German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch
The Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch (GNSD), located in the College of Liberal Arts, has 27 faculty members and teaches more than 1,100 undergraduate students. GNSD is a community engaged in transnational cultural studies with a focus on the languages, literatures, and cultures of central and northern Europe and Russia.
For its first-edition Writing Plan, approved by the Campus Writing Board in May 2019, the department has identified several key activities involving curricular, programmatic, and pedagogical features. One activity is to re-examine the current structure, purpose, and design for the capstone project. Another activity is to extend the curricular mapping and analysis that began during the WEC-facilitated faculty meetings. A “kick-off” event during Fall 2019 Orientation Week brought together the faculty, P&A, and graduate instructors to discuss ways critical reasoning is relayed through writing instruction. A faculty workshop on “Designing Effective Writing Assignments” was conducted in October 2019 and a workshop on “Utilizing Writing Strategies, Prewriting and Scaffolding” will take place in the spring. The department has also redesigned two of its core writing-intensive courses in German and hopes to use this new model with other languages.
In 2018, the Russian program merged with German, Scandinavian and Dutch. Over the next year, as part of its larger WEC efforts, the department will develop a clear set of objectives and writing goals for the four-year Russian curriculum both in the target language and in English. The department plans to submit a second-edition Writing Plan in Spring 2020.