The English department curriculum blends literature, composition, criticism, writing and language courses into three programs: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree programs leading to a liberal arts degree, and the Bachelor of Science degree in English Education. The latter has been identified as a model program by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In addition to the traditional liberal arts minor, a student may also minor in the professional writing program, which provides preparation for creative or business writing, or the certifiable language arts/reading minor.
The English department faculty are committed to undergraduate education, with six having been awarded the distinguished teacher award. In addition, many engage in scholarly and other creative activities which enhance their teaching. Among the faculty are two Fulbright Scholars, four National Endowment for the Humanities grant recipients, and authors of books and numerous articles. The faculty stay abreast of current developments within their specialties by participating in local, national and international conferences, and 97 percent have been awarded Ph.D. degrees.
English majors develop abilities that are sought in academic, business, and other professional fields. English Education majors have a 92 percent placement record within the first three years of their graduation, and many are discovering opportunities for teaching English as a second language both in the United States and abroad. Liberal arts majors have found positions in business, advertising, project anagement, public relations, law, politics, foreign service, arts administration, and publishing. Liberal arts majors also find that the English major is beneficial as a pre-professional degree, suitable for graduate studies in law, public administration, and the communications industry.
During my freshman year as an English major at UWRF, James Dickey, later to become famous for his novel Deliverance, chanted his powerful Southern poems from the stage at North Hall and even played a little blues on the guitar. Coming from a small mill town in northern Wisconsin, I'd never seen or heard a real poet before, and I was amazed.
Among those visiting campus when I was a student were Gary Snyder, William Stafford, Galway Kinnell, and Robert Bly. The intimate setting always provided us with opportunities to meet and engage in fruitful dialogue with such literary masters . . . I'll always be deeply grateful to UWRF for this priceless component of a poet's education.
~Thomas R. Smith,
author of Keeping the Star and
Horse of the Earth.
Department of English
245 Kleinpell Fine Arts