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About the Department of English

Our mission

English major Hauʻoli Viritua gives an in-class presentation
English major Hauʻoli Viritua makes a presentation

The mission of the undergraduate degree program in English is to offer a well-rounded, culturally balanced approach to English Studies through introductory and specialized courses in composition, literature, film, and creative writing. Our program reflects the diversity of our student population, our institutional values as expressed the UH Hilo Strategic Plan, and our location in the Pacific. Our curriculum aims at developing students' critical thinking and writing, strong communication skills, and cultural awareness through the study of literature, composition, and language.

English program

In addition to offering a foundation in the traditional literary canon, the English department is committed to fostering student excellence through a variety of venues such as critical self-assessment, interdisciplinary collaboration, effective student-centered pedagogy, award recognition of outstanding student writing, and career-relevant training in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate program.

Our program goals are to facilitate student success and ensure program quality by responding effectively to institutional developments and social change. Courses offered within the English program range from Composition(ENG 100) to Single Author Studies (ENG 488A-488B).

Outside of the classroom students have the opportunity to participatein field-related internships and work positions through the Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX) and the SECE system , as well as the opportunity to publish writing and art in UH Hilo's student-run publications.

TESOL Certificate

TESOL graduates

The mission of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate Program is to provide students a theoretical foundation and practical tools for teaching English as a second/foreign language. Students who choose to participate in the TESOL program will learn the fundamentals of lesson planning and participate in teaching ESL students in real-life scenarios in order to prepare them for post-graduate career opportunities. Many students in the program also choose to participate in UH Hilo-hosted study abroad programs in order to apply their learning and gain confidence in their respective fields before choosing a career path.

Creative Writing Certificate

A Creative Writing Certificate is also offered to students who complete the 18-credit requirement during their time at UH Hilo. The certificate aims to provide students with a foundation in creative writing forms, technique, and professionaly opportunities. Students who choose to complete the certificate will produce a collection of creative work in a variety of genres, review other students' work, and plan and carry out a short creative writing teaching practicum. The courses required for the certificate overlap with both the English major and TESOL certificate, to allow students to pursue multiple areas of expertise.