Berkeley College Graduate Studies Newsletter

November 2016

Writing Coach Helps Students Refine Executive Communication

Berkeley writing program

(Above) Pattie Cowan, English, School of Liberal Arts, leads the Writing Consultant Pilot Program. (Below) More than 35 students on-site and online are taking advantage of the program. 

MBA Writing Berkeley

Do you need a little push to get started with a paper? Or do you have a grammatical question? If you’re a student in the Berkeley College School of Graduate Studies, you have access to a new resource – a writing coach.

Pattie Cowan, English, School of Liberal Arts, who also teaches undergraduate courses in communications at Berkeley College, leads the Writing Consultant Pilot program. Ms. Cowan not only helps students resolve questions about grammar or editing, but also provides tips on improving an essay, case study, or presentation.

According to Ms. Cowan, the support can help students overcome writing anxieties, leading to consistently effective papers and presentations.

The Writing Consultant Pilot program was instituted this fall to give Berkeley M.B.A. graduates an edge in management careers that demand high-level oral and written communication skills.

“Improved communication skills will make Berkeley College students more marketable,” Ms. Cowan said.

She provides guidance, coaching, and support on campus in Woodland Park, NJ, as well as through virtual interactions, supporting students enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Management program. Currently, about 35 students take advantage of the program.

Ms. Cowan said while some students request in-depth analysis, others may need only minor feedback or a proofreading eye. Sometimes, the sessions focus on writing assignments for specific courses. Regardless, the resource aims to build students’ confidence as they build their writing skills for future endeavors.

Student Shawn Yearwood, 56, expects to expand his tax preparation business. He will also start a charter bus company, and may even become a professor.

“Having a writing consultant available will guide me to be a better writer,” said the Irvington, NJ, resident. “This will, in turn, give me an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and encourage me to go forward in my career.”