Evaluative criterion 1—Program quality Committee: Michael (chair)



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Evaluative criterion 1—Program quality

Committee: Michael (chair), L. Kinnahan, Purdy, and Barnhisel
1) Describe the history and mission of the program and how it complements the mission of the University?
*Course descriptions from the last five years and Faculty Profiles are available in the Appendix for Evaluative Criterion 1.
The English major has historically been offered within Duquesne University’s College of Liberal Arts and underwent a major reconfiguration instituted for all incoming students as of fall 2004 in order to better address the needs of students and to better represent the changing field of literary studies in the twenty-first century.

The mission of the English major is to develop the skills, the knowledge, and the consciences of the next generation of leaders who will shape the world that they inherit by teaching students to think, read, and write critically and creatively; to appreciate creative work; and to acknowledge and understand socio-cultural diversity.

The mission of the English major dovetails with and complements the University’s mission in the following ways:


  • The English major is committed to excellence in liberal education as demonstrated through the careful design of its requirements, the rigor and diversity of its courses, and the high quality of its faculty in the areas of teaching and scholarship (through careful, selective hiring and on-going mentoring).

  • The English major is designed to expose students to diversity and to issues of social justice by designing courses that include writers of different genders, classes, races, ethnicities, and nationalities as well as texts that grapple with social, ethical, and/or moral values. Most English faculty members engage issues of diversity and social justice in their teaching and scholarship. Moreover, the English Department’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its recent hiring of three faculty members whose expertise lie in African American literature, Post-Colonial literatures, and African literatures and who are themselves African American, Korean American, and Iranian American respectively.


2) Describe the program goals, number and type of degrees offered, tracks or concentrations, and learning objectives and outcomes.
On the undergraduate level, the English Department offers a B.A. in English (it also offers a B.A. in Theater Arts, but that program is being reviewed separately). The revised major establishes a series of core requirements in the form of three surveys, an introduction to the major, and a senior seminar. In addition the revised major allows students to concentrate in one of the following three areas: literary studies, writing, or film.

The English major’s goals are to support the Duquesne University mission by helping students acquire an outstanding education in the liberal arts and to develop in students the literary study, composition, and research skills that are the bedrock of academic and professional excellence.



The learning objectives for the major are to:

  • Develop students’ working command of the breadth of British and American literature and/or film; of literary and/or film history (including both canonical and non-canonical writers and/or directors); of the political, cultural, and philosophical issues that inform literary and/or film studies; and a diversity of critical perspective.

  • Provide students the opportunity to read and study literature and film from across the globe.

  • Provide students the opportunity to address issues of diversity and social justice in the texts they study.

  • Develop students’ ability to read and think critically and creatively about text, ideas, and their writing and/or film strategies.

  • Develop students’ ability to conduct scholarly research and present the results of that research in a form consistent with the requirements of the discipline

  • Develop students’ ability and confidence to write lucid and persuasive prose and/or creative work in a variety of modes and to a variety of audiences.

  • Teach students the fundamental importance of and developing students’ enthusiasm for literature, writing, and/or film and the creative imagination.


Core Requirements for All English Majors (12 credits)

  • Critical Issues in Literary Studies, 300W (3 credits)

  • Three 200-level survey of literature classes (9 credits in total) chosen from the following:

    • Survey of British Literature I (3 credits)

    • Survey of British Literature II (3 credits)

    • Survey of American Literature I (3 credits)

    • Survey of American Literature II (3 credits)

    • *Students with a Film Studies Concentration must take Introduction to Film (3 credits) as one of their three surveys.

    • *English Education majors must take Survey of British Literature I (3 credits) as one of their three surveys to fulfill State requirements.


Literary Studies

The literary studies concentration offers knowledge of global English-language literature through a curriculum emphasizing the relationship between literature, culture, society, and ethical issues. In addition to the core requirements, students concentrating in literary studies must meet the following distribution requirements:



  • One 400-level Diversity course that may fulfill simultaneously any other 400-level requirement (3 credits)

  • One 400-level course in American Literature (3 credits)

  • One 400-level course in British Literature (3 credits)

  • One 400-level course of the student’s choice (3 credits)

  • One Senior Seminar (3 credits)

  • Two electives (6 credits), with no more than one course below the 215 level

  • *Secondary Education students must also fulfill the following requirements to meet Pennsylvania State Board of Education certification: take one course dealing with the history of the English language such as Survey of British Literature I or History of the English Language (3 credits), one course in World Literature beyond the 100 level (3 credits), and one course in Grammar or Linguistics (3 credits)—these courses can simultaneously fulfill other requirements for the English major with a literary studies concentration.

