Department of English, Communication & Media Studies at Greensboro College
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Department of English, Communication & Media Studies

Our department offers highly versatile majors and minors that prepare students for success in a wide range of workplaces in our rapidly changing world.

Our students build their writing, speaking, and media skills in an environment that encourages creativity and critical thinking. Majors and minors in the English, Communication and Media Studies department benefit from broad training, and students go on to specialize in an area of their choosing.

Some of our majors focuses on great storytelling and the growth of writers, editors, journalists and/or publishers. Other majors may focus on developing expertise in interactive media and games. For those students who dream of becoming a high school English teacher, the English Education Major offers the best path to this career. Students who are content creators, work with digital media, or want to pursue broadcasting, will find that we offer the flexible English & Communication Studies Major for this purpose. Some majors plan to pursue a career in front of the camera, while others are passionate about what happens behind the camera. We nurture individual talents and prepare you for the world of work.

Department Outcomes and Values

1. Effective Communication– All ECM majors get lots of practice in written and spoken communication. For example, one of our recent new courses, “Improving Conversation and Communication,” focuses on developing students’ conversational skills. In this course, you will learn by doing as you try techniques in how to talk to other people to achieve your communication goals.

2. Historical & Formal Contexts– Students learn about the history and development of the English language. They also consider how contexts, such as a particular period in history, affect the understanding of literary, expressive, or strategic communication. For example, a recent alumna completed her senior capstone project by blogging on the development of racial profiling in the U.S. She researched different U.S. time periods to raise awareness about the origins of racial profiling.

3. Diversity & Difference– Communities and identity help shape who we are. Students develop their awareness of how differences among people enrich our world through courses such as “African American Writers” and “Gender and Sexuality in Literature.”

4. Critical Methods– Students learn how professionals organize knowledge in ECM-related fields.

5. Creativity & Innovation– Our faculty members know that life skills such as problem-solving and leadership depend on creativity. Students develop their creativity and innovation skills by taking creative writing classes, writing for digital media, publishing works in newspapers and literary magazines, creating game narratives, and exploring new talents through project-based learning. Our students make use of the Global Communication Center to produce creative content. Hands-on practice is how you will learn in courses, skills like media production, podcasting, and digital videography.

As communicators and critical thinkers, our students learn how to command attention in any situation regardless of the audience. In addition to gaining discipline-specific knowledge, students develop core skills, such as the ability to work independently and collaborate with others successfully, engage others through their oral conversation skills, use project-based inquiry to find solutions to problems, and write effectively. All of these core skills are highly marketable in a variety of workplaces.

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Greensboro College Newspaper
Greensboro College Creative Writing Magazine
Greensboro College Interactive Media

Majors and Minors

  • Communication Minor

    Students gain a basic understanding of communication theories and practices. A minor sharpens critical thinking skills and provides fundamental tools in verbal and nonverbal communication that everyone needs in their everyday lives. Minors require 20 credits to complete.

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  • Creative Writing Minor

    Students develop their creativity through foundational writing coursework. In addition to becoming more innovative thinkers, creative writing minors develop more empathy and compassion for others through their writing and storytelling, which ultimately helps them gain a better understanding of the world.

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  • English & Communication Studies Major

    This major prepares students who dream about working in broadcasting, radio or journalism as well as social media or influencer marketing.

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  • English Education Major

    Majors undergo a 16-week student teaching experience in addition to in-class curriculum. Teaching licensures, which are state certifications required by K-12 schools, are also earned through this major.

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  • English Major

    Students become experts in reading, writing and analyzing literature as well as literary periods, theories, authors and linguistics. A degree in English may open the doors to careers in writing, editing, publishing and even law school.

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  • English Minor

    Students gain a foundational understanding of English literature and theory. Minors require 20 credits to complete.

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  • Games & Interactive Media Minor

    Students complete the games and interactive media minor by taking 20 credit hours of coursework that spans ECM and many other disciplines.

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  • Games and Interactive Media Major

    A major in Games and Interactive Media provides students with the opportunity to explore and understand the dynamic and thriving fields of interactive media, game studies, and game design and development from the inside out.

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  • Sports Communication Minor

    A sports communication minor can be completed with 20 credit hours in selected media production, communication, English, and kinesiology courses.

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Awards, Honors, & Published Works

Our student-run publications have won numerous awards. You can browse the list of award-winning issues of the college newspaper, The Collegian , or head over to our creative magazine, The Lyre, which is edited by students and features poetry, stories, photography, and other art.

The ECM department annually awards a number of prizes including:

  • The L.L. Smith Memorial Award
  • The Mary Ginn Award
  • The Olena Bunn Award

The department also runs a chapter of the international English honors society, Sigma Tau Delta. Students may be eligible to receive participation grants while working on The Collegian or The Lyre. Incoming students can email Dr. Johns about receiving the participation grant at ECM majors and minors may also apply for the competitive Global Communication Center Fellows program.

Greensboro College Awards, Honors, & Published Works

Joshua Fitzgerald photo

“I loved the GC Honors program and Greensboro College. I felt safe and a sense of genuine belonging at the college. I worked closely with my thesis advisor and professors who helped inspire me to define my path and passion of interest. That path has led me to my doctoral studies in Engineering Mechanics.”

- Joshua Fitzgerald, Class of ’19, Mathematics Major

Joshua currently studies astrodynamics at Virginia Tech University and is an Engineering Mechanics Ph.D. Candidate.