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Rhetoric & Literacy and Academic Development: English

Courses in the English Department are divided into several areas: composition, creative writing, literature, and cultural studies among them. English courses lay a foundation essential for success in college and for success in occupations in business, media, government, law, medicine, and education. English courses can be included in the units necessary for an Associate degree in letters, arts, and sciences, and are the foundation of many university majors.


From journals to drafts to revised, polished essays, these classes look at the writing process and the tools needed to write well. They teach critical thinking, elements of style, and the ways to build good arguments (as well as detect bad ones). Courses use a standardized grading rubric similar to ones used at the Cal State and UC levels to ensure fairness and consistent standards. A unique feature of the department is in pre-collegiate composition courses where instructor’s function more as writing coaches with grading on a credit/no credit basis and final outcomes linked to end of semester portfolios, a program which has received state and national recognition.


Literature courses provide students with an understanding of language and culture. Also, they serve to develop critical reading and thinking skills. Studies are offered in various topics, genres, and traditions, such as African American, Hispanic, Latino, and Native American literatures.

Last updated: January 26, 2018