English is one of the largest departments in the college, with seventeen full-time professors offering more than seventy different courses in composition, creative writing, literature, linguistics, and theory. Courses in creative writing are taught by practicing, prize-winning poets and fiction writers, and courses in literature by published critics and scholars; five department members have received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and a number of faculty have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Large enough to provide a full range of courses in English, the Department is also small enough to provide extensive individual attention to its students through advisement, conferences, collaborative student groups, seminars, and small classes. It does not use teaching assistants as instructors in its courses; all instruction comes from fully qualified professionals. Class meetings range from once a week for two-and-a-half hours, to three times weekly for fifty minutes each, to individual conferences arranged to suit student schedules. Classes are offered both during the day and at night, both during the school year and summer.
The student who successfully majors in English acquires skills necessary for the scholarly, professional and business worlds, particularly the abilities to speak and write effectively; to conduct and report research; to organize and analyze data; and to pursue problems and communicate about them clearly, logically, and succinctly.
The communication skills and understanding of different international cultures that English majors develop prepare them to enter such fields as education, journalism, law, public service, medicine, business, and journalism. English majors bring to their work the flexibility, analytical skills, and confidence needed to be effective thinkers and problem-solvers.
Oneonta’s English majors become teachers, enter government service, and join such private sector areas as administration, advertising, customer service, editing, journalism, management, personnel, public relations, publishing, sales, and technology. They all pursue careers in writing of various kinds.