Faculty Review Honors, Expos 30

Talented writers in the Class of 2016 may have the opportunity to hone their literary skills in an advanced expository writing class that will serve as an alternative to the current mandatory freshman Expos offerings.

In the first Faculty meeting of the new semester, Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris introduced a proposal for a new advanced course, Expository Writing 30.

At a meeting focused on student academics, Harris also presented a proposal to modify the system of Latin honors that will slightly ease the requirements for the summa cum laude degree, the highest academic honor.


Harris said the Standing Committee on Writing and Speaking has spent the past year reviewing the expository writing curriculum and its effectiveness in preparing students for future writing courses.

The addition of Expos 30 to the course offerings is part of a larger initiative to prepare freshmen for academic writing.

Currently, the Harvard College Writing Program—the oldest such program in the nation, established in 1872—offers Expos 10, an introductory course for students who need additional writing support, and Expos 20, a mandatory class for all students.

The committee is also evaluating the effectiveness of Expos 10.

“We felt it was important to build bridges from Expos to sophomore tutorials,” Harris said yesterday in the Faculty meeting. “This is a major effort.”

Sosland Director in the Harvard College Writing Program Thomas R. Jehn and Harris are currently leading the review process of the Expos curriculum. Among the first proposed changes is a revised writing placement exam that incoming freshmen will take before being recommended for an expository writing class.

“We feel [the current placement exam] does a good job finding the weakest writers, [but] not finding the strongest writers,” Harris said.

Jehn and Harris said they hope to use the new test to identify students for the Expos 30 class that will start in the fall of 2012.

“The prospect of this class is very exciting for me,” Jehn said, adding that the precise number of sections for the new course has not been determined.


Harris held the stage to present a motion to revise the Latin honors system for graduating seniors, including reducing certain requirements.


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