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The Writing Program is the foundation of the English and Humanities Department. Writing clearly, researching effectively, and reading and thinking critically are crucial skills necessary to be a successful college student in every major or program, and these skills are applicable in any career path. We have a dynamic array of compositions professors with innovative and contemporary approaches to teaching writing. We are piloting a new approach this fall that accelerates developmental writing and allows students to take ENG 101 at the same time. In addition, we accommodate a variety of student levels and needs including developmental, ESL and honors.
The English and Humanities Department boasts a wide offering of 200-level literature courses that reflects the changing tide of scholarly inquiry, challenges the ever-widening conventional literary canon, and boldly reimagines classical texts. Through a close reading of literary texts, students enrolled in 200-level literature courses will begin conversations that extend beyond the confines of dusty pages and go with them into the world. Literature professors encourage students to examine imaginative writing through a lens informed by our contemporary moment when empathy for others’ racialized, sexualized, politicized, and gendered life experiences is urgent and warranted.
Students may consider courses such as African American and Black Literature, American and British Literature, Asian Literature in Translation, Films and Literature, The Graphic Novel, Greek and Roman Literature in Translation, Modern Poetry, Shakespeare, The Short Story, Women in American Literature, special topics courses and many others that satisfy their interests.
The 200-level literature courses help fulfill the requirements for a Liberal Arts and Humanities two-year degree at Dutchess Community College and hone students’ critical thinking and analytical writing skills. These skills are invaluable for all students who decide to transfer to a four year institution regardless of major and for students who go work in an industry immediately after graduation.
In addition, the Department’s cultural studies offerings provide students the opportunity to explore the systems of power that exert influence in their individual and collective experiences and to analyze the construction, dissemination, and consumption of cultural norms and practices as well as resistance to those practices and power structures. Courses such as Popular Culture and Introduction to Cultural Studies actively encourage students to consider their lives as the subject and focus of their learning and to apply a critical lens to the multiple media platforms with which they already are engaging. Likewise, Introduction to Women’s Studies presupposes that the purpose of academic inquiry is to illuminate the truths of the realities with which we live. Students identify both the overt and the subtle forces of oppression in the U.S. and abroad, including racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and classism, and they are exposed to the forms of resistance people have developed to combat social inequality.
For students wishing to explore their own creative work, the Department offers three different creative writing workshops in fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. In these Directed Writing courses, students read and critique each other's work in smaller settings with an emphasis on revision. The courses are taught by our talented faculty who write and publish fiction and poetry. Our department also advises the student literary magazine, Exposed.
The foreign language faculty in the Department of English and Humanities understand the increasing importance of foreign languages, as our students become global citizens in an interconnected world. Our students will be engaged in the study of language, cultures and literatures other than their own, as they acquire language proficiency and develop communication skills. Students will find these skills valuable in their future careers as well as in their interpersonal interactions with the local and global communities. Our department offers courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
The Department of English and Humanities also offers courses in reading and philosophy.
The newly renovated Writing Center, located in Hudson 503, offers free assistance to students working on any writing assignment for any course offered at the college in addition to other written work such as college application essays and resumes. Friendly student and professional tutors will respond to your writing questions and concerns and will work with you on effective writing strategies. The Writing Center also has many reference books for writers and handouts on issues about composition, style, and grammar. Our Computer Lab offers free printing to all DCC students.
Non-native English speaking students have the option of studying English Composition in courses designed specifically for their needs as burgeoning language learners. ESL Composition courses teach learners how to express their ideas clearly, in sophisticated yet natural-sounding written English, within an academic context. Co-requisite courses provide intensive grammar instruction and support. Please contact DCC’s ESL Coordinator, Linda Ciano, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-431-8443 with questions about how DCC can support you as you work to improve your English proficiency.