English minor in editing and publishing proposed

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Kathlene Postma, associate professor in English, and Isaac Gilman, assistant professor at the library, have teamed up to propose a new minor in editing and publishing at Pacific.

“We have talented Pacific students already producing great print and online content and we’re also seeing a number of them get jobs after graduation,” Postma said. “The minor will offer a formal route for future publishers and editors to hone writing, editing and marketing skills.”

While many graduate programs in this expanding field are springing up around the country as people change jobs and begin to embrace new media, Pacific would be unusual in offering an undergraduate minor.

She explained, “the minor is meant to enhance and even boost a range of majors. Students who major in biology, environmental science, philosophy, media arts and creative writing, for example, all have a similar challenge: What’s the next step after graduation?”

Postma pointed out they can teach, pursue graduate degrees, or get entry jobs, some often not related to what they actually studied. “With this minor, our graduates will be able to shape and deliver crucial information for profit or nonprofit organizations directly related to what they learned at Pacific and in areas they care deeply about.”

One of Pacific’s graduates, Rusty Childers, recently turned the editing and publishing experience he gained on campus into a job as a senior technical editor for a green technology company.

According to the proposal, students would learn the theory and history of publishing as well as skills that can help them deliver content. After completing the minor, students would understand the publication process from start to finish as well as the economic and formatting benefits of different models of publishing. They can help prepare manuscripts for publication using different software and articulate marketing strategies for different types of publications.

It’s a combination of business, marketing, writing, art and media arts. Students will also have the choice of internships with local and Portland publishers and magazines, and advising on how to turn that experience into jobs. The minor will require a minimum of 22 credits of coursework and will be awarded in addition to a BA or BS degree.

Pacific is home to a number of publications that already offer students opportunities in the field, including the Pacific Index, Silk Road Literary Review (an internationally-distributed magazine edited by graduates in the MFA program and undergraduates in the creative writing program), Pacific’s Literature by Undergraduates Magazine and the Pacific Northwest Undergraduate Journal of Research.

Students will also work as editors and marketing assistants for books and periodicals published by the Berglund Center and assist on a range of publications produced through University Relations, like Pacific magazine.

“We’re a university,” Postma said.  “We have to stay at the forefront of disseminating crucial information.  This is a natural environment for students to learn to how to do it themselves and then take those skills and use them as professionals once they leave here.”


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