Students completing an undergraduate major in English with an emphasis in literary studies will be able to meet the following learning outcomes:



  • Identify and discuss a range of literary texts, writers, and ideas and their relations to one another.

  • Discuss historical, literary historical, political, cultural, and philosophical interests and issues that inform literary study

  • Conduct scholarly research that entails responsibly and ethically locating and using resource materials for the purpose of building critical arguments.

  • Critically read and discuss the scholarly work that has been produced in the field of literary study.

  • Think and write coherently and clearly about literature.

  • Articulate how literature is connected to their own lives and to participation in a democratic and diverse society.


Writing Studies

The writing concentration affords the opportunity to combine literary study with course work that focuses on writing. Writing workshops in poetry, fiction, creative non fiction, drama, and screenwriting and courses in critical and professional writing enhance creative instincts, clarity, and precision. In addition to the core requirements, students concentrating in writing must meet the following distribution requirements:




  • Three 300- or 400-level writing courses (9 credits)—if students choose to focus on creative writing, they must take courses in at least two genres

  • One 400-level writing course (3 credits)

  • One 400-level literature course (3 credits)

  • One Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Students completing an undergraduate major in English with an emphasis in writing will be able to meet the following learning outcomes:



  • Identify the major modes of writing, including their forms, strategies, and emphases.

  • Explain the strategies by which different modes of writing communicate ideas.

  • Write proficiently in a variety of styles and modes.

  • Conduct scholarly research that entails responsibly and ethically locating and using resource materials for the purpose of building critical arguments.

  • Critically read and discuss the scholarly work that has been produced in creative and/or professional writing.

  • Call upon writing skills to meet the specific needs of personal, professional, and creative writing situations.


Film Studies

The film studies concentration offers knowledge of American and International film through a course of study combining historical, theoretical and technical approaches to the material. In addition, students take courses in film production at Pittsburgh Filmmakers where they have access to the most up to date techniques and equipment. In addition to the core requirements, students concentrating in film must meet the following distribution requirements:



  • One course at Pittsburgh Filmmakers (3 credits)

  • Three film courses (9 credits), at least one of which must be at the 400-level (and one of which may be a second course taken at Pittsburgh Filmmakers)

  • One 400-level literature course (3 credits)

  • One Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Students completing an undergraduate major in English with an emphasis in film will be able to meet the following learning outcomes:



  • Identify and discuss a range of film texts, directors, and ideas and their relations to one another.

  • Discuss historical, literary, political, cultural, and philosophical interests and issues that inform film study.

  • Conduct scholarly research that entails responsibly and ethically locating and using resource materials for the purpose of building critical arguments.

  • Critically read and discuss the scholarly work that has been produced in film studies.

  • Think and write coherently and clearly about film.

  • Articulate how film is connected to their own lives and to participation in a democratic and diverse society.


English Minor

The English minor offers students who are majoring in other disciplines the opportunity to incorporate the study of English literature and/or writing into their degree. Students do not formally declare a concentration when completing a minor, but the objectives and outcomes associated with the minor are consistent with the objectives and outcomes of the major and concentrations, depending upon the area in which students choose to take courses. English minors are required to take at least 18 credits, including the following:



  • ENGL 300W: Critical Issues in Literary Study

  • One English core curriculum course among the following (ENGL 217W: Survey of British Literature I; ENGL 218W: Survey of British Literature II ; ENGL 219W: Survey of American Literature I; or ENGL 220W: Survey of American Literature II)

  • One 400 level literature course

  • Three elective English courses at the 200 level or above


Dual Majors: The English Department offers the following dual-major arrangements/

  • English & Communications

  • English & History

  • English & Journalism

  • English & Media Management

  • English & Philosophy

  • English & Public Relations and Advertising

  • English & Women’s and Gender Studies

  • English & Education: through a special dual degree program, students can obtain a B.A. in English and B.S. in Education.


Secondary English Education

Secondary English Education students must complete a full English Major to meet Pennsylvania State Board of Education certification. They can choose either to receive a B.S. in Education (but completing a full English Major) or both the B.S. in Education and the B.A. in Liberal Arts (the latter entails fulfilling the College of Liberal Arts core requirements as well as completing a full English major).



