer to be called the trailblazers. There are five of us: Austin, Madi, Lindsay, Nick, and myself and this semester we will be the first students to graduate from GCU with a BA in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing.
With this honor comes responsibility – to ourselves and to each other – to use what we have learned at GCU and translate it into successful writing careers in the real world.
Currently we are in the Capstone class, where we are putting together our final portfolios with pieces from our previous coursework. We have written press releases, feature stories, business proposals, instruction manuals, book reviews, personal essays, short stories, poems, blogs and speeches (to name a few) so there is a lot to choose from. There are no set rules as to which pieces we must include, so each of our portfolios will be as unique as its creator. There will, however, be one similarity between all five – a reflection of what we have learned at GCU.
From a technical standpoint, the professional writing program at GCU has helped us master our craft. We have learned to proofread, edit and revise our work. We have learned to research and evaluate sources and to separate fact from opinion. We have learned to critically analyze these facts and use them to support our own ideas. We have learned rhetoric and how to appeal to an audience with ethos, pathos and logos. We have learned to meet deadlines and accept critical feedback.
In short, we have learned to become writers.
But what we have learned at GCU goes deeper than that and perhaps prepares us even more for the next steps in our lives.
At GCU, we have learned about acceptance, tolerance and the importance of loving and helping each other. We have learned about diversity in race, ethnicity and religious beliefs and we have learned that we should never be quick to judge. We have learned about community and how to be a responsible member within that community. We have learned respect, discipline and pride.
With a few days left until graduation, there is little left to do. The five of us have completed our core courses and we have soaked up all we can from our professors. As one of the first students to take the professional writing program I did not know what to expect but as I prepare to walk across the stage to receive my diploma I know what I have become. I am a better writer. I am a better person. I am prepared. And I am ready to blaze a trail.
Whichever career path you choose, you can develop a firm academic foundation for your future at Grand Canyon University. Our College of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to offer a comprehensive and modern curriculum for students in our Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing degree program. Get started on your journey today by clicking on the Request More Information button at the top of the website.
More About Sheri
Sheri Parker is a senior at Grand Canyon University in the professional writing program.
Her two passions are writing and social issues and she hopes to find work in a field where she can express both. she currently serves on the board for Andy’s Sunshine Foundation and volunteers as a Sunshine Reader to two grade three classes every week. In her free time, she loves watching sports and hanging out with her dogs: a lazy, one-eyed, 170 pound mastiff and a 60 pound ball of energy that her friend adopted while visiting but never took home. She is originally from Toronto, Canada and does not miss the winters but does miss the poutine.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.