What does the WKU English Department have to offer?
- Madeline Kinser
- Wednesday, October 9th, 2019
Maybe you are a first year English major wondering how to make the most of your degree, or perhaps you’re a second or third year student who just declared a new English major. You could even be a senior trying to find a way to get all that you can out of your last year here at WKU. Regardless of who you are, the WKU English Department has many resources to offer you. I’ve listed five resources below for you to check into to get the most out of your time as an English major at WKU:
1.) Become familiar with the WKU English Department’s website
The first piece of advice that I have for you is to make use of the WKU English Department’s website. The website has all of the information you could ever need about the department from events and club information to scholarships and writing competitions. The English Department’s website is a quick and easy way to access information when you need to know about scholarship deadlines or when the next Open Mic Night is. Another way to find information is to stop by the office in Cherry 135. The office faculty and staff are there to help, so always feel free to stop in when you need help with anything. You may even be able to pick up a button or some candy while you’re there!
2.) Get to know your professors
One of the most valuable resources that the department has to offer students is the knowledge of their professors. It may be intimidating to ask your professors questions or stop by during their office hours just to chat, but your professors want to help you! Ask your professors questions, talk about something that you found interesting in their lecture that day, or even just talk about your day. Build relationships with your professors. Your English professors are a resource to you and want to help you reach your academic and professional goals. A professor will never turn you away if you ask to come see them during their office hours. In fact, there’s nothing that your professor would love more than for you to stop by!
3.) The WKU Writing Center in Cherry 123
Another great resource that the English Department offers is The Writing Center in Cherry 123. The Writing Center offers students the opportunity to have their papers reviewed by other English majors and graduate students who are a part of the staff. You may think that you don’t need to visit The Writing Center since you’re already a good writer and know how to proofread your work, but that simply isn’t the case. “Skipping the Writing Center is missing out on a great opportunity to take your work to the next level,” said Dr. Jane Fife, coordinator of The Writing Center. By coming to The Writing Center, you can brainstorm ideas with the staff about how to start your paper and get help with revisions. You can also bring your creative pieces in to be worked on. According to Dr. Fife, “Professors and professional writers will tell you that the more you ‘advance’ as a writer, the more revising you do because you begin to see more that you can do to make it even better, and you want to do just that. Plus, teachers will expect more of you in upper-level classes, so the staff at The Writing Center can help you up your game.” To make an appointment at The Writing Center you can visit their website or call (270) 745-5719.
4.) Build your professional skills
Another great resource is attending alumni panels and participating in the internship program. Through both of these resources, you can develop yourself academically and professionally by building your skills in the workplace and finding a career path that interests you. Dr. Angela Jones coordinates the internship program and alumni panels and believes that both resources have great value. “[At the panels], alumni provide first-hand advice about navigating the transition from student to professional and about navigating shifts that occur early in careers,” said Dr. Jones. “Internships broaden [students’] horizons of possibility and help them make better informed decisions about their own next steps.” One student commented that the alumni panels make “everything seem less daunting. It was easier to connect with people who are in the same demographic and really believe the advice they were giving.”
5.) The Counseling and Testing Center in Potter Hall 409
The final resource I would like to recommend to you may not be within the English Department, but it is still incredibly valuable. The Counseling and Testing Center in Potter Hall 409 is one of the most important resources that WKU has to offer. Everyone needs someone to talk to, especially an objective third-party who will help you see things for what they are. It can be scary to go in to talk to a counselor, but the benefits make it all worth it. For just a one-time fee of twenty dollars, you can regularly see one of the Counseling Center’s experienced therapists that can help you navigate through your time at WKU. “Mental health is part of our whole, and each part – mental, emotional, and spiritual – affects all the others,” said Betsy Pierce, Outreach Coordinator for the Counseling Center. “We encourage anyone who thinks exploring their concerns might be helpful to make an appointment and speak with one of our therapists. We know it is not easy, but we are here to help.” To find out more about the Counseling and Testing Center you can visit their website or call (270) 745-3159.
It’s so easy to take advantage of all of the resources and opportunities that WKU and the English Department have to offer. After all, you’re here to get the best education possible so you should take every opportunity that you can to make sure that you’re getting what you want out of your experience. The potential rewards and relationships that you can gain through using the resources available to you are incredibly valuable, not only in your time here at WKU, but even after graduation.