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English Program FAQ

Can I major in English at Walsh?

Yes, you can. Walsh offers two majors related to English. One is a general English major with an emphasis on studies in literature and composition. A second, Adolescent/ Young Adults-Language Arts prepares students interested in becoming English teachers for grades seven through twelve.

What is the difference in the programs?

The general English major requires students to take at least eleven courses in English after the freshman composition courses. The Adolescent/Young Adults-Language Arts major requires students to take a mixture of education, English, and communication courses to fulfill their major requirements. If you choose this program, you will have two advisors, one in English; the other in education.

Can I double major or major and minor, with English being one of the subjects?

Yes, you can double major in English and another field. Just be aware that it may take you more than four years to graduate because of completing all your requirements, although some majors can be added if you decide to do this early in your program. You also may major in English and minor in one of the fields Walsh offers. Or, you can minor in English, literature or composition track, and major in another field of study.

What should you consider about yourself as you contemplate English as a major or minor?

Regardless of whether your interests are more towards literature or writing, a love of language would be an important prerequisite. The discipline of English is concerned with the analysis and the production of texts, and focuses on your ability to produce your own effective texts (such as essays, research papers, journal responses, short fiction, and poetry), and to interpret the novels, poetry, plays and short stories that comprise the literature of America and the world. Certainly someone who does not like to read and write might want to consider a different career path.

What can I do with an English major, four-year degree?

If you also obtain a degree/licensure in middle school or secondary education, you can teach. If you are not interested in teaching, you can obtain jobs in the fields of writing, editing, publishing, reporting, researching (assistant or analyst), advertising, public relations, business (administration and management), technical writing, electronic writing and publishing, radio and television. Some of these fields may require other specific training. Other fields you can enter are travel agent, program assistant, museum attendant, legal aide or paralegal, consumer affairs, literary agent for authors, bookstore attendant, lobbyist, congressional aide, cryptologist, fundraiser, investigator, or booking manager.

What are the advantages of English as a second major or a minor?

Because of its emphasis on reading and writing skills, pursuing English as a second major or minor serves as a nice compliment to a variety of other majors. Students with an English background consistently perform better on law school and medical school standardized tests, and do better in graduate school where reading and writing requirements are extensive, regardless of academic discipline. Most corporations value the ability to write clearly and critically, to analyze texts, and then synthesize that material into coherent reports.

Can AYA Language Arts majors receive help from English faculty in preparing for student teaching?

Yes. English professors work in conjunction with the education department to mentor student-teachers, helping to prepare course curricula, lesson plans, etc. in relation to student teaching. You can choose an English Department mentor to work with you personally, as well as elect to take English 332 Teaching Language and Literature.

Does Walsh offer courses that help prepare students for graduate study?

Yes. Along with the traditional broad-based survey courses, which cover a wide range of American, British, and world literatures, Walsh offers a variety of upper-division courses that engage cultural and critical issues students can continue to explore in graduate work. These courses include "special topics" courses focusing upon such topics as "Literary Ecology," "American Indian Studies," "The Sublime," "Discourse of Enlightenment," and "Cultural Poetics of Rock and Roll." The capstone seminars focus upon major literary figures or movements, with attention to current literary theory. However, students also need to take responsibility for further reading and preparation outside the classroom.

I am considering going on to graduate school. What can I get a Masters, or eventually a Ph.D. in, after obtaining my Bachelors in English?

You can go on to get a Masters and then a Ph.D. in English, focusing on specific movement in literature and specific authors, or you can get a Masters in Rhetoric/Composition. If you do not want to pursue a degree in English, you can go for a Masters in Library Science, Counseling/Psychology, Business Education for educational administration, Business, or go into Law School, just to name a few. With many fields, you can then earn a Ph.D.

Will English faculty help students interested in applying for graduate study in English?

Yes. The English faculty will personally help you decide upon graduate programs and will assist in the application process helping with the preparation of writing samples, letters of application, and writing letters of recommendation. Faculty can help students to qualify for Fellowships or Teaching Assistantships that cover graduate tuition.

What employment opportunities are available for me in the English department?

You can be employed, through work study or student payroll, as a writing center receptionist or writing tutor (after taking English 321A). You can have a writing fellowship, if you meet the criteria for this. You would then be assigned to work with a professor and class, in English or in another department.

Does Walsh offer Creative Writing?

