Professional Writing & Rhetoric

What does it take to be a competitive job candidate in the 21st Century?

Here are the facts:


Technology continues to permeate all aspects of the 21st century work environment; because of this, employers are demanding college graduates who excel at professional communication in digital environments.


Employees will spend anywhere from 50-80% of their work day communicating in both verbal and written formats – according to the Journal of Communications article “Measurement of Time Spent Communicating.”


In fact, effective written and oral communication skills are consistently ranked among the top 8 desired skills employers expect of job applicants.


To set yourself apart from other job candidates, develop key communication skills by pursuing a major or minor in McKendree’s Professional Writing and Rhetoric Program!

Undeniably, there’s no way to overemphasize the value of your communication skills – especially when it comes to your career. Regardless of your professional plans or the degree you pursue while at McKendree, this program will prepare you for the ever-changing communication needs and expectations of the 21st Century workplace. More importantly, here in the PWR Program we believe that if you hope to get anywhere in life, you have got to be able to convey your ideas in a way that connects with and inspires people. That’s the McKendree difference!

Program Highlights

Experienced Faculty

As a student in the McKendree PWR program, you will benefit from the interdisciplinary learning environment because classes are taught by full time faculty from various fields, such as English, Journalism, Art, and Communications, who hold years of diverse academic and professional experiences.

Innovative Learning Environment

PWR classes are small and students are encouraged to experiment with and develop 21st century communication skills in a dynamic learning environment.

The PWR curriculum prepares students for the workplace, develops students’ rhetorical sophistication, expands students’ research and problem solving skills and extends students’ creative and stylistic ability.

The curriculum also supports McKendree’s commitment to service by instilling in students a sense of responsibility for the private and public good through effective workplace and civic communication practices.

Internship Opportunities

Internships during college have risen to the top of the list as one of the most heavily weighted attributes considered by employers. PWR students will have access to McKendree’s strong undergraduate internship program which capitalizes on our proximity to St. Louis – one of the top 20 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and home to Fortune 500 companies, as well as numerous notable corporations, non-profit organizations, start-up companies, and other institutions.

APWR: Student Organization

Only at McKendree can PWR students join the Association of Professional Writing and Rhetoric, a student organization that promotes collaboration among students, networking with local professionals, membership in professional organizations, and presentations at local and regional conferences.

Meet the Faculty


Stephanie QuinnStephanie Quinn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English
305 Stanton Street
(618) 537-6903

Joy Santee

Joy Santee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English
305 Stanton Street
(618) 537-6858