Affiliation: School of Arts & Letters
The programs in English exemplify the goal of the liberal arts: to prepare people for life. English courses acquaint students with what writers have created in the past, what people in diverse cultures understand and celebrate as literary art, and what the best minds in our own society have to say. They teach analytical skills which are crucial to any sophisticated reader and thinker; and they offer students opportunities to hone their skills in communicating both creative impulses and informed judgments about the world.
Students in the BA program gain some exposure to five of the six major areas of English studies: British Literature, American Literature, World Literature, Linguistics, Criticism, and Writing. They then choose a concentration in one of the five areas and take elective English courses and a senior capstone to complete their major.
English BA graduates are thus provided with habits of thought needed to make intelligent and humane decisions, to communicate those decisions, and to lead others. They should emerge from our program as committed lifelong learners, ready to enjoy their lives as they enter the work world or as they pursue graduate or professional studies. A variety of careers – such as technical writing, journalism, public relations, management, diplomacy, law, linguistics, and education – await graduates of these programs.
English majors interested in pursuing an advanced degree in secondary English teaching at Truman State University must meet the requirements for admission to the Master of Arts in Education program as stated in the Education section of this catalog. These requirements are consistent with the standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of English and should provide a strong foundation for teacher preparation for those pursuing certification or a degree here or elsewhere. Missouri state certification requirements are also listed in the Education section. Close consultation with an English academic advisor is strongly recommended.
The program in English supports the mission and goals of liberal arts at Truman and seeks to prepare students for life. Courses in literature, writing, criticism, linguistics and pedagogy acquaint students with what users of the language have created in the past, what people in diverse cultures celebrate as verbal art, and what the best minds in our own society have to say. They teach analytical skills crucial to any sophisticated reader and thinker in creating informed judgments about the world. They assist students in honing their communication skills in a range of areas. While helping students deepen their enjoyment and appreciation of well-crafted language, the English program also supports them in developing the abilities that will serve them in graduate study, working life, and engaged citizenship.
Successful students of English will learn to:
- Write clearly and compellingly in expressing their own understandings, discovering what they believe, and communicating what they value;
- Engage what others believe and value, with curiosity, tolerance and discernment;
- Work with an awareness of the history and structure of language and its products;
- Communicate with confidence in a variety of settings and for a variety of purposes and audiences; and
- Read insightfully, with understanding and satisfaction.
DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN ENGLISH
Seniors who wish to graduate with Honors in English must meet these requirements and follow the procedure below:
- 3.50 or better overall GPA
- A 15-page paper (or the equivalent) supervised by a mentor and approved by the English Honors Committee
- Eligible student chooses a faculty member with expertise in the topic for the 15-page paper or project and asks that faculty member to mentor the student in the paper or project.
- Student, under guidance of the mentor, writes a formal abstract of the paper/project to be submitted to the English Honors Committee no later than April 15 for December graduates; October 1 for May graduates; and February 15 for August graduates.
- Student will work with mentor on the approved paper/project.
- Student will submit paper/project to the English Honors Committee by November 1 for December graduates; April 1 for May graduates; and July 1 for August graduates.