The Department of English offers excellent preparation for students interested in English for the sake of general humanities or as a tool for pre-professional preparation. Introductory courses develop necessary skills for critical reading, analytical thinking, and literary interpretation. Literature courses—with a balance of American, British, and world offerings—develop a dialogue between the past and present across political, cultural, and ideological barriers. Literature, as it reflects human activity, helps us understand human values, motives, ourselves and society.
As an outgrowth of its courses in upper-division writing, the Department of English offers a major and a minor in writing, both of which are designed to complement any major on campus by offering the opportunity to pursue advanced training in expository, argumentative, non-fiction, and creative writing endeavors. The department also provides opportunities for students to participate in various publications and contests.
Though the majority of our students are language arts teaching majors and English majors, an almost equal number are writing majors and minors. Most of our language arts teaching graduates have taught here in the United States while many others have taught abroad. Among those who have gone on to graduate school are Fulbright Scholars and published writers.
Academic achievement among students majoring in English is recognized by membership in the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national English Honor Society. In addition, the department annual sponsors the Campus Literary Arts Magazine, which publishes students' poetry, fiction, and art work. It also sponsors the Syford Poetry Contest and the Genesis Contest for Short Prose. The Department of English encourages faculty-student collegiality through social gatherings such as dinners and picnics, professional theatre attendance, and faculty-home study groups.