Welcome to the English Department!
Why are you here? Either your search engine backfired, or you have a real interest in our English Program. Let's assume the latter.
Courses and Options
The English Program at Vincennes University offers a two-year transfer program leading to either the Associate in Arts (A.A.) or the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree for students planning to transfer to four year colleges and universities.
We are the largest department on campus with over 25 full-time faculty, and one of the real strengths of the English Department is the quality of our faculty. All of our faculty have at least a Master's Degree in English or related fields, and four have earned a Ph.D. Instead of being taught by graduate students, in our Department students are fortunate to have highly qualified teachers with years of classroom teaching experience. Our classes are small enough to promote individual interaction with students, and all of our faculty are readily available for meeting with students during scheduled office hours.
Almost every student attending Vincennes University will take at least one of our courses in English. This is true primarily because one of our many responsibilities is providing basic instruction in writing for all university students. Teaching students how to write, however, involves a good deal more than just teaching the mechanics of grammar. All of our writing courses, from developmental to advanced, are based on the idea that writing and thinking are closely allied. Our goal is to help students learn to express their ideas clearly and effectively.The English Department has two other important responsibilities: the teaching of language and the teachings of literature. Our courses in linguistics and grammar examine the history and structure of the English language and are essential for students preparing to teach in the elementary or secondary schools. Our courses in literature reflect not only the "best that has been thought and written," but also the wide range of interests of our talented faculty. We offer surveys of American, English, and World Literature that provide excellent introduction to the entire scope of the study of literature. We offer an introductory course in literature as well as introductory courses in the genres of poetry, fiction, and drama. In addition, we offer more specialized courses in literature including Literature of the Bible, Contemporary Literature, Children's Literature, the Literary Image of Women, the 20th Century Mystery Novel, and Native American Literature.
Many of our students are interested in writing poetry and fiction, and we offer a course in Creative Writing to give these students a chance to hone their skills and receive feedback on their works. Students can both submit their work for publication in the Tecumseh Review, our literary journal, and help edit the journal. Through our "Autumn Voices" program, we encourage creative writing in the high schools and honor talented students. Every spring the Department sponsors "Poetry on the Green," an outdoor celebration of poetry that provides students and faculty a chance to either read their own poems or to read poems that have become their favorites. Creative writing is often the subject of "First Thursday," the Department's monthly symposium of ideas that gives students and faculty a chance to meet informally to discuss a wide variety of topics.
Majoring in English
Students are sometimes puzzled why anyone would want to major in English. There are several reasons. One very good reason is simply that English is interesting. It provides a glimpse into the minds of men and women from all ages, and it expands our minds as a result. To understand the problems and frustrations encountered by the characters in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales are in many ways very similar to our own is to understand the continuity of the human condition. Aside from aesthetic considerations, there are very practical reasons for majoring in English. An English major learns skills that are essential in any profession. An English major learns to write, and that ability to communicate information clearly and effectively is sorely needed in several fields. English majors have pursued successful careers in law, business, publishing, public relations, journalism, and technical writing. A major in English is a solid foundation for any advanced study.
The variety of subjects and activities I've described reflect the talented and diverse nature of our faculty and students. However, don't take my word for it. Come and see us!For more information, please call 812-888-5113 to speak with the department secretary or with the department interim chair, Dr. Sarah Alderfer.
Learn more about the courses required for this major (A.S. Transfer)