AAUEC 2017 (1)Mount English students at the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference.

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 Although we could claim that all of our English and Writing courses involve experiential learning in that our students are all expected to work as literary critics, researchers, and writers, we have defined experiential learning here as "hands-on" learning that is inquiry-based, often student-led, and involving independent study. Your hands-on learning may range from an in-class activity such as peer-editing in which you are engaged in reading and commenting on each other's work to full-time off-campus employment as part of the internship program.

Because we are a small, undergraduate department, our B.A. students have numerous opportunities to get involved in research, writing, publishing, teaching, and event organization, thus developing practical skills in oral and written communication and research.

This paid internship gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in a work environment pertinent to their degree and interests. For more information about how to apply, go to our Bachelor of Arts and Science Internship Program page.  You can also read more about one English student's summer internship experience here »

Starting in 2016, the English Department developed the English Professionalization Co-Curricular Record to encourage students to participate in departmental activities which will enrich their university experience and help to prepare them for their future careers.

To receive an English Professionalization Co-Curricular Record, students must attend a number of different department activities, which may include talks by English faculty, presentations by guest speakers, the English Honours Colloquium, information sessions on the English program, excursions and events organized by the English Department or English Society.

This English Professionalization Record is part of the Mount's Co-Curricular Recognition Program (CCRP) which offers students a way to formally document all of their non-academic, extra-curricular involvement in an official format known as a Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

For more information, please see the department chair, Dr. Reina Green. More information will be posted here soon.
This is a paid position of up to 20 weeks of part-time employment (up to 4 hours a week) in which students gain teaching and editing experience. These peer-led workshops are for students taking English or History courses. Peer tutors lead twice-weekly small group sessions on such topics as thesis statements, paragraph structure, and MLA documentation. They also advise students on how to improve particular essays.
English students have acted as peer tutors at the University's Writing Resource Centre. They advise students on essay structure, documentation, writing style, and grammatical correctness. This position provides students with experience in teaching one-on-one and in analyzing and editing texts. Select positions are part-time paid employment; others are volunteer opportunities.

 Research Assistants:Faculty grants can occasionally provide funding for paid student research assistantships. Students gain real-life experience working as professionals in academia. As research assistants, students may conduct literature reviews and primary research, check citations, proofread text and, on occasion write articles. For example, Aline Ripley (B.A. 2006) wrote "Feminist Readings of Tolkien" in the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, published by Routledge. Rebecca Power (B.A. Honours 2015) has an essay forthcoming in the book Fandom in the Classroom to be published by University of Iowa Press. Other students have compiled extensive annotated bibliographies related to their interests.


Rebecca Power Research Remixed 2016Image: Rebecca Power (B.A. Honours 2015) presenting at the Mount's Research Remixed event in 2016 on her forthcoming essay in a book on fan studies in the classroom.

Honours Thesis:  The English Honours program is very much like an internship or apprenticeship in our discipline. Honours students take a full-year course that requires the independent research and writing of an extended piece of work (around 50 pages). The thesis is rooted in student-led inquiry-based learning as students develop their own topic, focus, and theoretical framework. Not only do students engage in the activities of the academic profession but also further their research skills, their analytic thinking, and their written and oral communication skills, as students make an oral presentation of their work in a department Honours Colloquium. Read more about our Honours students here »

Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference: A faculty committee selects six students each year to represent the department at this academic conference which encompasses both undergraduate research and creative writing. Students give a formal presentation, engage in discussion with other panelists, and answer questions about their work, thereby engaging in one of the core activities of the academic profession and honing their presentation and communication skills, valuable in a wide variety of careers.

English Department Blurbs: The English Department holds annual sessions open to the Mount community and the public in which students and faculty make brief oral presentations on their research. This provides students with an opportunity to engage their peers and others in a discussion of their research and enables them to practice their oral communication skills.
Student Works grants enable the department to hire students in paid part-time positions. The type of work will vary -- in the past, we have hired a student to work as a conference assistant and another as a department liaison. We have employed a student to review our presentation and communication of the Honours program and a student to work as our Media Committee Assistant, a position that included writing blog posts and communicating with students through various social media. These positions enhance students' oral, written, and digital communication skills, which are valuable in a variety of careers.

English Society  executives 2017English Society Executive: Students in these positions gain the practical experience of planning and organizing events for students and faculty, events ranging from movie nights to fund-raisers to readings by major authors and undergraduate academic conferences. They are involved in the department's Open Campus activities, meeting and engaging with prospective students and their parents. They also mentor students in the first and second years of the program. In addition, they are responsible for maintaining some of the department's social media sites. Read a profile of the current Society executive »

English Department Blog: The English Department maintains an active presence on social media, not only through the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of the English Society, but also through the departmental blog where students have an opportunity to practice their communication skills by publishing in a public forum. For example, here is a post by a student explaining how studying English has helped her in her work as a skating coach. And here is another student's post describing his visit to the Career Services office.

 


Image: English Society Co-Presidents, 2016-17. Hope Tohme and Katie O'Brien.
Experiential learning is so integrated into our courses that many student assignments are directly relevant to the type of activities undertaken by English graduates in their chosen careers. Research projects are standard in all upper-level English courses in which students are required to develop a research question, undertake independent research, and write an essay based on that work, gaining the experience, at least in a small way, of an integral part of an academic career. Students are also required to do class presentations in all upper-level English courses, teaching their peers and, in some cases, invited guests and the public, about a particular topic or text -- an experience most relevant to the English majors who go on to an education degree and teaching, but also pertinent to those who move into other careers, such as in business and government. You can explore different types of projects in the following list.

andrew-potter-grace-shaw-pardoner-2014Image: Students in Medieval Literature, Andrew Potter and Grace Shaw, performing a scene from Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale


Creative arts-based research projects: Students in some literature classes do not just study works of literature but, in several upper-level classes such as ENGL 3361: Old English Literature, ENGL 3364: Shakespeare's Contemporaries, ENGL 3376: Medieval Literature, ENGL 4475: Studies in Medievalism, they engage in creating the type of work they are studying through creative arts-based research assignments. For example, take a look at a graffiti-reading project in the North End of Halifax conducted by a student in an ENGL 4446: Contemporary Culture course on psychogeographies.

Performance projects / theatrical production: Students have the experience of doing performance projects in courses such as ENGL 2216: Drama, ENGL 2201: Shakespeare, and ENGL 3313: Modern and Contemporary Drama, thus making real many aspects of the experience of developing and staging a theatrical production. Students in these classes also visit local theatres, see productions, and meet with local theatre practitioners.


Intro to Editing chapbooks

Image: Introduction to Editing chapbooks: written, edited, designed, and produced by WRIT 2222 student teams.


Writing and publishing: WRIT 2222: Introduction to Editing is based on the Professional Editorial Standards of the Editors' Association of Canada. Students in WRIT 2222 work in professional-style project management teams to co-create and publish an anthology chapbook, while students in 4000-level advanced editing classes solo-create and self-publish their work. Students in ENGL/WRIT 2220 gain practical experience by writing for local and national media. Students in WRIT classes above the 1000 level regularly take field trips to publishing and printing houses such as Nimbus Publishing in Halifax and Gaspereau Press in Kentville as part of their courses. They also attend public readings with established professionals in the field, while students in all WRIT classes, including WRIT 1120, engage in peer-editing and peer-review of work, experience resonant with the work of professional writers and editors as well as that of teachers. Read more about our Writing Minor program here.
Students can travel and study in another country and complete academic coursework with a partnering post-secondary institution for an immersive cultural experience. You can check out the International Exchange Opportunities on the Mount's Global Exchange site.