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UC’s Department of English considers a new creative writing major

Williamsburg, Ky. - The Department of English at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is considering adding a major in creative writing for the fall of 2013. The new major must pass through a departmental meeting, a catalog committee meeting, and SACS approval before it can officially be offered to students.

“The rationale behind the creative writing major is due to the number of students who are interested in majoring in English, but who don’t want to teach,” said Tom Frazier, chairman of the English department.

A creative writing major would also benefit students planning to further their education in MFA programs in creative writing. The major would incorporate both literature and writing into the core curriculum. These courses will help students construct manuscripts in their chosen genres which are required for the application process for graduate programs in creative writing.

Currently the English department offers courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction; however, a major in creative writing allow students more opportunities to study literature and write in their preferred genre.

“Creative writing is a growing art in Kentucky,” said Frazier; “We are always looking for ways to meet the needs and interests of the students who come into our department. The [creative writing] major would be a practical change for the department because it would encourage students to submit their work to literary journals and magazines. The department has had success with its creative writing classes as well as its literary journal, Pensworth. Several of the department’s graduates have gone on to MFA programs, to teach creative writing, and to write for magazines and journals.”

The department of English has also added a few graduate courses to its catalog. These courses, according to Frazier, are to supplement courses in the master’s and doctoral programs education.

“A lot of these students in the doctoral program want to teach in community colleges. Colleges require their teachers to have a master’s or a doctorate as well as 18 credit hours in the subject they want to teach,” explained Frazier; “A lot of the doctoral students were asking us to teach graduate classes in literature.”

The graduate courses are 500-level course offered by professors in the department of English and have covered such topics and authors as Flannery O’Connor, literature of the Romantic period, William Wordsworth and Appalachian literature.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article Provided by Kristin Gotch, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Summer Assistant