Department of English

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Study English at Millersville

English at Millersville University

At Milllersville, we realize that choices don’t end with a college and a major. You will continue to make choices, and we want to prepare you not only for your academic life and your first job, but also for the long life you will navigate and the career(s) you will embark on after college. Learn more.

This progressive development means preparing you to derive benefit from change, and possibly from aspects of the future we have yet to even imagine. To prepare you, we have developed an innovative curriculum to nurture your intellectual versatility to make you not only an innovative player in the environments you know, but also an up-and-coming professional in fields that may emerge.

Our community values this versatility, because it’s the foundation of positive change in all disciplines, and it’s also the basis of a life full of exploration, creativity, and innovation. We want not only to prepare you to tackle the issues of today, but also to give you the drive to keep learning to address the complexities of tomorrow.

Our intellectual community has developed around this principle, and if you envision yourself as a life-long learner, a spirited individual, and a maker of change, you will probably find your people here—classmates who question and engage, teachers who inspire and challenge, and an overall community committed to social justice and positive innovation.

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Optimize Your Learning for Personal and Professional Success

Optimize Your Learning for Personal and Professional Success

Whether you start out wanting to teach, and then decide you want to work in publishing, or you start out wanting to go to law school and then go into business, MU English will prepare you not only for those career paths, but also for negotiating your changes as smoothly as possible—whether they happen in college or 20 years down the road. Learn more.

We give our students confidence across varying life/job opportunities by providing them with sound foundational skills to maximize their versatility in analyzing patterns, problems and structures; with styles and genres of writing/language/media; with audiences on different platforms; and with diverse teams of people. This flexibility of mind makes our resourceful students valued in almost any organization, as the research below attests.

According to a 2013 national survey of employers by Hart Research {link}, in evaluating new hires, employers value innovation, critical thinking, clear communication, complex problem solving, integrity, intercultural skills, research abilities, and analytical skills—all abilities and aptitudes developed in English majors (source below).

  • Nearly all employers surveyed (95 percent) say they give hiring preference to college graduates with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace.
  • 92 percent agree that “innovation is essential” to their organization’s continued success.
  • Nearly all those surveyed (93 percent) say that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.”
  • More than 9 in 10 of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.
  • More than 75% of employers say they want more emphasis on 5 key areas including: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.
  • Employers endorse several educational practices as potentially helpful in preparing college students for workplace success. These include practices that require students to a) conduct research and use evidence-based analysis; b) gain in-depth knowledge in the major and analytic, problem solving and communication skills; and c) apply their learning in real-world settings.

Source: It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. 2013. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities and Hart Research Associates.

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What Employers Want, We have

What Employers Want, We Have

What do Michael Eisner (Disney CEO), Barbara Walters (journalist), Conan O’Brian (television host), Grant Tinker (NBC), Mario Cuomo (governor), Ann Mulcahy (Xerox CEO), Sting (singer), Mitt Romney (politician), and Steven Spielberg (director) have in common? That’s right—they were all English majors! Learn more.

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/16-wildly-successful-people-who-majored-in-english-134415857.html

English majors go on to an incredibly diverse set of jobs. Their ability to read and analyze complex materials, to communicate precisely to diverse audiences, and to write effective prose in different genres sets English majors apart. While these skills can be assets in many careers, English majors’ two noteworthy characteristics distinguish them in the job market: creativity and empathy. These dispositions are valued in almost every field.

Although a true education is more than getting job skills, increasingly students and parents are concerned about job prospects. Often, people think the only jobs English majors qualify for is English teachers, but that is hardly the case.

While academia organizes on disciplines, the job market searches on job skills, and the English major boasts impressive qualifications for excellent and available jobs. The English majors’ skill set is not the literature they know and love (although cultural capital always helps careers), but the ways that they have learned to research, to analyze, to structure, to find patterns, to construct and disassemble meaning, to synthesize, to empathize, to organize, to argue, to persuade, to communicate, to situate, to style, to design, to innovate, and to create. Here’s but a few things English majors do with these skills:

WRITERS: Ever think about what you read on the web? It’s all written communication—the arena of the English major! Writers are needed for news (journalists), for technical publications, for science, for grants, for social media, for copywriting, for creative pieces, for scripts, and for freelance stories.

If you have a predilection for a field you want to write in, marry your English major with a minor in the field you intend to write in—especially if science or technical writing is your interest. Remember precision in language is of central importance in these fields.

RESEARCHERS: English majors know how to research, and how to do it well. This skill is required in almost any business. Market research, literature research, media research, medical research, educational research, trend research—English majors not only get the data, but they read the patterns.

MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT: Like the web, much of what appears in our media-driven world is (gasp!) scripted… and someone has to write it, plan for it, design it, and bring it into being. Your ability as a creator of unique individual ideas (and your understanding of how these ideas have developed in the past) distinguishes the English major from many other majors that value repetition of known elements over individual innovation. Plus, you understand narratives, and most media relies on stories.

The English major with technical skills plays a central role here. Marry your BS degree with a minor in Computer Science, Communications, Art (graphics), or the subject you want to create media about, and your credentials become that much stronger. Get an internship and try your hand at developing websites, marketing strategies, public relations campaigns, or creating computer game narratives. At MU, we’ll give you the versatility you need to make it happen.

BUSINESS, FINANCE, AND GOVERNMENT

Analytical, research, critical thinking, and communications skills make the English major a valued resource in both big corporations and small businesses. Whether you are in marketing, public relations, web development, or human resource management, English skills are an asset. In addition, our government needs skilled and thoughtful researchers, analysts, speech writers, campaign managers, and decision makers. Whether working in the local, state or Federal government, English majors make a difference to our communities’ futures.

