Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goals

Fundamentally, the Literature Program seeks to provide its students with educational experiences that promote skills-based learning as well as the intellectual awareness and maturity that are the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Stressing analysis and synthesis in reading and writing in all of our classes, our curriculum has four objectives or goals, which support Stockton University’s essential learning outcomes (noted below as ELO) (

The Literature Program’s Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1: To read diverse literary works and develop an appreciation of their aesthetic qualities and insights into human experiences.

  • Virtually all literature courses address this fundamental goal.
  • ELO: Adapting to Change; Critical Thinking; Ethical Reasoning; Global Awareness

Program Goal 2: To acquire an understanding of the formal, historical, and theoretical aspects of literary and English language study and creative writing, including attention to:

  • form and genre
    • Several literature courses focus on form and genre, including the following required course for all majors LITT 2114 Literary Interpretation and these required courses for the Creative Writing track: LITT 2237 Introduction to Creative Writing; LITT 3270 Craft and Theory Workshop
  • intertextuality
    • Courses designated as literary interpretation
  • literary history and periods
    • Courses designated as Pre-1700; 1700-1900; 1900-present
  • English language within historical contexts
    • LITT 2412: English Language and Grammar; LITT 3301 History of the English Language
  • canons and canon formation
    • Literature survey courses, such as LITT 2104 American Literature I; LITT 2105 American Literature II; LITT 2102 British Literature I; 2103 British Literature II
  • historical and cultural contexts
    • Courses designated as Pre-1700; 1700-1900; 1900-present
  • critical theory and schools
    • LITT 2114 Literary Interpretation; LITT 3125 Literary Theory and Criticism
  • individual voice and style
    • Courses designated as creative writing classes
  • grammatical & syntactical structures
    • LITT 2412: English Language and Grammar; LITT 3301 History of the English Language
  • diversity
    • Courses designated as Ethnic/Postcolonial; Gender and Sexuality Studies; WGSS; Africana Studies

ELO: Program Competence

Program Goal 3: To apply analytical and expressive skills through:

  • close-reading
    • Courses designated as literary interpretation; virtually all upper-level literature courses presume knowledge of this fundamental skill
  • research
    • LITT 2123 Introduction to Research in Literature; LITT 4610 Senior Seminar
  • digital literacy
    • LITT 3922 & 3923 Digital Humanities Internships; LITT 3651: Designing Literary Apps
  • creative writing in diverse genres
    • Courses designated as creative writing
  • development of individual voice
    • Courses designated as creative writing
  • analytical writing
    • Virtually all literature program courses involve analytical writing; courses with W2 and W1 designations
  • presentation
    • Virtually all literature program courses involve formal and/or informal presentations
  • performance
    • Both lower and upper level literature courses involve reading aloud—and in some cases memorizing or reciting—literary passages
  • modes of punctuation
    • LITT 2412: English Language and Grammar; LITT 3301 History of the English Language
  • constructive criticism provided to peers
    • Courses designated W1 and W2 involve peer review

ELO: Communication Skills; Critical Thinking; Information Literacy and Research Skills; Creativity and Innovation; Teamwork and Collaboration

Program Goal 4: To demonstrate a thorough understanding of concepts and a mastery of skills, applicable to a variety of careers and life experiences through curricular and extracurricular projects and activities, including:

  • independent studies
    • LITT 1800 Literature Special Project; LITT 2800 Literature Special Project; LITT 3800 Literature Special Project; LITT 4800: Literature Special Project; LITT 4899 Summer Research Experience (SIRE)
  • research assistantships
    • Courses designated as Applications or Approaches
  • teaching assistantships
    • Courses designated as Applications or Approaches
  • internships
    • LITT 3900 Literature Special Project; LITT 3918, Editing Internship; LITT 3920 Public History Internship; LITT 3922 & 3923 Digital Humanities Internships; LITT 4900 Literature Special Project; LITT 4901 Literature Internship
  • presentations (classroom, campus, conferences, exhibits)
    • Presentations are a culminating aspect of many program courses, as are attendance and/or participation in on-campus and off-campus conferences and exhibitions
  • participation in literary events (campus, regional, national, international)
    • Students are encouraged to attend and participate in literary events both on campus and off; students have attended regional, national, and international conferences
  • creative and critical publications and submissions
    • Students have the opportunity to write for the campus newspaper, The Argo; the campus literary magazine, Stockpot; stories from fiction workshops collected in Divergently; and various publications for the South Jersey Culture & History Center, among other opportunities
  • service learning
    • Courses designated as Service-Learning

ELO: Program Competence; Teamwork and Collaboration


In brief, the Literature Program prepares students who can think critically and creatively and, just as importantly, write and speak well. The program’s emphasis on technological literacy, furthermore, provides training in another key communication skill that is increasingly valuable in today’s job market. While many of our majors indicate that they plan to pursue primary or secondary educational careers, we tie our curriculum and its objectives to no one specific career.

These Literature program goals, along with companion ELOs, offer students learner-centered opportunities to develop competence with practical skills, intellectual abilities, and marketable talents designed to support the student learning necessary for personal and professional success in the 21st century.


Essential Learning Outcomes Supported by Literature Coursework*

  • Adapting to Change
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Global Awareness
  • Information Literacy and Research Skills
  • Program Competence
  • Teamwork and Collaboration

*Quantitative Reasoning is the lone ELO to which Literature offerings do not measurably add.