Courses

The English Department offers over 200 courses in literature, composition & rhetoric, film, cultural studies, and professional writing. Our curriculum covers foundational skills and learning in addition to more advanced studies of literature, culture, and writing. In addition to our core curriculum, students also have the opportunity to work independently with a faculty member to further their study in a specific subject area that suits their research interests. English courses are identified by the following designations:

ENG – English courses including literature, film, and culture

WRI – Professional writing courses

ENU – Secondary Education/English courses

Course numbers may also include Competency codes. Competencies Across the Curriculum are thematic courses that provide students with a common intellectual experience through which they further develop the interdisciplinary skills acquired through the University Core Curriculum and University Distribution Requirements, thus forming the basis for intellectual and civic capacities. Note that such courses may also fulfill requirements elsewhere in a student’s program of study, either in General Education (except for the University Core Curriculum), the student’s major, or a minor. The competencies are described as follows:

  • Writing Intensive (WI): A Writing-Intensive course recognizes the contribution of writing as a way of knowing and thinking about course content and provides students with multiple writing opportunities in order to deepen their thinking about such content. Therefore, Writing-Intensive courses are designed to be taught in multiple disciplines. A Writing-Intensive course links students’ writing proficiency with learning about the discipline in which the course is taught, engaging in asking and answering questions in that field of study, and becoming more active participants in academic discourse.
  • Quantitative Literacy (QL): A Quantitative Literacy course places emphasis on students reasoning quantitatively, rather than simply being exposed to numerical and computational course content. A Quantitative Literacy course may have many means for imparting to students an understanding of how quantitative reasoning can be applied in the world. Quantitative Literacy is the ability to think about the world based on numerical data. This does not refer simply to the ability to perform computations or to cite someone else’s data. Individuals with strong Quantitative Literacy skills possess the ability to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of contexts and everyday life situations. They understand and can create arguments supported by quantitative evidence, and they can communicate those arguments in a variety of formats using mathematical reasoning through words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, and other expressions of quantitative data.
  • Computer Intensive (CP): A Computer-Intensive course provides students with multiple opportunities to use technology to deepen their understanding of course content, going beyond word processing, e-mail, and the Internet. In addition to learning how to use software, a Computer-Intensive course offers ways for students to expand their understanding of the discipline and become active, refined participants in academic discourse. Computer technology is an integral part of modern life. According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), technology can “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity”. Furthermore, technology offers a wide variety of learning and communication styles.
  • Visual Literacy (VL): A Visual Literacy course provides students with multiple visual communication opportunities, enabling students to interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video using both conventional and 21st-century media in ways that advance thinking, decision-making, communication, and learning (enGauge, 2002). Unlike a visual instruction course (“studio art or craft”) in which the class is largely devoted to visual production, a Visual Literacy course recognizes the contribution of Visual Literacy as a way of knowing and understanding course content. A Visual Literacy course links students’ visual literacy with learning about the discipline in which the course is taught, engaging in asking and answering questions in the field of study, and becoming more active participants in academic discourse.
  • Communication Intensive (CM): A Communication-Intensive course develops students’ abilities to effectively communicate a message to a broad audience using a combination of multiple modes of communication. Communication in the modern world comprises multiple modes that support and enhance the impact and effectiveness of the message. Successful speeches combine aspects of verbal communication, such as word selection, with nonverbal communication, such as eye contact, to inform, persuade, or entertain an audience. An article with supporting visual content and attention to layout, graphics, and font is generally more rich and engaging than one without. Theatrical plays frequently incorporate costumes, music, and set designs to transport the audience into the moment. Students must be able to understand and demonstrate how to combine these modes to meet their personal communication goals or those assigned to them. Students must also be able to reach multiple audiences such as the visually or hearing impaired.
  • Cultural Diversity (CD): A Cultural Diversity course helps students appreciate differences in the ways that people think by taking an explicitly comparative approach, in both space and time. The research on multicultural education strongly suggests that being attentive to diverse voices and views provides an individual with a better understanding of how social, political, economic, and cultural variables shape our worldview. An emphasis on the fact that there are many ways of knowing prepares students for the complexity of the diverse world in which they work and live. Cultural Diversity refers to the differences among people in terms of beliefs, customs, values, politics, and experiences. In essence, culture is a worldview; it is both learned and evolved. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, the following: age, education, ethnicity, gender identity, geography, language, nationality, occupation, physical ability, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and socio-economic class.
  • Critical Thinking (CT): A Critical Thinking course fosters the development of higher-level cognitive abilities; that is, intellectual skills that are purposeful, reasoned, and goal-directed. Critical thinking involves the ability to (a) develop clearly articulated arguments, using evidence and/or systematic logical reasoning in support of a conclusion or point of view; (b) identify relevant points of view and prioritize evidence and/or reasons in support of a conclusion; and (c) describe the broader significance or context of an issue and/or apply logic and reasoning to a novel problem or situation.