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~High School Students Can Sharpen Their Writing Skills Through New Summer Course at Wellesley College~

For immediate release:
May 19, 2003

Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- This summer, a new advanced writing program at Wellesley College will help upper-level high-school students sharpen their writing skills at a critical time in their education. It's the first time such a program has been offered at the College. A non-residential course, it is open to all high school juniors and seniors. Students can apply online at

From the study of fiction to the writing of essays, the program is designed to provide a challenging and rewarding experience for high-school students looking to improve their writing skills with the help of distinguished faculty from both the high school and college levels. Among those faculty members is Lynne S. Viti, a senior lecturer in the Writing Program at Wellesley College. She understands the needs of high-school students when it comes to sharpening their writing skills.

"As students near the end of their high school years, it's a good time for them to take stock of their writing and to begin to see themselves as producers of writing to be read--and read by more than an audience of one, not merely writing to be graded by one teacher," Viti said. "Juniors and seniors in high school are ready to move to the next level in academic writing, to step away from the writing schemes and formulas they have learned, and to understand and to put into use the process of writing a well-informed, substantial, well-developed argument."

Another course instructor, Amy Morrissey, teaches English and creative writing at Wellesley High School. She agrees that writing skills are essential for all students.

"Writing is an act of learning and communication; we write to better understand ourselves, our world, and one another," she said. "Across the subject areas, high school juniors and seniors are exposed to increasingly complex material, requiring higher order thinking skills and abstract reasoning, and writing is essential to processing and demonstrating understanding. Good writers are better equipped to navigate the world of ideas and their place in it, whether the task at hand is a term paper, persuasive speech or college application essay. Gaining greater proficiency at skills such as argumentation and style allows students to make a greater impact on their audience. This ability to communicate effectively will serve students well in high school, college, and beyond."

Lynne Payson, director of the Wellesley College Summer School, said the writing skills course is a direct response from requests by parents, teachers and guidance counselors. "To develop the writing program, we formed a committee that included Lynne Viti and Adam Schwartz from our Writing Program and few other area teachers," Payson said. "We received more than 30 applications for faculty and hired six outstanding teachers for the course."

In addition to this new course, the Wellesley College Summer School offers a wide-ranging co-educational program, featuring full credit courses drawn from the regular Wellesley curriculum. It is open to all college students, college graduates and eligible commuting high school juniors and seniors. "This year we are offering over 35 courses in a variety of diverse subject areas," said Payson. "This variety is even more special because the courses are taught by our own Wellesley faculty. This really distinguishes our program from other summer-school programs."

The Summer School offers courses in the social sciences, sciences, languages, mathematics, music, classical studies, religion, arts and writing. It meets in two sessions: Session I, from June 16 - July 11, and Session II, from July 14 - August 8. For more information, go online to

Founded in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for more than 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students.


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