Department of English

English Secondary Education/Creative Writing Program

Mission Statement

The academic mission of the SUU English Department's program in secondary education/ creative writing is to prepare students for a career in secondary education and to develop skills in critical and creative thinking and in written and oral communication. The department pursues these objectives through a comprehensive program of classes in literature, language arts, critical theory, and pedagogy, along with courses focusing on craft, process, and the major traditions within fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Instructors provide students with the pedagogical models and methodologies for a career in education related fields and engage students with a variety of writing experiences: classes, workshops, conferences, readings, internships, and collaborations with other arts and disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the graduation requirements for the BA degree in English: Secondary Education will be able to

  • identify, describe, and compare the literary features of a variety of genres across different historical periods and cultures;
  • create lesson plans specific to the study of literary analysis, writing, creative writing, and language arts;
  • apply and assess a range of pedagogical theories appropriate to various secondary-education settings and experiential learning opportunities;
  • apply teaching practices, tutoring strategies, and classroom management skills in the context of national common core requirements of secondary education;
  • present a diverse approach to literature and language arts in the classroom and broader community;
  • write in a variety of genres, showing a critical awareness of tradition, aesthetics, prosody, and narrative techniques;
  • revise to strengthen ideas, form, voice, and language;
  • edit and proofread documents for grammar, syntax, common usage, and punctuation;
  • use technology to produce, collaborate, edit, and distribute writing to a variety of audiences; and
  • produce focused, concrete, and constructive critiques of their own efforts and those of their colleagues.

Program Goals

Academic Excellence and Resources

  • Employ faculty who have the appropriate terminal degree, who are actively publishing, and who keep current in their field
  • Provide opportunities for practical experience and experiential education
  • Assess, evaluate, review, and update course curriculum regularly to ensure that it aligns with LEAP essential learning outcomes, state core curricula, and AWP program guidelines
  • Implement partnership/internships between Iron County School District schools (particularly high schools) to introduce English education students into the program earlier
  • Provide workshops focusing on English content and curriculum issues for English teachers
  • Create open dialogue between student teachers of English and co-operating teachers/supervisors to provide professional development
  • Host/Sponsor co- and extra-curricular activities such as the Fall Creative Writing Conference, the Kolob Canyon Review, and a reading series, as well as maintain/expand funding for these activities 
  • Develop a digital classroom, specifically appointed for writing instruction

Student Success and Engagement

  • Provide a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes critical and creative thinking along with written and oral communication and provides breadth, depth, and diversity of perspective as well as experiential activities such as master workshops, conferences, and readings
  • Develop procedures to assess our course offerings better from the perspective of recent English Education graduates
  • Prepare students better for successful completion of student teaching requirements
  • Provide students with information and training on how they apply their skill sets in a variety of settings and contexts
  • Provide students with the training and equipment that will allow them to thrive in a digital work environment
  • Encourage and foster collaborations with students in other arts and disciplines
  • Offer one-to-one help in the Writing Center for students in Introduction to Grammar and Advanced Grammar courses
  • Facilitate the formation of an English Education Forum to provide a venue for networking among students and discussion of issues related to teaching

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Assist in the creation, development, and regular review and revision of a comprehensive and fair departmental policy manual, focusing on those practices and procedures that impact the literature program
  • Hold regular meetings of relevant subcommittees to create, evaluate, and asses curriculum; maintain equity in workload and course assignment; and schedule/ coordinate extra- and co-curricular activities
  • Formalize learning goals and outcomes for experiential learning connected to education
  • Develop clear standards and guidelines for faculty in the area of teaching, scholarship/creative work, service, and engagement as it applies to the field of creative writing 
  • Cultivate a departmental environment that promotes collegiality, collaboration, and lifelong learning
  • Define the responsibilities of the student teacher supervisor better and provide opportunities for professional development connected with that position
  • Develop opportunities for experiential learning connected to tutoring positions and opportunities for national peer tutoring certification in the Writing Center and in the ENGL 0990 program
  • Develop clear procedures for hosting readings and events

Faculty and Staff Development

  • Provide opportunities for faculty of all ranks to develop leadership skills and to participate in department governance
  • Reward innovative teaching, especially in the area of experiential learning
  • Mentor new faculty
  • Facilitate access to funds for training and equipment that will allow them to keep up with instructional technology
  • Develop a system of rotating course breaks to allow faculty to pursue scholarly and creative projects in greater depth
  • Employ our disciplinary expertise to reach out to our colleagues and to the larger communities to help solve problems and to promote mutual understanding