CSULA Department of English | Mission Statement

The English Department’s mission is to promote intellectual inquiry through the study of literature, linguistics, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing; to motivate students to strive for excellence in their reading and writing abilities; to prepare students to succeed in graduate study, the teaching profession, and other careers; and to encourage personally meaningful engagement in English studies.

Therefore, our undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • to help students develop an understanding and appreciation of the power and beauty of written expression through a broad knowledge of representative literary texts from diverse periods, genres, and cultures

  • to enable students to practice with confidence and skill the basic techniques of textual analysis

  • to help students understand their own and other cultures, past and present, through the historically contextualized study of language and literature

  • to make students aware of the emerging roles of literature, aesthetics, and critical theory

  • to enrich the creative and analytical powers of students as writers, helping them to develop original perspectives with precision, express themselves with grace, and organize their ideas with clarity through a comprehensive mastery of divergent rhetorical strategies

  • to teach students to use both reading and writing to develop an awareness of multiple perspectives and their own informed, responsible, and meaningful criteria for approaching language and literature

In order to pursue its mission effectively, the department also commits itself to the following:

  • encouraging individual faculty members to utilize their particular strengths and rewarding their efforts so that the department as a whole will continue to demonstrate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service

  • utilizing, when appropriate, various pedagogies and emerging technologies to develop more effective teaching methods and to promote improved student learning

  • maintaining small class sizes to foster meaningful exchange among students and faculty members at every level of instruction, from lower division courses to graduate seminars, and providing individualized guidance through advising

  • supporting faculty members’ efforts to conduct authoritative scholarship in their respective fields

  • developing a significant presence within the university community and beyond by serving as the central authority on writing instruction and literary history and by advocating study of the humanities in general