Program Mission Statement
The BA: English degree offers students the opportunity to develop superior knowledge and skills in oral and written communications. Graduates are positioned to enter fields including editing, journalism, and public relations, or gain acceptance into graduate school (e.g., MFA). This course of study encourages students to become empowered and astute readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. Moving beyond traditional approaches, students develop their own voices in writing and speaking. Students respond critically and creatively to literatures in seminar formats and small classes. Whether it is an issue of revision or grammar, faculty encourage open inquiry and a critical understanding of the question of interpretation.
A liberal arts education forms the foundation of our present society and culture. The study of literature, the practice of writing, compels people toward self-reflection where they discover not only those possible sites of commonality, but also how important it is to value our difference. Studying literature and writing thus creates a stronger and more civic-minded person, a person more apt to comprehend the complexity of existence. As technology drives us further from our neighbors but closer to those more distant, we need a citizenry informed by tradition but with the course to create and invent new approaches when necessary. We need a citizenry able to articulate their thoughts formally and informally, in writing and in speech, while acknowledging the importance of diverse opinion to understanding and knowledge.
The BA: English degree emphasizes individuality and the freedom to pursue a history of ideas through a broad and eclectic range of courses. While writing courses prepare students for continued academic success, it is Montana Western’s goal to teach “writing for life” encouraging writers to apply their craft for both self-articulation and for occupational purposes. Montana Western’s perspective on the study of literature and writing is to both teach and learn through new and innovative processes and foster creative and innovative approaches to learning in the classroom and beyond.
With this degree, students will be able to engage the world more fully, with greater insight and understanding. They will have the ability to nurture their creative spirit and mind, and enjoy life more fully and completely, because they will have learned the skills to engage ideas more deeply and complexly.
Program graduates demonstrate:
- Define, identify, and describe primary literary theories that shape literature.
- Interpret and evaluate texts (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, etc).
- Reproduce appropriate applications of current discipline-specific conventions in research and writing.
- Implement key concepts of literary analysis and evaluation in writing.
- Engage in and produce original critical research, activities, or texts.
The graduate outcomes for the BA: English degree are assessed through graduate/exit surveys, employer surveys, alumni surveys, feedback from internship supervisors, review of collected student generated exhibits over time, and program self-study and/or reports from external reviews. The assessment plan for the BA: English is available from the English Department.