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Department of Language & Literature
The Department of Language and Literature offers programs of study in English, Modern Languages, Philosophy, and English as a Second Language. Our mission is to train our students to be highly literate, broadly educated graduates, able to think critically, to make informed decisions, and to express themselves creatively. We see this as the ideal goal of all higher education; having such citizenry would be of great social utility. The study of modern languages and cultures prepares students to understand and participate in the multicultural reality of the United States and the global reality of an increasingly interdependent world. Literature addresses matters of the spirit in a way no other discipline does, and the insights gained from its study certainly heighten ones quality of life and enhance ones appreciation of our culture and foreign cultures.
The Department of Language and Literature has a long-standing reputation for strong teaching and individualized attention to students: our small class sizes and low adviser/advisee ratio make this possible, as well as the variety of out-of-class departmental activities.
English offers a major, minor, or subject endorsement. Within the major students may choose an emphasis in writing or literature, or a combination (writing/literature). The subject endorsement is for 7-12; a Field Endorsement in Language Arts (7-12) is also available and combines coursework in English and Communication. An English major will: (1) have a better understanding of the interaction between culture and literature; (2) learn to analyze and evaluate literary works, both orally and in writing; (3) be able to locate and synthesize complex information; (4) develop creative and analytical writing skills. Moreover, all courses in English provide the background and skills needed to understand the written word, to use language effectively, and to enter careers in which success depends on reading critically and writing competently.
Modern Languages include Spanish, French, and German, as well as selected courses in other languages such as Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian. Modern language study prepares students to live and work in the global village of contemporary society. As students may prepare for careers in secondary education, business, government, nursing, counseling, law enforcement, and other fields, knowledge of other languages can enrich their preparation and enhance their marketability.
The Philosophy minor is designed to enrich students understanding of the views of the important philosophers of the past and to stimulate them to think critically about the basic questions confronting human beings. The minor will help prepare the student for graduate level work in medicine, law, history, political science, business, and any vocation which prizes the tradition of liberal arts studies and critical thinking.
The Undergraduate Endorsement in English as a Second Language supplements a secondary or elementary endorsement and consists of coursework in Communication, English, and Education, plus one year of study (or equivalent proficiency) in another language.