Education students who are pursuing a Secondary English Education Degree must fulfill the requirements for the literary studies concentration as well as the following additional requirements so as to meet Pennsylvania State Board of Education certification:

  • One course dealing with the history of the English language such as Survey of British Literature I or History of the English Language (3 credits)

  • One course in World Literature beyond the 100 level (3 credits)

  • One course in Grammar or Linguistics (3 credits)


3) Describe how the undergraduate major in English supports other university programs.


  • The English department contributes faculty members to the Honors College’s first-year writing seminars (IHP 101, up to fall 2010; IHP 104, fall 2010 and beyond). In addition, the director of first-year writing has overseen the curriculum, staffing, and evaluation of the IHP 101/104 classes.

  • English department faculty—full-time, part-time, and graduate assistant—teach all of the first-year writing courses (UCOR 101/102) that are University core requirements for all students.

  • Graduate students enrolled in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in English teach UCOR classes and other English major requirement classes (200-level survey courses and genre introductions), supporting those graduate programs by giving the students classroom experience and professional preparation

  • A number of English department undergraduate classes every year are cross-listed with the Women’s and Gender Studies major or minor requirements, and English department faculty and graduate students have administered and served as graduate assistants for the WSGS program.

  • The Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences requires ENGL 302 Science Writing for all of its majors.

  • English department linguistics, grammar, and world literature courses are requirements for the Secondary English Education program in the School of Education.

  • English department courses fulfill requirements for NACTE/Pennsylvania State Board of Education teaching certificates.

  • English department courses fulfill University Core Theme Area requirements, particularly in the areas of Creative Arts and Global Diversity.

  • English department courses on occasion are cross-listed with other departments’ courses, allowing students to take English courses to fulfill requirements in their majors.

  • The advanced discipline-specific research methods taught most specifically in ENG 300 Critical Issues in Literary Study and in the ENG 450W Senior Seminars (but also in a number of other classes) contribute to the University Core Curriculum’s imperative to teach information literacy.

  • Many non-majors take upper-division English courses in order to fulfill their “W” (substantial writing component) course requirement.

  • The undergraduate English major is a key component of our five-year B.A. to M.A. English program.

  • Jim Purdy, the Director of the University Writing Center, is a faculty member in the English department; undergraduate tutors in the Duquesne Writing Center are frequently English majors; and the English major program (particularly its requirement of multiple “W” courses) prepares students to work in the Center.

  • English department faculty have been mainstays of the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts Learning Community program, teaching the UCOR 101 class and other classes in the Litterae and Populus communities. Litterae’s second-semester class (a 200-level genre introduction) fulfills a requirement for the undergraduate English major.

  • English majors form a disproportionate number of staffers on the Duke newspaper.

  • English majors staff the :lexicon literary magazine and many of the contributions to the magazine come from undergraduate creative-writing classes.


4) Describe how the program compares with peer and aspirant institutions.
General Institutional Comparisons

  • University population: Duquesne’s undergraduate population (5,858) is smaller in size than Marquette (8113); University of St. Louis (8100); Boston College (9171); and Notre Dame (8363). Of the comparative institutions, only Catholic University has fewer undergraduates (3470).

  • 2011 US News & World Report Rankings:

  • Notre Dame, #19 National University ranking (NU), #46 English graduate program (EGP)

  • Boston College, #31 NU; #58 EGP

  • Marquette, #75 NU, #94 EGP

  • St. Louis, #86 NU; #94 EGP

  • Catholic, # 120 NU; #110 EGP

  • Duquesne, #120 NU; #110 EGP

  • Number of Majors: Duquesne currently has 213 English majors. Aspirant institutions claim larger numbers of majors than Duquesne. Boston College (900) has more than four times as many majors, while Notre Dame (300) has a little less than a third more. Among comparable institutions, Marquette has 268 majors; St. Louis has 170; and Catholic has 70.




  • Number of Tenure-track Faculty: Duquesne has 18 tenure-track English faculty members teaching in the English major, plus1 full-time Theater faculty member who teaches in both Theater and English; and 2 full-time temporary faculty who teach primarily in the CORE although are usually assigned one English course per year. Only Catholic University (with fewer students and majors) has a smaller faculty, with 16 tenure-track faculty member; among other peer institutions, St. Louis has 24 tenure-track faculty; and Marquette lists 25-28 tenure-track faculty, with 6 Visiting professors. Notre Dame has 35 tenure-track faculty members, and Boston College has 42.

  • Teaching Load: Duquesne, Marquette, and Catholic have a 3/2 standard teaching load for English faculty; St. Louis, Boston College, and Notre Dame have a standard 2/2 teaching load for English faculty.

  • University Core Curriculum: English departments in all peer and aspirant institutions take part in a University core.