If you are considering a job in business or finance, try to minor in Business or Economics. If you are thinking about a career in public service, consider a minor in government or International Studies, and definitely look at The Harrisburg Internship Semester.

PREPROFESSIONAL

A number of forward=thinking future professionals use the English major as a springboard for advanced degrees.

Interested in law? The English major creates a foundation of analytical and rhetorical skills, with complex reading strategies, that enable students to tackle the dense prose of our legal communities. Minor in government or economics or a discipline related to the type of law you hope to practice. Focus on precise reading and interpretation skills. Consider The Harrisburg Internship Semester.

Interested in medical school? The movement in the medical humanities makes English a sound choice for a double major to help you get into med school. Med schools now want their future doctors to understand and empathize with their patients more—and with English comes empathy, as reading about different situations and experiences broadens your understanding of people’s perceptions.

TEACHERS

Last but not least--if you want to teach, we have the best school in PA for future Language/Communications/English Arts teachers. We are Middle States Accredited and PDE certified, plus you’ll get the latest in education trends. And then we’ll give you a year of training in the classroom with our PDS model of student teaching.

IF you major in English Education, your minor will be Education, and we have strategically selected those courses for your professional success and accreditation. We teach you not only those skills of the English major mentioned above, but how to teach those skills as well.

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Professional Swagger

Get Your Professional Swagger Here—Experience in the Field

Whatever you decide to do with your degree, we’d like to give you some experience before we launch you into your career.  Learn more.

Our Experiential Learning and Career Management Center will help you hone your academic learning on real-world activities. Under the guidance of Millersville University faculty, you will practice your skills in businesses on or off campus.

Fascinated by journalism? Hone your skills by interning on our award-winning newspaper, The Snapper.

Want to make changes in government? Work toward The Harrisburg Internship Semester to establish a network of professional contacts or intern at a government office.

Dedicated to non-profit? Intern at one of the many non-profit jobs available through ELCM .

Addicted to social media? Follow your multitasking mind into a career of engaging clients through your varied interests and abilities.

Love that research? Go deep into it at a market research or library internship.

Always wanted to be a teacher? We will develop your pedagogical potential into a professional ease under the guidance of our teacher-mentors in our Professional Development School.

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Explore Your Potential

Explore Your Potential, Our Possibilities

Whether you like to explore new cultures, new ideas, or new opportunities, Millersville English is the place for you. Learn more.

LANCASTER ROCKS FOR FUTURE EDUCATORS
In 2015, Lancaster ranks the best place to live for educators. By studying here to become a teacher, you have the edge at getting a job in great overall city to teach in.  And that's not Millersville saying that, or even a PA organization--this was a national ranking. Check out the data!

STUDY ABROAD
Take some of your English courses in England, or brush up on your foreign language with native speakers with our Study Abroad Programs (with many, you pay the same tuition as at Millersville University.)

HONORS COLLEGE
Challenge your intellect to excel by enrolling in our Honors College.

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Engage with the community with our community service courses or our opportunities through Volunteer Central.

SOCIAL OPPORTUNTIES
Get social with our English Club and Film Club. Whether you go to Broadway for a play, or the Toronto International Film Festival for the latest premieres, you are sure to expand your horizons.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Practice your future profession in one of our many internship opportunities  or in our Professional Development School program for future teachers.

HOPING TO BECOME A JOURNALIST?
Get experience with our award-winning paper, The Snapper, and consider our new program in Digital Journalism.

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Creative Community

Embrace Our Creative Community

Millersville University and its neighboring city of Lancaster value creativity in special ways. Learn more.

For example, in Lancaster City, the first Friday of every month is dedicated to a celebration of art and culture downtown. The art galleries open, our Ware Center downtown holds art-centered events, and musicians take to the streets for a celebration of the life of the arts.

On campus, we have art shows, film series, invited speakers, and various creative events to encourage the exchange of ideas and of creative energies.

In the English Department, this energy manifests in several English-based endeavors.

For example, The George Street Carnival is our own literary magazine juried, organized, and published by our students.

The English Club features events for creative writers to get together, as well as events that promote cultural exchanges.

The Film Club offers films each semester to discuss ideas and issues presented in media. At times, they join with the Philosophy Society and other MU Clubs to explore interdisciplinary issues of common interest with films.

The University also offers many other creative clubs housed in other departments. If you don’t find your special interest, you can make your own proposal to start a club!

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Millersville University helps students to become a more thoughtful fellow human

Become a more Thoughtful Fellow Human

The study of the humanities matters to our selves, to our democracy, to our world. At Millersville, we share the belief with Judith Butler that “we lose ourselves in what we read, only to return to ourselves, transformed and part of a more expansive world.” Learn more.

In Butler’s 2013 commencement speech, she argues that the humanities transform our world views in ways that allow individuals in our society to be more thoughtful and to empathize/connect with others:

“The humanities allow us to learn to read carefully, with appreciation and a critical eye; to find ourselves, unexpectedly, in the middle of the ancient texts we read, but also to find ways of living, thinking, acting, and reflecting that belong to times and spaces we have never known. The humanities give us a chance to read across languages and cultural differences in order to understand the vast range of perspectives in and on this world. How else can we imagine living together without this ability to see beyond where we are, to find ourselves linked with others we have never directly known, and to understand that, in some abiding and urgent sense, we share a world?”

The development of critical thinking in the study of literature also connects to maintaining our democratic way of life. As Butler contends, "An active and sensate democracy requires that we learn how to read well, not just texts but images and sounds, to translate across languages, across media, ways of performing, listening, acting, making art and theory.”

At Millersville, we understand the significance of this responsibility to educate thoughtful citizens and people who will continue to think long and deep about their lives and the lives of those around them. We help you identify and develop the meaning of/in your life by instilling a love of curiosity, critical thinking, and life-long learning.

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