Program Description

If you want knowledge and skills that will hold their currency no matter what changes occur in academics, the marketplace, or the world, a General Studies Associate of Arts in English may be the perfect choice. The General Studies program provides a core foundation and flexible set of skills in the humanities, mathematics, computer science, science, and social sciences, while the English Concentration fosters analytical thinking and intelligent writing in the context of literary studies. These skills translate readily into careers in education, journalism, law, politics, business, and more.

Associate Degree Programs in English

English (Associate of Arts)

Cecil College’s Associate of Arts in English provides the first two years of study towards a major in English. This concentration offers a strong foundation in literary studies and cultural literacy, requiring extensive practice of critical reading, writing, analysis, and interpretation. Students who complete an English major may transition into an English major at a four-year institution, and from there, may transition into advanced study in literature, literacy, rhetoric, or related fields; or they may pursue careers in business, education, law, communications, publishing, or any profession that requires sophisticated reading, writing, and analytical skills.

Required Courses & Learning Outcomes

See a list of required courses and learning outcomes for this program in the college catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

What careers are available to English majors?

The answer is more varied than many assume. Prominent people such as broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer, astronaut Sally Ride, Nobel laureate in medicine and former director of the National Institutes of Health Harold Varmus, talk show host Conan O’Brien, actress Reese Witherspoon, actor James Franco, actor Jon Hamm, actor/writer Stephen Fry, musician Paul Simon, musician Sting, and former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey have one thing in common: a degree in English.

Most students know that an English major may be coupled with a teaching career in secondary or post-secondary education. However, the critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills honed in this major have also helped students transition effectively into careers in law, public service, business, and even medicine.

Furthermore, many English majors also go on to careers in:

  • Journalism
  • Education for English Language Learners (English is the most sought-after second language in the world)
  • Public relations (many colleges and universities, government agencies, medical institutions, and professional organizations have their own PR departments)
  • Advertising
  • Editing
  • Policy analysis
  • Technical writing
  • Grant writing
  • Corporate communications

What areas of specialization exist within an English degree?

In a two-year, general studies English concentration, students will be exposed to surveys of British, American, and World Literature, and they may also elect to study African American Literature, Journalism, or Creative Writing at the introductory level. Students who go on to major in English at a four-year institution may, depending upon the offerings at that institution, be able to specialize in literature, creative writing, journalism, or technical writing.

I didn’t get an A in first-year composition. Does that mean I should not consider a major in English?

First-year composition is broad preparation for writing and reading throughout the college curriculum, and the first semester of college is often a challenging period of adjustment for students. One grade in any course should never determine a student’s destiny. Talk with your instructor or with the English department chair about your interests. We would be happy to help you through your decision-making process.

I have 3 credits of English electives that I can take in the English concentration. Which course should I take?

The answer to this question depends on the department’s schedule of offerings and on your interests. Typically, the options include African American Literature, Journalism, and Creative Writing, but these courses are not offered every semester. If you can, choose a course that challenges you in a way that you have not been previously challenged; doing so will expand your knowledge and maybe even uncover an aptitude that you did not realize you had. If you are not sure when the course that interests you will next be offered, contact the department chair.

Admissions & Advising

Cecil College is an open enrollment institution. Get more information, find out how to apply, or meet with an advisor.


Whether transferring coursework to Cecil College or transferring your completed degree or certificate to a four-year institution, transfer is a viable option to help meet your educational goals.

Transfer information for Maryland colleges and universities is available through the Articulation System of Maryland (ARTSYS) website at Additional transfer information can be found on the Transfer Agreements page.


Full-time Faculty

Susan Bernadzikowski
Department Chair
M.A., The Ohio State University

Craig Frischkorn
Professor of English
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

Christopher Gaspare
Assistant Professor of English
M.A., Washington College

Jennifer Levi
Professor of English
Ph.D., University of Delaware

Clarence Orsi
Associate Professor of English
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Allison Symonds
Professor of English
M.A., University of Delaware

Nathanael Tagg
Associate Professor of English
M.A., Rutgers University
M.F.A., University of Nebraska-Omaha

Kathleen Weiss
Assistant Professor of English
M.A., Rutgers University

Adjunct Faculty

All adjunct faculty hold advanced degrees in their fields.