Program Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

The mission of the English Department is to work within the mission of the University and the mission of the College of Humanities and the Arts to develop the reading and writing skills, the interpretive ability, and the cultural awareness of its students by maintaining and enhancing a tradition of strong teaching, good scholarship, and vigorous support of creative literary activity.

Preamble: Goals

The Department of English and Comparative Literature seeks to foster the intellectual development of its majors by encouraging study of literature and writing—whether creative, technical, or other professional writing. The Department strives to make its majors familiar with a wide range of works of British, American, and World literature, including folk and popular forms; and with the nature of the canon and of canon-formation, including issues of culture, history, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The English major requires work in textual analysis, including study of the formal characteristics and historical background of a text, on the one hand, and study of its aesthetic and rhetorical presence—what it is as an experience—on the other. English majors should be aware also that textual analysis can be extended with profit to political, journalistic, commercial, technical, and web-based writing. English Majors should also be able to articulate the relations among culture, history, and texts—for example, ideological and political aspects of representation, economic processes of textual production, dissemination and reception, and cross-fertilization with other arts:  architecture, sculpture, music, film, painting, dance, and theatre. And English majors ought to know something of the historical development of the English language and have a sense of the literature written in English from Old English to the present, including that of the Commonwealth nations, U.S. Territories, and other English-speaking populations around the world.

The study of English, Comparative Literature, and Writing proceeds best when it involves students in face-to-face exchanges a of ideas with faculty and peers, and when it makes use of the cultural resources of the broader university, through attendance of talks, panels, plays, and other performances and events. English majors use the resources of the library. English majors engage in independently-conceived projects, including the stating of a problem or issue and the steps involved in organizing, synthesizing, summarizing, and analyzing information in order to communicate conclusions effectively to a larger audience.

The Department’s long term goals for its majors include these legacies:

  • That each person who graduates with a BA in English from SJSU will have an enduring interest in language and literature
  • A sense of the presence of the literary and rhetorical past
  • An awareness of the depth and complexity of human existence, perceived across the boundaries of time, place, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, and sexual orientation
  • A sense of involvement in aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual life, as well as in social and political issues
  • A developing understanding of the ability of great literature and language to awaken and challenge people to struggle with profound questions of human identity and values
  • A personal critical perspective and sense of intellectual independence

BA Program Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Read closely in a variety of forms, styles, structures, and modes, and articulate the value of close reading in the study of literature, creative writing, or rhetoric.
  2. Show familiarity with major literary works, genres, periods, and critical approaches to British, American, and World Literature.
  3. Write clearly, effectively, and creatively, and adjust writing style appropriately to the content, the context, and nature of the subject.
  4. Develop and carry out research projects, and locate, evaluate, organize, and incorporate information effectively.
  5. Articulate the relations among culture, history, and texts, including structures of power.

BA Assessment Schedule

  • PLO 1: 2017, 2022
  • PLO 2: 2018, 2023
  • PLO 3: 2019, 2024
  • PLO 4: 2020, 2025
  • PLO 5: 2021, 2026