Mission Statement of the English B.A. Major at IUP

  • The following was approved by the department when the B.A. program was revised in 2009.

    The B.A. program in English prepares students to become

    • Skillful interpreters of language and literature who can read, write, and think critically; listen attentively; and express themselves effectively in diverse contexts;
    • Responsible citizens with a critical foundation to appreciate, analyze, and create various kinds of texts in ways that can contribute to lifelong growth in a variety of personal, intellectual, and professional pursuits.

    The program offers a course of study for achieving these goals that embodies four kinds of knowledge—historical, civic, personal, and professional—to help students

    • Learn methods for examining the historical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of texts;
    • Develop an understanding of how language and literature have shaped past and present cultures;
    • Practice diverse forms of literacy (reading, writing, speaking, performing) that engage with and respond to various local, regional, national, and international cultural contexts;
    • Acquire the proficiency in oral and written communication needed to enter the wide variety of professions in which literacy and languge play crucial roles.

    To meet these objectives, the program combines structure and flexibility in its combination of required and elective course work. Flexibility is also key to course work in its emphasis on literary, filmic, oral, performance, and electronic texts, and both creative and discursive writing experiences. Through various curricular and extracurricular activities and a combination of professional advising and peer mentoring guidance, the program seeks to accomodate student interests and involve students in a community of scholars and creative individuals.

    The B.A. in English Studies reflects the diversity of subject matter, methods, and purposes of this vital, constantly evolving field. B.A. majors will have the opportunity to pursue the traditional concern of literary study—the careful analysis of canonized works—as well as encounter and analyze texts by members of traditionally marginalized groups and texts that are nontraditional or innovative in form or content. We encourage students to design their course of study so that they can be active and capable members of the global community and effective contributors to the multicultural workplace. To these ends, the department is committed to promoting and supporting an intellectual environment in which minority writers, nontraditional texts, and a variety of critical perspectives are an integral part of the curriculum.