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English Education (9-12)

The Master of Arts in English Education (9-12) provides teachers with an intimate learning environment of small classes and one-on-one collaboration with professors. This program includes thirty semester hours in professional and content area studies. It leads to a recommendation for graduate-level NC Teaching License for those who possess initial licensure in 9-12 English. Graduate students who do not have initial licensure may obtain the degree but not the graduate-level license; however, obtaining initial licensure while completing graduate coursework is possible for qualified applicants. Students must be teaching some aspect of the discipline of English in a real-world context in order to complete the requirements of this program. Many of the graduate students in the program attend and present at local conferences, join important professional networks (ex. National Writing Project), and become teacher leaders and liasons between their schools and Gardner-Webb University. Notable courses include "The Teaching of Writing" and "Young Adult Literature."



Admission requirements are the same as those for entry into other master’s degree programs in the Graduate School at Gardner-Webb with these additions:
  1. Applicants for the MA in English Education are required to submit a writing sample. This sample must be one of the following: (1) a documented research essay of 2000 or more words on a literary subject, presented in MLA format, and incorporating at least three works beyond the primary work, or (2) appropriately documented detailed lesson plans for a unit of literary study. This writing sample can be something the applicant has written previously for an academic assignment. The essay must be submitted electronically in Rich Text Format, either by email or on a disc (a hard copy may be submitted in addition, but the electronic copy is required).
  2. Applicants must submit a 250-word Statement of Purpose that addresses the following: their reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in English Education, any areas of teaching secondary English that interest them, and their particular interest in the Gardner-Webb M.A. in English Education program. The Statement of Purpose must be submitted electronically in Rich Text Format.
  3. Students without substantial undergraduate coursework in English should expect to be required to take undergraduate courses prior to admission in order to obtain background needed to be successful in graduate study in English. Students who do not meet these standards will be evaluated on an individual basis.



The purpose of the Master of Arts in English Education (9-12) is to support the professional development of teachers of English who contribute to the community in which they teach through effective communications skills, through understanding and appreciation of literature of diverse cultures, through understanding of the importance of critical and independent thinking, through action research, and through knowledge of and reflection on effective teaching practices and strategies, including the use of appropriate technology.



The goals of the program, in accordance with State Department guidelines, are that participants will:


  1. Increase content area knowledge through various literature courses which recognize the scope and diversity of literature and its origins as well as the importance of a variety of skills in literary criticism and critical analysis.
  2. Become better writers and teachers of writing through increased understanding of the writing process and of rhetorical principles.
  3. Understand the importance of research, theory, planning, practice, and reflection in curriculum development and in the teaching of English.
  4. Apply research to real-world experiences in order to improve classroom practice through action.
  5. Develop the ability to be peer leaders as a result of their instructional expertise, knowledge of learners, research expertise, and ability to connect subject matter and learners.



A. Professional Requirements (6 semester hours)
     ENED 690/691/692The English Teacher as Researcher 3/1/2 hrs.
B. Methodology Requirements (6 semester hours selected from courses below)
     ENED 681Seminar in Current Issues and Methods of Teaching English 3 hrs.
     ENED 683The Teaching of Writing 3 hrs.
     ENED 685Reading/Writing Connection 3 hrs.
C. Content and Curriculum Requirements (18 semester hours selected from courses below)
     ENGL 555Special Topics 3 hrs.
     ENGL 611Seminar in British Literature 3 hrs.
     ENGL 613British Literature: Selected Authors 3 hrs.
     ENGL 631Seminar in American Literature 3 hrs.
     ENGL 633American Literature: Selected Pieces 3 hrs.
     ENGL 651Literature: A World Perspective 3 hrs.
     ENGL 671Literary Theory 3 hrs.
     ENGL 673Contemporary Trends in Literature 3 hrs.
     ENGL 675Young Adult Literature 3 hrs.

D. Capstone Experience and Products of Learning (0 semester hours credit)

      Professional Reflections Portfolio

  1. Each course in the M.A. in English Education program with an ENED prefix includes assignments for the Professional Reflections Portfolio. Usually these assignments ask students to develop teaching plans which involve applying aspects of the course’s content in their teaching situations, with the use of technology encouraged when appropriate.
  2. English 690/691/692, The English Teacher as Researcher, culminates in a formal report of an action research project. The action research report is also a part of the portfolio.
  3. At the end of the program’s course work, students are asked to reflect on and synthesize what they have learned with what they do in their own classrooms. They select two areas of content knowledge (from among the six ENGL courses they have taken) and write teaching guides or publishable unit plans in which they apply this content knowledge to their teaching situations.
  4. Portfolios are presented to English faculty and graduate students and evaluated by a faculty committee to determine the student’s worthiness to be awarded the M.A. in English Education degree.



Gardner-Webb offers a combined M.Div./M.A. in English or M.A. in English Education degree. For details about this degree and for the policy on dual degree programs, see the Master of Divinity section of the catalog (pp. 145-150).


Dual degree students must apply to the Graduate School as well as to the School of Divinity, following the admission requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each in order to pursue both degrees. Also, when academic policies and standards differ between the two schools (e.g., grades required for maintaining good academic standing and for graduation), the policies and standards of the appropriate school apply to the respective portion of the dual degree.


Click here to view the courses for English Education.