The Department of English

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The purpose of the English major at California State University, Chico, including the options in English Literature, English Studies, and English Education, is to provide students with effective learning opportunities in the areas of American, British, and international literature; composition and rhetoric; creative writing; literary editing and publishing; and linguistics. Students are exposed to diverse teaching practices that help them to acquire knowledge, skills, and experiences appropriate to an educated, literate citizenry. The English major provides a broad and balanced curriculum designed to develop the critical reading and writing practices, the wide-ranging interpretative abilities, and the historical and cultural awareness of its students. Graduates of the department are positioned to pursue careers in multiple fields, including graduate-level study. In addition, the English Education option assists students in developing the breadth and depth of knowledge required to teach in accordance with the English Language Arts Standards adopted by the California Department of Education.

Goals for Majors

  1. Graduates will have an understanding of texts from a wide array of genres.
  2. Graduates will be familiar with a range of texts across different cultures and different time periods.  
  3. Graduates will master the formal styles of writing, revising, and argumentation that are used in the field of English.
  4. Graduates will be able to extend what they have learned in the classroom to experiences outside of the classroom context.
  5. Graduates will understand how to apply the information they have learned in class to their future teaching experiences. (English Education only)

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. A. Students can read texts from a wide array of genres using a variety of critical reading practices.
    B. Students can identify the characteristics of specific genres and a range of terms and categories specific to genre-study in the field of English.

  2. A. Students can read and interpret a range of texts from American, British, and international cultures.
    B. Students can identify the changing contexts of writing in English, from medieval through contemporary times.

  3. A. Students can write clear, concise, rhetorically effective, reasonably error-free prose for a variety of purposes and audiences.
    B. Students are able to draft and revise their own written work.

  4. Students take part in English-related activities offered outside of classroom contexts, including dramatic productions, public lectures, literary readings, and internships in community settings.

  5. A. Students can demonstrate ways of adapting teaching strategies from courses they take to courses they will teach.
    B. Students show how to use the current California Content Standards for English when developing classroom curriculum.

Graduate Program

Mission Statement

The English Department at California State University, Chico offers the Master of Arts degree in English with patterns in creative writing, language and literacy, and literature. The program is committed to advancing knowledge and creativity by nurturing a community of students, scholars, teachers, and creative writers. We believe that broad reading in historical and contemporary literary, critical, and theoretical texts provides a foundation for more specialized study and research. Through internships and seminars in pedagogy, our Teaching Associateship Program provides teacher training and helps our students develop their teaching philosophies and hone their professional skills. 

Goals and Student Learning Objectives

The MA in English is a 30-unit program built on a 9-unit core, a set of 12-unit pattern requirements, and 9 units of elective coursework. The program is designed to address the needs of a diverse student population, preparing those who plan to teach at community colleges, those who intend to pursue writing careers, and those who wish to enter MFA programs in creative writing or doctoral programs in English language and literature or in rhetoric and composition. Our student learning objectives are as follows:

  1. Student work demonstrates appropriate knowledge in his or her area of concentration: Literature; Language and Literacy; Creative Writing; and/or Pedagogy.
  2. Student work demonstrates advanced skills in reading, evaluating, and writing critically on various subjects in the field of English language, literature, and the literary arts.
  3. Student work applies and demonstrates, appropriate to the student’s area of concentration, comprehensive knowledge in scholarly research and methods, theoretical application, critical analysis, academic writing, and/or creative writing.
  4. By means of rigorous training and practice, interested students should be able to independently design and teach college-level courses in writing and literature.