Career Assistance

Professional Development Opportunities

The English Department at Portland State University values the scholarly work that students do for its own sake, but we also recognize that students want to put their degrees to good use once they graduate. We believe that an English degree is one of the most versatile and useful that a student can have and so we have developed courses, workshops, and other activities designed to assist students in preparing and planning for varied teaching and non-teaching careers, along with preparing for entry into PhD programs for those who choose to continue their education.

Here are some of our key professional development offerings.

 The English Graduate Studies Resource Page is a guide to attending conferences, publishing, and professional development for English graduate students. This valuable resource lists conferences by specialty/area of study, as well as providing helpful tips on how to give a professional presentation. By participating in a conference, you can develop ideas for future publication, network with others in similar subfields, and participate in the community of scholars.
arrow Download the English Graduate Studies Resource Page.

 Teaching Writing Workshop is a one-day workshop in which you learn about teaching writing. You spend the day participating in teaching demonstrations and discussions and take home a "Book of Wisdom," a large packet with teaching handouts on everything from invention and revision strategies to responding to writing to dealing with special issues such as non-native speakers. Cost for the workshop is $15 for the book. Contact Hildy Miller for more information.

 The PSU Career Center has an impressive collection of resources especially for English majors. The What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Writing? and the What Can I Do with a Degree in English? pages provide a wealth of career-related information. The center will also help you plan a job search and prepare job search materials. Whether you are considering a teaching or non-teaching career, you should plan on visiting both the Career Center website and their office at 402 University Services Building.

 WR 394 Writing Careers for English Majors is also available for graduate students for graduate credit if you enroll as English 505 Reading and Conference. This is a community-based learning course for English majors who want to practice writing on the job and to plan how to use their English major to get a job. Students volunteer in the community, learn about and practice public relations writing and writing on the job, and share writing and community experiences with one another. Beyond that, they will get first-hand experience in performing community service for a nonprofit organization. Speakers who were themselves English majors and now have found careers in which they use their degrees will also share their strategies and experiences. Contact Dan DeWeese for more information.

 English 510 Teaching College Literature introduces you to current issues in teaching literature, along with practical strategies on everything from planning a literature syllabus to varied classroom activities such as lecture, discussion, and performance to using formal and informal writing in the literature classroom. Contact Hildy Miller for more information.

 English 513 Teaching and Tutoring Writing gives you both theory and practical strategies for teaching writing along with practice at tutoring. This course prepares you thoroughly for teaching in a variety of contexts. Contact Hildy Miller for more information.

 English 514 Introduction to Composition Theories gives you a solid grounding in the theory beneath teaching writing practices and can prepare you to teach composition. Contact Hildy Miller for more information.