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Communications with English

William Penn University’s faculty understands the importance of effective writing. Knowing this, professors and students work together to enhance every students’ writing capabilities. Writing is essential for modern business. Employers stress the importance of excellent writing skills. Without proper fundamentals, the ability to communicate in writing effectively is weakened. If employees cannot communicate in an effective manner, progress within a competitive business market becomes disrupted.

The English Program

The William Penn University English emphasis offers a curriculum that provides students a liberal arts focus through close study literature as an expression of the human condition. Students will gain experience interpreting literary and other text and in writing to communicate, to inform, and to argue and express.


After graduation, students will be better prepared for professional expectations and proper communication within the workforce. Students have sought out careers as journalists, editors, teachers, and creative writers. Here are a list of employers that have hired WPU English program graduates:

  • Oskaloosa Public Library
  • KBOE Radio
  • Knoxville High School
  • North Lake College
  • Communication Research Institute (CRI) of William Penn University
  • Wells Fargo


Having an internship is a great way to generate a firsthand perspective in understanding professionalism at its best. Communications/English degree students can apply their critical thinking and multitasking capabilities to a fast paced professional environment. Through these experiences, students will have a better understanding toward future employment. Listed below are some local businesses or organizations for internship positions:

  • Oskaloosa Herald
  • Teachers Assistant
  • Script Writer for CRI
  • Musco Sports Lighting, LLC.
  • Editor
  • Penn&Ink
  • William Penn Radio (KIGC)


Ashley Swanson, M.F.A.

Instructor of English 641-673-1381 Email

Jared Pearce, Ph.D

Director of Student Learning & Assessment, Associate Professor of English 641-673-2107 Email

Bob Rietveld, D.Min

Assistant Professor of English, Writing Coordinator 641-673-1292 Email


Penn & Ink is an annual student-led publication, published as a print literary journal that celebrates writing and quality art authored and created by William Penn University students and associates.

Critical and Creative thinking are the hallmarks of the English Program. The skills our students gain by studying literature will prepare them for successful work in graduate school (studying English, Law, and Medicine), Teaching, and Business.

Dr. Jared Pearce, Associate Professor of English


Penn Hall

As one of the oldest buildings on the university campus, Penn Hall has undergone several transformations over the years; both structurally and functionality. Classrooms are located on all four stories, along with administrative offices located on the second level. All classrooms are easily accessible and are equipped with the tools and technology needed for students to be successful.

  • Administrative Offices
  • Chemistry Lab
  • Classrooms
  • Computer Lab
  • IS Help Desk
  • Service Center & Mail Room


As a Communications student with an emphasis in English, you will be taking the following courses:

Communications Core courses

  • APCS 112 Computer Applications for Communications
  • ART 134 Design & Composition
  • COMM 123 Media’s Past & Digital Future
  • COMM 390 Applied Communications Seminar
  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • MUSI 104 Fundamentals of Music

English Core courses

  • ENGL 226 British Lit through 1784
  • ENGL 227 British Lit since 1784
  • ENGL 231 Creative Writing
  • ENGL 238 American Lit through 1865
  • ENGL 239 American Lit since 1865
  • ENGL 300 Theory of Language
  • ENGL 307 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 310 Advanced Writing
  • ENGL 350 Early World Literature
  • ENGL 351 Modern World Literature
  • COMM/THEA/ENGL Elective