The English Department at the University of Connecticut is committed to informing its majors about literature and literary history and to helping them to develop the writing and critical thinking skills required for literary interpretation. As a component of Connecticut’s only public institution authorized to grant the Ph.D., the English Department prepares graduate students for professional careers in teaching, literary criticism, research, and writing. Gifted poets, novelists, essayists, and playwrights on our faculty contribute to the literary canon and provide undergraduate and graduate students with courses in creative writing. In its First-Year Writing courses, General Education courses, and other upper- and lower-division courses, the Department serves the university community through its commitment to the teaching of critical thinking, cogent analysis, and clear written expression. Much of the Department’s research is designed to advance knowledge about literature and the cultures from which it has emerged, and to extend the critical approaches and historical perspectives through which literature can be understood and enjoyed.
The University of Connecticut Writing Center exists to provide a free service to writers from all academic disciplines at all levels of proficiency. The center is committed to helping students achieve their full potential by looking beyond each essay to the long-term development of the writer. The center strives to be adaptable and suit each session to fit the writer’s individual needs. The Writing Center also coordinates resources for Writing in the Disciplines and W courses.
The Connecticut Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project, established at the University of Connecticut in 1982, offers opportunities for professional growth to teachers in all disciplines who recognize the worth of using writing as a means of learning any subject matter. Improving writing skills improves thinking skills and thus leads to higher levels of achievement in all areas.
The Information Literacy Program of the University of Connecticut Libraries provides students, faculty, and staff with an understanding of today’s global information environment. The Information Literacy Program focuses on locating, evaluating, and using information resources competently and ethically; supports the research goals of the university curriculum; and helps equip our research community with the information and skills needed to become effective members of a complex society.
UConn Early College Experience (ECE) is a concurrent enrollment program that allows motivated high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. Students benefit by taking college courses in a warm setting that is both familiar and conducive to learning. High school instructors who have been certified through the University of Connecticut serve as adjunct faculty members and teach UConn ECE courses. ENGL 1010 and 1011 are some of the many classes offered through this program, and these classes fill the First-Year Writing requirement.
The Creative Writing Program at the University of Connecticut provides undergraduate students in all departments with writing courses in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, from beginning to advanced classes. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit their work to the numerous writing Contests available to University students, participate on the staff of the Long River Review literary magazine, and otherwise make themselves a part of UConn’s thriving creative writing community.
Living & Learning Communities at UConn allow students with a similar major or interest to choose to live together in a residence hall. Students in each community are enrolled in a one-credit seminar course or course cluster together, and engage in other activities as a community outside of class. These course clusters often include First-Year Writing seminars, which are sometimes themed in a way that relates to the community, leading to a higher level of student interest, and thus performance.
The Aetna Chair of Writing was established in 1986 with a $1 million-dollar endowment– $500,000 from the Aetna Foundation and matching funds from the State Department of Higher Education. Professor Lynn Z. Bloom (Emeritus), appointed first Aetna Chair of Writing in 1988, supervises funding to invent, develop, and enhance writing at UConn’s flagship and regional campuses, throughout the state of Connecticut, and nationwide. Through support of the Connecticut Writing Project, and funding for creative writers– poets, authors of fiction for children and adults, autobiographers, playwrights, puppeteers– the Aetna endowment reaches audiences across the educational spectrum, from kindergarten through college and adult learners.