An English degree from Penn State Harrisburg equipped me with all the skills I needed to pursue a career in publishing. Courses in various genres of writing and literature helped me hone my critical thinking and group presentation skills, which are important no matter where post-grad life takes you. Plus, the intimate classes allowed me to seek plenty of feedback on my writing from professors, all of whom went above and beyond to help my work reach its full potential both inside and outside the classroom.
Penn State University Press
As a non-traditional student, PSU Harrisburg offered me much more than the opportunity to get a degree in English with Secondary Certification. It offered intimacy—an opportunity to truly get to know my professors and for them to get to know me at a level that would not be possible at a larger institution. This intimacy is most conducive to creating a positive atmosphere for learning, fully preparing me for my second career as an English Teacher in an extremely competitive market. Most importantly, the caring and compassionate nature of PSU’s professors has found its way into my own teaching style.
Cumberland Valley High School
I developed skills in my English studies at Penn State Harrisburg that I continue to be grateful for and to use every day in my work and personal life. These include performing effective research, thinking critically, developing and communicating a position on an issue, and hearing valuing others’ opinions. Equally rewarding has been the love of learning and ongoing curiosity about the world I developed as a result of my time at Penn State. My life has truly been enriched by the experience.
Community Relations Director
Dauphin County Library System
My coursework at Penn State Harrisburg fully prepared me to become a secondary teacher. Not only did I learn the foundations of educational pedagogy, but also my courses in the School of Humanities helped me be very prepared in my subject area, English. The rigor of my courses and the highly interesting offerings helped me broaden and diversify my knowledge base and learn how to have high expectations for my own students. I was required to learn how think critically, how to analyze thoughtfully, and how to express myself professionally both through my own writing and through presentations. Most importantly, the inter-disciplinary approach in the School of Humanities helped shape me as both a learner and a teacher. I use everything I learned at Penn State Harrisburg in my teaching career and in my current doctoral studies.
Michele Marsolais O’Brien
Chair of the English and Language Arts Department
Hershey High School
It is no exaggeration to say that the English Program at Penn State Harrisburg changed the course of my career and life. After taking a class trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, I fell in love with the organization and its teachings on Early Modern plays. With the help of my professors from PSH, I pursued an internship with the company and later achieved a full-time position there. I owe a great deal of my personal and professional development to Penn State Harrisburg, the courses I took there, and my amazing professors. I feel very grateful to have had such a rewarding experience.
Group and Education Sales Manager
American Shakespeare Center
I firmly believe that Penn State Harrisburg was a major contributor to my success in education. From the moment I entered the English program, I felt extremely prepared for the challenges and demands I would face in my career. Essentially, Penn State Harrisburg and its dedicated faculty and staff, helped me to “learn how to learn.” Because of a strong foundation in teaching and learning, I have been able to experience countless professional opportunities in my career for over two decades. If I were to do it all over again, I would still choose Penn State Harrisburg!
Supervisor of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, and winner of the Milken Educator Award
Penn-Delco School District
In the ten years since I graduated from Penn State Harrisburg, not a day has gone by where I haven’t used or applied something I learned from the Penn State Harrisburg English faculty. I have been able to convince reluctant readers that they should try reading Dracula because my Victorian literature professor brought the novel to life for me. The rigorous expectations of my critical writing professors prepared me to write successful grants in both education and non-profit sectors. I am a well-read and successful teacher and librarian due to the extremely high quality education I received from Penn State Harrisburg, its course of study, and, especially, its professors.
Young Adult Librarian
Upper Dublin Public Library
I graduated from Penn State Harrisburg in May 2014 with a bachelor of humanities in English. Two months later, I was offered a position as a young adult library associate with Cecil County Public Libraries, an award-winning system in northeastern Maryland. I created the model for monthly middle and high school book discussions across the county, and I organize a wide variety of programs that are both educational and entertaining. In the spring of 2016, I will be starting on a master’s of library information systems with CCPL’s help. At Penn State Harrisburg, I learned how to think critically about the world around me, and how to encourage others to do the same. I was taught to value all points of view, and to appreciate the richness in each person’s contributions. This allows me to connect with my teens and with the community at large, making me an empathetic, innovative resource for those I serve. I could not be happier with the career I’m starting, and Penn State Harrisburg made it possible.
Young Adult Librarian
Cecil County Public Libraries
My studies in the English program at Penn State Harrisburg allowed me to enter graduate school well prepared to succeed. I am currently earning my master's degree in English with a focus on creative writing at West Chester University. I also work as a tutor in the university writing center.
Graduate student, M.A. Program in English
West Chester University
Since graduating from Penn State Harrisburg with a degree in English and creative writing, I have moved to Philadelphia and now attend Arcadia University. My bachelor’s degree and experience working on Penn State Harrisburg's literary magazine, From the Fallout Shelter, helped me to get the position as fiction editor for Arcadia's literary magazine, Marathon. With the help of Penn State Harrisburg's amazing English and School of Humanities, I am getting ready to travel to Edinburgh in the summer for my next graduate residency and completing my first novella.
Graduate student, MFA program in Creative Writing and the MA program in English,