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WEC Unit: Horticultural Science

Horticultural Science, in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), employs a 20 member faculty; undergraduates choose from two interdisciplinary majors: Plant Science, or Food Systems. Horticulture’s strong focus on public outreach and education makes a balanced approach to writing for lay audiences and writing for academic audiences particularly important.

Curricular mapping discussions revealed that none of the writing-intensive (WI) courses were part of the major’s required core.  As a result of these discussions, the faculty designated a core course (Hort 3005W: Environmental Effects on Horticultural Crops) as WI, ensuring that students will get an early and uniform exposure to the writing abilities from the department’s Writing Plan.

Activity Highlights:
Horticulture faculty are now offering a revised, writing-intensive version of their popular internship course (Hort 4096W: Professional Experience Program: Internship). Required for plant science students and popular with food systems undergraduates, this two-credit course gives students opportunities to enhance their experiential learning with focused writing assignments—and allows them to ground their writing experiences in the professional work of their internship. The central writing goal of the internship is to produce a professional document for lay audiences—suited to the student’s internship site—that can be included in the student’s professional portfolio. Follow this link to see a website that one student built as part of his internship.

In 2015-2016, faculty reviewed assessment data on the progress of students in meeting faculty expectations for writing and addressed these results in light of curricular changes. The departments of Horticultural Science and Agronomy & Plant Genetics are prepareing to offer a combined undergraduate major, which will unite two WEC units.

Finally, Neil Anderson and Pamela Flash published "The Power of Peer Reviewing to Enhance Writing in Horticulture: Greenhouse Management" in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2014, Volume 26, Number 3, 310-334.

Writing Plan

Eric Watkins

"As a result of the WEC process, we are introducing online writing instruction to our existing internship course. This is an exciting change that will enrich a popular educational experience with beneficial writing instruction."
-Eric Watkins, WEC Liaison


Center for Writing  10 Nicholson Hall&nb=sp;   216 Pillsbury Dr. SE    Minneapolis, MN 55455    Phone: 612-625-0791   Fax: 612-626-7580