The CCSU Professional Program in Secondary English Education is designed to provide teacher candidates with strong content knowledge as well as cutting-edge, research-based pedagogical skills on which they will continue to build throughout their careers. Students begin with survey courses in British, American, and World literature as well as introductory courses in literary studies, cinema, and linguistics, in addition to general education courses from a breadth of university offerings. They then move on to upper level courses in literary theory, American and British literature, young adult literature, and linguistics. For training in pedagogy, students take courses in the teaching of literature, the teaching of writing, the use of technology in the English/language arts classroom, and methods of teaching English. They also take courses in the School of Education and Professional Studies that focus on teaching diverse student populations, special education, literacy instruction, and interdisciplinary teaching. Several of the courses in the program have valuable field experience components where students work closely with practicing English/Language Arts teachers and students in Connecticut public schools before their final semester of study, when each takes on the role of student teacher in a Connecticut middle or high school classroom for a full semester.
The English Department faculty comprises scholars, writers, and researchers—all of whom are dedicated teachers. Class sizes are small and intimate; they allow professors to work closely with their students while providing them with insightful feedback and strong encouragement.
Because both the director and assistant director of CCSU's Professional Program in English are widely published writers of academic as well as creative works, the program is strongly flavored by a writerly consciousness. Teacher candidates are encouraged to identify not only as teachers, but as teacher-writers. We firmly believe that this identity promotes in our candidates a deeper understanding of, a greater enthusiasm for, and a comfort with, the teaching of writing as well as the teaching of literature. It also fosters a strong sense of process as key to learning, writing, and academic study.