Why Major in English?
Every career field requires strong reading and writing skills. A major in English provides additional skills that translate well to other fields of study, further education or research-based professions. English minors are perfect for students looking to enhance their reading and writing skills in another discipline.
Additionally, all of our students take two semesters of a foreign language, a semester more than the core requirement for other majors. We feel that basic proficiency in a foreign language leads to a greater understanding of the functions of English, as well as provides important context for non-western literature and culture. Our emphasis on writing and literature allows our students in both literature and professional writing concentrations to obtain jobs in dozens of fields. We encourage all of our students to participate in internships on and off campus to gain experience and make valuable connections for whatever they choose to pursue after E-town.
English Professional Writing Alum
Brianna Wiest ‘13
Current Job Title: Writer and Copy Editor for Fine Living Lancaster
While at E-town, Brianna developed a passion and excitement for writing. Since graduating, she has had pieces published at several major organizations including: Allure, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue and Thought Catalog. While at E-town, Brianna served as the editor-in-chief of The Etownian, so it’s only fitting that she served as the Editorial Director at Thought Catalog. In addition to participating in student organizations on campus, she began taking internships by the end of her first year. One of Brianna’s most memorable courses at E-town was a Peace and Conflict Studies course taught by Mr. Jonathan Rudy. She calls it “ one of the most mind-opening experiences” of her life. Much of Brianna’s written work focuses on emotions and mental health. She continually works to better people’s lives through her words. Brianna has published three books, and she continues to build her portfolio.
English Literature Alum
Molly Campbell '08
Current job title: Associate in the Complex Commercial Litigation Group of Reed Smith, LLP with a focus on Business Corporate Disputes
Molly said, “I couldn’t have chosen a better one to go into the legal field” when referring to her chosen major. She feels that the emphasis on writing was the key to her success in law school. While the other skills such as analyzing writing aided her with analyzing documents, and her improvisation skills developed with Mad Cow Improv has come in handy when she needs to think on her feet in the court room these days. Her minor in Spanish has not gone unused either when communicating with clients.
English and Political Science
Valerie Reed '07
Current job title: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
“E-town helped inspire my interest in foreign affairs,” she said. “I had the opportunity to participate in events at the UN, Supreme Court, and World Bank.” She also spent a semester in D.C. as part of the Washington Semester program at American University. "This is my second tour after Caracas, Venezuela,” she said. “Currently, I'm working in the immigrant visa unit, and I adjudicate the cases of Ukrainians who want to move to the United States - either through family or for employment.”Valerie loves the added benefits that come with her position. She earns a living while learning new languages, traveling and enjoying cultural diversity around the world. “As an FSO, it's my responsibility to represent America abroad, and help out Americans who get in trouble abroad, and I take these commitments seriously.” Valerie credits her education for much of her professional success. “E-town is very outwardly focused and globally-minded, and I think that contributed greatly to the work I am doing today." .
English and Political Science Education
Kimberly Warriner '10
Current job title: Full Day Kindergarten Teacher Major George Welch Elementary School for the Caesar Rodney School District on the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware
“I didn’t just learn what I wanted to become at E-town; I learned who I was and what I could do!”
Kimberly was most inspired by her in-classroom observations and experiences while at E-town, she enjoyed working hands-on with students from her very first class. She credits the field placement programs with her level of comfort with all levels of students. She is currently working to obtain her doctorate in Educational Leadership.
In the Department of English
Nathan Matias '05
exploring post doctorate work in psychology at Princeton's center for information technology policy after learning the value of liberal arts.
Nathan Matias ’05 told his mother that he didn’t need to learn chemistry as part of his home-school education because he wanted to work with computers. But a random interaction with a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science convinced him otherwise. He ironically graduated from Elizabethtown College with a degree in English literature and a minor in computer science. Matias learned that a liberal arts education is key to helping students understand how their particular passion fits into the larger worldwide puzzle. Since that he's studied citizen media, technology start-ups, human/computer behavior, and he is presently pursuing post doctorate work in psychology in the center for information technology policy at Princeton. “Tom (Leap) helped me see that computing is ... a lens to see everything else. At that age it was a profound gem of wisdom.”
Our Secondary Education concentration combines English courses with education courses. As an English Secondary Education major you will have the opportunity to explore a wide array of career paths in both the fields of English and education. This program prepares you for a variety of careers in teaching, web writing, content managing and copy editing. A teaching degree from Pennsylvania also offers you the ability to teach in 45 other reciprocal states. The curriculum of this concentration blends English and education, preparing students for multiple career path opportunities. Courses in our English education program equip our students with skills in technical and feature writing, grammar, and teaching methods.
In addition to the required courses, this flexible English degree also allows students to select courses that appeal to their own interests. Students can choose to follow their passion for poetry, drama or corporate writing. In this program, you will be required to complete at least one semester of supervised student teaching, as well as classroom observations, which will allow you to demonstrate the skills you have learned and provide you with hands-on instructional experience. At the successful completion of our program, you will earn a certification to teach Secondary Education in Pennsylvania (grades 7-12), as well as a fully-fledged degree in English.
The Literature Concentration exposes students to a variety of genres, literary critiques, and theory from different periods from history. A concentration in literature provides students the liberty to examine culture, language and history from a variety of perspectives. These examinations serve as opportunities to develop expertise and comprehension. We also require our students to take writing courses to prepare them for the demands of writing in graduate programs or life after college in the work force. Our emphasis on writing and literature allows Literature concentration students to exercise a wide variety of career options in teaching, publishing, writing and marketing, just to name a few.
The Professional Writing Concentration provides skills necessary for careers requiring extensive and specialized writing skills, while also combining literature courses for a more complete understanding of English. Courses in our Professional Writing program include Business Writing, Technical Writing, Legal Writing, and Word, Web, and Design. We prepare our students for careers in web writing, publishing, technical writing, editing, news writing, legal writing and more.
Literature and Professional Writing
The Literature minor and Professional Writing minor are structured as condensed versions of the fully-fledged concentrations. A Literature minor takes several literature courses from different time periods, genres, and styles to develop a basic understanding of literature. A Professional Writing minor takes a combination of writing and literature courses to gain fundamental skills in both writing and reading comprehension.
Our Creative Writing minor is a perfect addition to both English majors and those in other disciplines such as Fine Arts. As an interdisciplinary minor, it pulls courses from multiple departments. The Creative Writing minor prepares students wishing to use their writing and creative abilities in tandem for everything from writing the next great American Novel, to playwriting and screen writing.