Students who choose to major in English at Bethel have three basic options: English Education, English with a Literature Track and English with a Writing Track.
The Bethel College English Education major is designed to prepare students to teach English in secondary schools. In addition to the General Studies courses taken by all Bethel students, English Ed. majors take required courses in Adolescent Literature, World or Multicultural Literature, Literary Criticism, Shakespeare, Advanced Composition and History of the English Language. Students also select courses from options in literature, media, writing, linguistics and communication.
To complete the degree, each student takes nine Professional Education courses—including a semester of student teaching—required for secondary school teacher certification in the state of Indiana. (Indiana certification is reciprocal with many other states.) Student teachers are usually placed in local school districts.
Graduates of the Bethel College English Education major have an excellent reputation in public and private schools around the region for their teaching skills, knowledge of content and personal integrity. Many are currently teaching in local schools and throughout the world.
The English Major with a Literature Track includes courses in writing and linguistics but emphasizes the study of literature of all varieties. This is an ideal program for people who simply love to read. Beyond that, it prepares students for further study in graduate school or for careers in those fields that have traditionally attracted people with a strong Liberal Arts background, including public relations, the publishing industry, library science and law.
Rapidly gaining in popularity, the English Major with a Writing Track trains writers. While providing a strong background in literature and grammar, the Writing Track exposes students to the theory and practice of as many kinds of writing as possible—creative, persuasive, journalistic. Many graduates and even current students are actively publishing as both staff and free-lance writers in a variety of fields.
The six current full-time faculty in the English department include three Ph.D.s and a Writer-in-Residence, with specialties in a range of fields of literature, rhetoric and writing.