Yes. Students can take "Introduction to Creative Writing," and "Advanced Creative Writing," allowing opportunities to practice the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Students interested in entering a graduate writing program can take "Independent Studies in Creative Writing," working with a mentor who will help the student prepare a portfolio of creative writing, and assist in the application process.

Can I major in writing?

No, you cannot. However, you can get a writing minor that gives you the opportunity to choose at least six courses in creative writing, business/technical writing, writing for the print media, writing for electronic media, desktop publishing, and the study of the composing process itself.

What kinds of writing employment can I obtain?

In advertising and public relations you can be a copywriter, bibliographer, marketing writer. You also can apply these skills to government, environment, corporate, media, special events, fundraising and philanthropy, and management employment. Within media specifically, you can be a scriptwriter, news writer, or reporter. In publishing, you can be an assistant editor, editor, or literary agent. Or, you can be a novel, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction writer or a magazine or newspaper writer for children, teenagers, or adults. In many fields, you can be a grant writer.

The fastest rising field is in technical writing. Every field of study needs writers for its specific publications and needs. Joined with computer programming skills and desktop publishing, technical writers can write manuals, copy, ads, and computer video games for companies, such as those in Silicon Valley, write computer programs, or do web page designing and maintain web pages for individuals or companies on the web.

How can being a writer center tutor help me?

Taking the English 321A Composing Process class, you will become familiar with writing theory and application, grammar, MLA and APA documentation, tutoring techniques, writing across the curriculum, and interpersonal communication skills. You will learn about yourself as a writer. Employers look for people with writing skills, so this employment experience is a valuable addition to your resume. Graduate schools also deem this experience important.

What is the difference between Walsh's English program and English programs at other schools?

Course requirements for English programs tend to be similar because graduate and professional schools have standard expectations for the college graduates they accept into their masters' programs. The state of Ohio also has set requirements for the preparation teachers are to receive. Walsh's uniqueness derives from its emphasis on organizing its courses around contemporary themes and issues of importance in today's society. As an English major, you will explore issues related to understanding cultural diversity, environmentalism, historic events, and societal values, among others. Thus, the English major at Walsh is inherently an interdisciplinary course of study. Literature and writing are not treated as units of meaning isolated from issues of culture, history, race, and gender which might have affected their production, or would affect their analysis. Many academic disciplines will appear in your English classes to enhance your understanding of the contexts in which writing is created and interpreted.

Because of our small size, you also will receive a personalized educational experience with a great amount of individual attention both inside and outside of class from competent, caring professors sensitive to your personal needs and interests. Your classes in your major will be small and interactive with an emphasis on helping you develop as a well-rounded person, a thinker, and a communicator. These attributes make graduates in English desirable to employers in a wide range of jobs, particularly those requiring contact with the public.

What extracurricular activities are available through the English Department?

Many students pursue their interest in writing and literature outside the classroom by participating in the Literary Society. Through regular meetings this organization offers students an atmosphere of friendly camaraderie and an opportunity to share and discuss their writing with others, and to publish their writing at the end of each school year in the Walsh Literary Magazine. The Society sponsors and organizes campus events including coffeehouses and dances. Students can also participate in the University's drama group, the Genesius Players. In existence since 1977, the Genesius Players produce two plays each year ranging from comedies, to dramas, to musicals. The English faculty also provides social gatherings, often at a professor's home, for English majors to meet and mingle with their peers and faculty.

Can I get credit for courses I've taken at other schools?

Yes, you can. Most English programs offer the same type of basic composition, speech, and survey courses in literature. You should get credit for most, or all, of these if you received a grade of C or higher. Upper division courses (usually third or fourth year) are more distinctive and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Chair of the division. However, most of these will count either as electives or major requirements. The registrar's office will conduct a final transcript review on all courses to determine for what courses you will receive credit.

Does the English department offer a program for non-native speakers?

Yes, but only for students with a minimum TOEFL score of 500 and intermediate language proficiency levels in all language skills. The department offers three ESL courses in grammar, listening/speaking, and reading/writing to improve the language competency of non-native speakers.

Will advanced placement courses I took in high school count for credit?

The courses themselves will not count. However, if you took an advanced placement test at the end of these courses, you will receive credit for English 101 if you scored a 3. If you scored a 4 or higher, you will receive credit for both English 101 and 102.