The Commissioned Assignment Program works to place students in semester-long partnerships with local professionals who act as commissioners of specific writing projects. Whenever an opportunity arises, the PWI will recruit instructors who are interested in incorporating the Commissioned Assignment project into their syllabus. In the past, Penn State students have worked with various commissioners to produce documents ranging from usability reports to brochures and advertisements, entire websites, and most anything in between.
Click here to browse through the list of possible commissioned assignments.
What content might the commissioned assignment bring into my course?
Commissioned assignments offer students the opportunity to take their writing from the classroom and publish it in a public and/or professional setting. In these assignment pairings, community organizations identify a current or ongoing writing project—marketing materials, informational blog posts, website content, etc.—and students work with their instructor to generate content fitting for the organization.
Recent examples include the creation of new tours for the Penn State Student Farm and the generation of museum handouts and placards for the Optical Heritage Museum in Southbridge, Massachusetts.
How does a commissioned assignment work?
Commissioned assignment projects are continually ongoing. Each semester, the PWI will invite interested instructors to propose how this commissioned assignment will be incorporated into their syllabus. If the proposal adequately meets the commissioner’s needs, the PWI will arrange a formal partnership between the instructor and the commissioner during the weeks leading up to the semester in which the commissioned assignment will be fulfilled.
Throughout the course of the commissioned assignment unit, students will meet the commissioner and possibly visit the organization site. At the end of the unit, student work will be given to the commissioner and used, published, or distributed at the commissioner’s discretion.