22 Jul 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

4. Course Objectives

LizStatueIPADSM.jpgThe components of a Seton Hill University liberal arts education are carefully chosen in order to, in the words of Elizabeth Ann Seton, "fit you for that world in which you are destined to live."

According to a survey published in 2009 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), here are the skills employers say they want in their new hires:

  1. Communication skills (verbal and written)
  2. Strong work ethic
  3. Teamwork skills (works well with others)
  4. Initiative
  5. Analytical skills
(See also this brief NACE video, Job Outlook 2010)

Every single course you take at Seton Hill is another opportunity for you to develop your mind by wrestling with the challenging, enduring, and wont-fit-on-a-bumper-sticker issues that make the world go round.

A survey course, EL266 has particular relevance as a liberal arts core requirement, education certification requirement, and/or elective. The Seton Hill University Learning Objectives (found on page 4 of the 2010-1012 course catalog) include several skills that this course is especially designed to help you develop:

  • Express arguments or main points clearly, in written and oral communication.
  • Assess privilege and oppression from the perspective of culture, race, class, and gender.
  • Find, evaluate, and apply information.
  • Use technological skills to access information, organize knowledge, and communicate.
  • Locate and analyze expressive media to gain information or comprehend the significance of an issue or event.

A literature survey course has an additional meaning for English majors and minors, because a 200-level survey course introduces important scholarly techniques (how to read and write about a literary text) and subject matter (the works themselves).

These goals of the English program all apply directly to EL 266:

  1. Examine a wide range of genres, styles and cultural literatures.
  2. Examine the traditional canon and innovative nontraditional writers and writing.
  3. Demonstrate analytical skills of reading literature.
  4. Demonstrate a high level of research and writing skills.
  5. Write and speak in a wide range of formats appropriate to major emphasis: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, critical essay, oral presentation.
  6. Speak and write about issues in the discipline and how they interact with the culture at large.
  7. Articulate the ongoing relation between personal habits of reading and writing and the evolving study of English.

Your Objectives for EL266

  1. Deeply and critically read literary texts
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with the social and political forces shaping American culture during the time period
  3. Use textual evidence to support your claims orally and in writing, without oversimplifying or ignoring views which differ from yours
  4. Organize and develop your initial reactions to assigned texts, through discussion, drafting, peer critiquing, and revision
  5. Write two college-level papers (one supported by primary sources, another supported by both primary sources and secondary academic research)
  6. Contribute actively to a positive learning environment
To help you reach those goals, you will need to:
  • read all assigned texts and reflect meaningfully on them (a process that includes re-reading parts of large texts or the whole of shorter texts) before class,
  • participate via class discussion, in-class activities, and homework

At the end of this course, you should be able to demonstrate

  1. Awareness of the literary techniques authors use in order to express and develop their ideas
  2. Awareness of the historical, cultural, and formal issues that influence your developing responses to texts on the syllabus
  3. Competence in interpretive, critical reading of literary texts (beyond summarizing the plot)
  4. Evidence of Intellectual engagement with your peers and the course content (in person and online)
  5. Ability to plan, research, draft, revise, and polish college-level essays
What does this all mean?

  • What are your goals for your SHU education?
  • How can EL266 help you to reach those goals?


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