Department of English
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Department of English

The Hillyer College Department of English teaches students to read, write, and think critically. These vital skills help them become thoughtful citizens, see themselves from new perspectives, and deepen their reflection on the human experience. Students develop their writing as a means to learn and explore ideas as well as to communicate effectively in their personal and professional worlds. To meet such goals, students take a two-semester writing sequence in their first year, then select two sophomore courses from an array including American and English Literature, African American Literature, Literature Across Cultures, Advanced Composition, and Creative Writing, plus timely options varying from semester to semester. 

These courses plus mentoring by department faculty succeed in getting students excited about their own ideas. The department celebrates excellence in writing through Shell Keeper, an annual literary magazine of poetry, literary criticism, and short fiction. Students read from their work at a public launch of the journal as well as at other special events such as Words Like Trees, a celebration of Black History Month. Hillyer students have also submitted their work to university-wide writing competitions, where they have received awards.   

Whether our graduates continue in English-related fields such as secondary education and journalism or enter the countless others where effective communication matters, they have developed the mindset of someone who can contribute to conversations on important issues, along with the skills necessary to enhance that contribution.