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Learning Outcomes

Contact English  


English department offices are accessible by phone and email.

Main Hall Room 532
720 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Office Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00am-4:30pm
Summer Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00am-4:00pm
Phone: 610-436-2822

Learning Outcomes

As part of the English Department's commitment to providing a high-quality education to our students, we offer specific learning outcomes for both our B.A. and B.S.Ed. degree programs. We assess these outcomes each semester through a multiple-choice disciplinary knowledge test, an exit survey, and student portfolios.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives for the B.A. in English & the B.S. Ed. in English Education

Program Outcomes for the BA in English Major

Outcome 1: Diverse Genres
Graduating seniors will use the conventions of diverse textual genres (e.g., the nonfiction essay, poetry, proposals, autobiography, novel, memoir, film, plays, editorials, and so forth) in their own work and will explain and evaluate the use of these conventions in the work of other writers.

Outcome 2: Literary/Rhetorical Strategies
Graduating seniors will identify, employ, and interpret the literary and rhetorical methods and strategies that inform English as a discipline in their reading and writing of texts.

Outcome 3: Theoretical Terms, Concepts
Graduating seniors will define, apply, and integrate theoretical terms, concepts, and perspectives important to English as a discipline in their own work and will identify and analyze them in the work of other writers.

Outcome 4: Information Literacy
Graduating seniors will demonstrate the ability to find, select, assess, and analyze information sources, both print and electronic, and to credit, integrate, and synthesize those sources in their own work.

Outcome 5: Writing Skills
Graduating seniors will construct clear, grammatical sentences and produce well-organized texts that exhibit an attention to audience, genre, and purpose and that follow the conventions of logical argumentation.

Program Outcomes/Objectives Specific to the B.S. Ed in English

  • Students will engage in rigorous academic writing informed by critical thinking. Student writing will demonstrate sharp focus, substantial content, sophisticated organization, precise style, and evident control of conventions. Students will exhibit these traits over a variety of types of writing for a variety of types of audiences.
  • Student teachers will know and demonstrate current pedagogical principles and demonstrate they know how to apply these to obtain employment, as attested to by the professional portfolios they complete during their student teaching experience (EDS 411-412). These portfolios contain resumes, letters of recommendation, employment goals, statements of philosophy, and records of the student teaching experience.
  • Student teachers will develop good working relations with their co-op teachers, their students, and other teachers in their schools. This means that they must be judged as well prepared in the content of their discipline, they must exhibit good work habits, and they must exhibit respect for and understanding of diversity.

Knowledge and Skill Sets

Based on the English Department's mission and goals, the following knowledge and skills sets are central objectives of the undergraduate BA and BSEd English programs. Students will demonstrate the following items in each category.

Content/Knowledge Objectives

  • Knowledge of the basic concepts, theories, and perspectives important to English studies, including rhetorical, interpretive, historical, cultural, social approaches to language and texts.
  • An understanding of the ways in which texts can reflect or shape the representation of historical and cultural circumstances.
  • Knowledge of creative and critical conventions of written discourses.
  • An understanding of language use and mechanics.
  • An ability to recognize rhetorical and generic traditions and innovations.

Critical and Analytical Objectives

  • The ability to apply various types of criticism in their reading of texts and writing of texts.
  • Knowledge of the conventions of particular textual genres by employing them in their own work and explaining them in other writers' work.
  • The ability to use theoretical terms and perspectives important in English Studies.
  • The ability to analyze the ways in which written texts both reflect and help to construct such social categories as race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Written Communication Objectives

  • The ability to write clear, grammatical sentences and well-organized texts that reflect an attention to audience and genre.
  • The ability to construct and develop a thesis.
  • The ability to adhere to the conventions of logical argumentation.
  • Attention to appropriate language use and mechanics.
  • The ability to support analysis with textual evidence.
  • The ability to convey an ethos appropriate to the purpose and genre of texts they compose.
  • The ability to present information in visually effective ways.

Information Literacy Objectives

  • The ability to evaluate information sources and employ those sources professionally in their own work.
  • The ability to identify the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs scholarly, current vs historical).
  • The ability to construct a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizational features such as indexes for books).
  • The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline.
  • The ability to evaluate information and its sources critically and to incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  • The ability to summarize the main ideas to be extracted from the information gathered.
  • An understanding of the many of the ethical, legal, and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology. Specifically, they will demonstrate an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material.
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