General Statement: The program provides an education in literature and in the English language. A student who majors in English should gain an understanding of the use of the language for both aesthetic and practical purposes, and should therefore be able to use language effectively and recognize its effective use. Through the study of literature, the student also becomes familiar with some of the great minds in history and the cultures of which they were a part.
The English major, as a participating WRITE Program, is committed to providing students with the opportunity to develop the written communication skills necessary to succeed in their discipline and vocation. Working in partnership with the WRITE Program, the English major builds on and promotes the transference of writing skills from the general education curriculum through specifically sequenced core courses.
English majors who successfully complete the distribution requirements for upper-division (3000 and 4000 level) courses in English will be able to:
- Recognize most of the major authors, works, themes, and styles associated with at least two of the following periods of English literature, where “major” is understood to mean “of canonical and/or historical significance”:
- American Literature
- African American Literature
- British Literature before 1800
- British Literature after 1800
- Utilize advanced reading comprehension skills, including the ability to analyze component parts of a literary text and to interpret figurative language, such as metaphor and symbolism, and stylistic or tonal nuances such as irony or satire.
- Recognize and apply the basic methodologies of most of the following contemporary modes of literary criticism: New Criticism, Formalism, Psychoanalysis, Reader Response, Marxism, Feminism, New Historicism, Cultural Studies, and Postcolonial Studies.
- Understand at least one extensive example of how literature interacts with the intellectual, cultural, and/or historical contexts within which it emerges.
- Utilize advanced techniques of composition, such as:
- Interpretation of and response to the rhetorical situation
- Summary of primary or secondary sources
- Incorporation of quotation and paraphrase from primary and secondary sources to support analytical and interpretive arguments
- Proper use of MLA format for citation and documentation of sources
- Basic conventions of Technical, Professional, Creative, and/or Academic Research Writing
- Understand fundamental concepts associated with the historical development, and/or modern structure of the English language.
- Participate actively in collaborative hermeneutics, such as large and small group discussions about how to interpret or respond to literary texts, ideas, or other course content.
Students must earn at least a grade of C in all classes required to complete the English major. English majors are also expected to take ENGL 2310 and ENGL 2320 , World Literature I and II (or ENGL 2312 and ENGL 2322 , Honors World Literature I and II), as part of the general education core. Since English offers only the B.A. degree, students must demonstrate competency at the second-year level in a single foreign language.
Students may earn secondary school certification in English by completing the requirements of the general education and professional education cores, as well as ENGL 3710 , Methods of Teaching High School English, and ENGL 3720 , Adolescent Literature. The other certification requirements are spelled out in the four- year curriculum. Successful completion of the certification program results in licensure for grades 7-12. Students ordinarily enter the certification program in their sophomore year. Students must apply in writing to the College of Education for formal admission to the certification program.
The Tennessee Board of Regents Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, Ready2Teach, will officially begin in the fall semester of 2013. Ready2Teach requires residency in K-12 schools during the senior or final year (fall and spring) of undergraduate teacher licensure programs. The residency year includes Residency I during the fall semester and Residency 2 during the spring semester. Residency 1 will include methods courses and 90+ hours field study in K-12 schools. Residency 2 requires a full semester (16 weeks) of student teaching. Residency 1 will only be offered in the fall while Residency 2 will only occur in the spring. This initiative applies to all undergraduate teacher education candidates pursuing teacher licensure. All programs of study will be changed to reflect the new program beginning in the fall semester of 2013. Students are required to seek advisement regarding their licensure programs as early as possible during their academic career at Tennessee State University to ensure that all prerequisite courses and Praxis exams are complete in preparation for Residency.
The Department offers two other programs in English: the English minor and the minor in Professional Writing. Also, the Department encourages students to take a double major, combining English with another major. Students interested in any of these programs should consult an English advisor or the Department Chair.