Instructor Interview: Suzanne J. Sanders, MA

What course(s) do you teach in the UCSD Extension Copyediting Certificate program? ​

Grammar Lab, Copyediting I, Copyediting II, Copyediting III.

How long have you been teaching there? ​

Since January 2018. 

How did you get involved in the program? ​

I responded to a job posting! 

What is your goal for your students in your courses? ​

My main goal is to help students see how important critical thinking is to copyediting. Copyediting is not simply “correcting people’s mistakes.” Instead, it involves a great deal of decision-making, communication skills, careful analytical reading skills, and understanding of writing best practices. 

What kind of feedback have you received and successes have you seen from your students? ​

One particularly high-achieving student is now highly involved with SD/PEN and has a solid freelance business. Another, who took the course not to be a copyeditor but to better her own writing skills, was recently accepted to the Master of Arts in Philosophy program at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Other students have reported that they’re feeling more respected at their current copyediting jobs or have been able to move into a copyediting role at work, partly as a result of earning the certificate. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching in the program? ​

I enjoy the students and working with collaborative instructors to continually improve our students’ experience. 

What advice do you give students in your course who want to build a copyediting career or business?

I remind them that they have the tools to do the job and can always refer to their resources. I emphasize that not only will employers value their hard skills, but they also want copyeditors with strong soft skills: good communication, solid organization, mindfulness, and adherence to inclusive practices. 

What else would you like to share with potential students about the value of the program? 

​It’s not for just copyeditors! Our course material can help anyone improve their communication skills—verbal and written. I often share that my own writing has improved as a result of teaching in this program.

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