  • Duquesne: 6 hrs. (Freshman Writing sequence); English contributes courses to satisfy Theme Area requirements

  • Boston College: 6 hours (1st Year Writing Seminar; Literature core course); English department contributes courses to 3 hrs. of Cultural Diversity

  • Notre Dame: 3 hours (1st Year Writing Seminar); English contributes significant numbers of courses to 3 hr. Literature course requirement and 3 hr. Fine Arts requirement (1st-level Creative Writing courses)

  • Catholic U: 6 hrs. (Freshman composition sequence)

  • Marquette: 6 hrs. (Freshman composition sequence); English contributes significantly to required 3 hrs in Literature & Performing Arts; and 3 hrs. in Diversity

  • St. Louis: 6 hrs. Core English requirement (3 hrs. at 200-level; 3 hrs. at 300-level); contributes significantly to 3 hrs. of Cultural Diversity


Specifics about the English Major

  • Concentrations or Tracks for the Major:

  • English Major in Literature: all institutions

  • English Major in Writing: Duquesne (Writing Concentration that can combine creative and professional writing, or focus on one); Marquette (Writing Intensive Major [WINE] that can combine creative and professional writing, or focus on one); Boston College (Creative Writing); St. Louis (Creative Writing)

  • English Major in Film: Duquesne

  • Number of hours for major: All institutions require 30 hours for the English Major in Literature; Duquesne and St. Louis require 30 hours for the English Major/concentration in Writing; Boston College and Marquette require 36 hours for the English Major/concentration in Writing.

  • Distribution Requirements, Literature Concentration: all institutions specify distribution requirements, although along different principles and/or combining multiple modes of distribution, as follows:

    • National literatures or areas: Duquesne, Boston College, St. Louis, Marquette, Catholic

    • Time periods: Duquesne, Boston College, St. Louis, Marquette

    • Major author: Catholic, Marquette

    • Levels: Duquesne, St. Louis, Catholic,

    • Genre: Boston College: Catholic; Notre Dame

    • Critical sub-field: Duquesne (Diversity); Notre Dame (Literary History; Literary Culture); Marquette (Language Study)

  • Distribution Requirements, Writing Concentration: Duquesne, Boston College, St. Louis, and Marquette each combine core & upper-division literature requirements with 12-15 hrs. of writing requirements. Duquesne students take 30 hours and must also take a Senior Seminar; Marquette and Boston College students take 36 hours.

  • Gateway Course requirement: Duquesne; Notre Dame; St. Louis offers writing options for the CORE intended for English majors but not required

  • Senior seminar course: Duquesne (varied topics, capped at 15); St. Louis (varied topics, capped at 12); Catholic (major authors); Boston College; Notre Dame (research seminar)

  • Senior capstone experience, non-course: Catholic (comprehensive exam); St. Louis writing students (senior portfolio)

  • Survey requirement: Duquesne (9 hrs); Marquette (9 hrs); Catholic (6 hrs. Brit Lit I & II)

  • Secondary English Education Major: Duquesne (a full 30-hour major, plus 3-6 hours of PA state requirements that include a course in Grammar or Linguistics; and a global literature course. English Ed. students are required to take the Survey of British Literature I as one of their three surveys to meet the PA requirement for a course component on the history of the English language. )

  • English Honors Program: Boston College (6 hrs. senior research project); Notre Dame (senior thesis; 33 hr. major)

  • Self-tailored English Major: Notre Dame


Distinctions

  • Writing Internships: Marquette

  • English Honor Society: Duquesne, Marquette, Notre Dame

  • Interdisciplinary concentrations and/or minors: Marquette; St. Louis

  • Dual major programs: Duquesne, Catholic University, Marquette

  • Self-Tailored English Major: Notre Dame

  • English Honors Program: Notre Dame, Boston College

  • International campuses for study in English Major: Duquesne (Rome campus; Galway affiliation); St. Louis (Madrid campus); Notre Dame (London; Dublin)

  • Creative Writing Awards: Duquesne, St. Louis

  • Creative Writing colloquia: Boston College, required of all creative writing majors

  • Literary Publications: Duquesne, Notre Dame, St. Louis, Marquette, Boston College

  • Literary Festivals: Notre Dame (Notre Dame Literary Festival; Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival)

  • Comprehensive exam for seniors: Catholic

  • Senior Creative Writing portfolio: St. Louis

  • UCOR courses designed for English majors: St. Louis

Evaluative criterion 2—Student Retention, Graduation, and Diversity


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