Bachelor of Arts in English
Department of English
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Overview of the program
Curriculum in English Leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts: develops effectiveness in communication, provides cultural and social background to other major field studies, and prepares students for entrance to certain professions and vocations; the English B.A. Curriculum requires a solid background of English classes as well as essential courses in math, science, and the humanities. The major in English consists of 42 approved semester hours in English. English majors also have the option of receiving an Honors Diploma in the major by fulfilling the requirements specified on page 136 of the 2007-2008 General Catalogue. Virtually every English course required for our majors, from second-semester freshman writing (English 102) to 400/500 senior courses, requires writing projects that promote critical, analytical, and research skills.
The Concentration in Literature and Language builds critical thinking, writing, and analytical and communication skills that prepare students for rewarding careers in teaching, law, management, and a variety of other fields. The study of literature, language, and writing promotes the intellectual flexibility and creativity necessary to succeed in our rapidly changing world. Most of all, it is an education for life.The Concentration in Creative Writing offers students a dynamic combination of education, artistic, and professional experiences in the world of writing and publishing. As part of English’s standard curriculum, the Concentration asks students to take 15 hours from the Department’s core offerings in creative writing. These courses include studies in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama. Students may also wish to take advantage of independent studies with the Programs’ core creative faculty and host of nationally-renowned Writers-in-Residence.
Overview of Minors in the Department of English
- The Minor in English prepares the student for various positions requiring skilled writing and provides essential skills for success in various graduate programs.
- The Minor in Creative Writing trains aspiring poets and fiction writers in the methods of the literary marketplace along with the traditional instruction in writing.
- The Minor in Professional Writing prepares students to work in business and non-profit administrative settings as writers, editors, document production specialists, website designers, and many other allied jobs.
- The Minor in Gender Studies recognizes the (sometimes undervalued) role of women in literary studies and emphasizes the varieties of female experience since the beginnings of literary history. The program uses interdisciplinary teaching in its courses, incorporating literary, psychological, sociological, and historical approaches, among others.
Strengths of the program
- The Department of English, with fifty-five full-time and twenty-five part-time faculty members is the largest on campus. In addition, highly acclaimed writers-in-residence add their creative writing skills to the classroom experience.
- The mission of the department is to help students develop effective analytical, rhetorical, and communication skills; to foster an appreciation for broad social and cultural milieus; to prepare students for entrance to graduate school or professional positions.
- Students can use the English degree as a foundation for a variety of careers where the analytic, reading, and writing skills gained in the major are especially valued; as background for advanced training in professional schools (law, medicine, journalism, and business for example); and for graduate work in literature and other fields.
- The English Department faculty has been recognized on regional, national, and international levels. Some recipients of recent awards are:Dr. Richard Louth: Director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writer's Project. Recipient of numerous awards for his teaching, including the President's Excellence in Teaching Award.
Alison Pelegrin: Recipient in 2006 of a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Most recent volume of poetry, Big Muddy River of Stars (2007) honored with the Akron Poetry Prize.
Dr. Jack Bedell: Recipient of the 2007 Governor's Arts Award, the Woman's Hospital Endowed Professorship in the Humanities, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Special Humanities Award for his poetry and literary editorship.
Dr. Tom Fick:Recipient of the 2007-2010 Leola Purcell Endowed Professorship in English for his work on Creole Literature.
Dr. Jeff Wiemelt: One of twenty faculty nationwide asked to serve as consultant with American Diploma Project on writing and language instruction in public schools.
- The Department's dedication to and support for scholarship and creative writing is exemplified in the following publications: Louisiana Literature, a national fine arts magazine; Nineteenth Century Studies, an international interdisciplinary scholarly journal; Gambit, Southeastern's camputs student literary magazine; and The Pick, Southeastern's journal of exceptional academic writing.
- Our student computer labs are equipped with up-to-date technology including design software, DVD players, VCRs, laptops, and digital cameras as well as a Mobile Presentation Station, which has a Windows machine, a scanner, a projector, high-speed speakers and various types of softward.
Nationally and internationally known Writers-in-Residence:
- Dr. Tim Gautreaux, retired Professor of English at Southeastern, winner of the 2005 John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. Author of two short story collections, two novels, and numerous stories published in such magazines as Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, and GQ.
- Beverly Marshall: visiting Writer-in-Residence. Author of three novels, and winner of the Mississippi Library Association Fiction of the Year Award.
Preparing for a job in the program
Successful English Majors will have:
1. Strong critical and analytical skills
2. Strong communication skills
3. Strong organizational skills
4. Strong writing, editing, and rhetorical skills
Careers in the program
- Teaching: public and private school
- Government, Non-profit Organization, Business administration: in-house publishing and web design, public relations, copywriting, documentation, fundraising, grant writing, management, research
- Publishing/advertising: editor, manuscript reader, publicity and marketing, literary agent
- Other Media: scriptwriting, web design
- Fine Arts: poet, fiction writer, screenwriter, dramatist, arts critic
- Pre-Professional Studies: Lawyer, Librarian, Counselor
Starting Salaries after completing the program (estimates only)
- Business services, insurance, securities, and real estate: $68,000
- Top- and mid-level managerial, executive, and administrative: $63,100
- Broadcasters, writers, editors, and other entertainment and public relations fields: $52,300
- Teachers: $38,000 at the elementary level and $34,500 at the secondary level
(Variations of salary depend on the various fields and location).
(Source is CNN Money and The College Majors Handbook)
Campus organizations and activities affiliated with the program
- English Club: members regularly visit schools and organizations; through proceeds from book sales, they fund Sigma Tau Delta's yearly trip to the International Convention and have the opportunity to present original works.
- Sigma Tau Delta: members must maintain a 3.0 in the major/minor and overall GPA.
- Creative Writing Group: joins faculty and students alike to share and offer suggestions for their works-in-progress. Members regularly participate in regional conferences.
Related fields that might interest you
- Business: administration, TV host
- Non-Profit: fundraising
- Fine Arts : performing, museum administration
- Education: school administration
How do I know this is the degree for me?
Common Strengths and interests of students in the program
- A desire to acquire a strong writing, analytical, and organizational foundation
- Interest in reading and analyzing literature
- Interest in creative writing
- Interest in professional technical writing skills
- Interest in a practical study of writing for professional audiences, such as in script writing, feasibility studies, reports, and professional correspondence
- Interest in use of technology as it applies to writing in the business professions
- Alison Pelegrin: published author and full-time faculty in the Southeastern English Department
- Dr. Paul Gaston, Provost, Kent State University
- Sheila Stroup, columnist with New Orleans Times-Picayune
Department of English
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Hammond, LA 70402
On Campus: D Vickers Hall, Room 222
Office Phone: 985-549-2100Advisor: 985-549-2104