English Program

English Pre-Major

A major in English provides an excellent background for a wide variety of careers. SCC's English Pre-Major degree gets you started. Consult a counselor or academic adviser for recommended courses specific to the student's choice of transfer institution.

  • Writing courses provide practical experience in expository, creative, and technical writing.
  • The objective of all literature and humanities classes is to create an awareness and appreciation of the role of literature by examining and analyzing the historical, structural, and artistic development of the works.

Certificate of Achievement in English Studies

Find out how you can earn a Certificate of Achievement in approximately two quarters.

Browse additional programs in the CCS Online Catalog.

Certificate of Achievement in English Studies

  • Show potential employers you have marketable writing skills
  • Prepare for writing and reading in four-year colleges and universities
  • Read literature from many places and eras
  • Build confidence in your ability to write effectively

To earn a Certificate of Achievement in English studies, you must pass English 101, 102, and two additional five-credit English 100- or 200-level courses. All courses must be taken at SCC, and you must earn a grade of 2.0 or better in each of these courses.

Once you have earned the necessary twenty credits, contact your English instructor and ask for an English Certificate application. Fill it out and attach an unofficial transcript with your English courses highlighted.

Return the form and transcript to your instructor or to Betsy Lawrence, Room 211E, Building 1 (Old Main). Your certificate will be mailed to you.

Did you test into English 99 or 96? If so, SCC’s English Department offers ALP (Accelerated Learning Program), accelerated courses designed to help you successfully complete English 99 or 96 and English 101 the same quarter. ALP’s goal is to help you complete your required English writing requirement as quickly and successfully as possible. It is specifically intended to enable students who placed into English 99 or 96 to move into college-level writing (English 101).

There are two ALP courses, one for students who need English 99 and another for students who tested into English 96. ALP works this way: instead of taking English 99 or 96 one quarter and then English 101 the following one, students enroll English 99 or 96 and 101 the same quarter. ALP students take a regular English 101 class one hour and then attend a second writing or reading class (English 99 or 96) the following hour with the same instructor. Students register for 10 credits of writing – both 99/96 and 101 – at the same time.

Some frequently asked questions are answered below, but if you have additional questions about the program or want to know more about registering, please contact Angela Rasmussen at angela.rasmussen@sccc.spokane.edu or Betsy Lawrence at betsy.lawrence@scc.spokane.edu, or contact an SCC counselor at (509) 533-8215.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can take ALP? (Click to open)

To meet the prerequisites for the 99/101 ALP, you must test into English 99 on your COMPASS test or successfully pass English 97. Additionally, your COMPASS score should place you in college-level reading rather than English 96. If you placed into English 96, you should complete that course before taking ALP.

If you tested only into English 96 (and not 99), there is an ALP that allows you to take 96 and 101 the same quarter, similar to the other ALP course.

Students who need to take English 101 for their course of study or program should consider this class, but should first confirm that they need English 101 for their specific course of study.

How does it work?

ALP requires that students take ten credits (two hours, daily) of writing. This is an intense schedule, but those who are prepared to complete the work and commit to attending class do very well.

ALP students attend a regular English 101 course the first hour of class and are expected to complete all the work at 101-level. Immediately after English 101, the 10 ALP students meet for English 99/96 with the same instructor, who answers questions about 101 assignments and discusses the readings more in depth.

The second hour of class – the English 99/96 course – is specifically designed to help students pass English 101. Since both classes are focused on helping students succeed in English 101, the due dates, the assignments and materials are all coordinated by your instructor. Students have found this focused approach to work very well in completing the 101 assignments.

How do I sign up?

In order to take these courses, your must contact an SCC counselor ((509) 533-8215), or Angela Rasmussen or Betsy Lawrence. We can provide you the information that you need to register.

What are the current hours ALP is offered?

For Winter Quarter 2015, there are two options for ALP classes. Keep in mind that the ALP program is two courses (and two hours) daily:

  • 99/101 ALP classes are offered at 8:30 and 9:30, 9:30 and 10:30, 10:30 and 11:30, and 11:30 and 12:30.
  • The 96/101 ALP class is offered at 10:30 and 11:30.

What do former students have to say about ALP?

"This ALP class allowed me the chance to sit in a small class and to speak up! It’s hard to fade into the background or be drowned out in a class with just nine or ten students. I was allowed to ask my questions, know my classmates, and trust my instructor, and this gave me the confidence I never had to better myself and motivate myself to get this stage of my life done."
"Not only does it help you get through English faster, but you learn so much more than you would in 101 alone. When I first heard of ALP, I wasn’t going to do it, but I am so glad I did. I am proud to say that I won’t avoid English now, and I know how to write a paper."


(cover art)Legends is SCC's literary arts club, sponsoring a variety of events that celebrate the college's creative community. We offer literary readings, events promoting literacy for children, and poetry slams. Each spring quarter we also publish the award-winning literary magazine Trade, featuring the original writing and artwork of SCC students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Students interested in working on the magazine may receive college elective credit each winter, in Literary Magazine Production (ENG 254) or Advanced Literary Magazine Production (ENG 255), a hands-on class in producing a professional magazine from start to finish. Additionally, SCC offers two courses in Creative Writing, English 236 and 237, offered fall and spring quarters. These courses give students experience in writing fiction, poetry, and drama - including tips on how to get published.

Submit Your Work

SCC Library and Media Center

The SCC Library is located in Building 16 and has friendly librarians who can help you gather just the right information for your research project and save valuable time. The Library website, which includes extensive information resources, is an important starting point for a successful research assignment.

Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities

The Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities, located on the second floor of the Library in Building 16, schedules engaging speakers and activities throughout the school year. The Center's theme for 2009-2010 is Community in Action. People from our college and local community will explore the topic from multiple angles – the food we eat, the water we drink, the community organizations that enrich our lives, the literature we read, and the poetry we create. Exploration comes in many forms including film screenings, author readings, panel discussions, and musical events. English 101 student, Krista C., states, "I think the Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities has a great purpose at SCC. There are educational events always going on and the center is resourceful for everyone. It is a sanctuary for English students." Visit the Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities, a place where people and ideas connect. The Center's list of upcoming events is available online as well.

Quarterly Course Fair

Each quarter, English and Foreign Language teachers are given the task of writing a short course description for each class they will be offering the following quarter. We started to do this when we discovered the range of classes that were being offered by our amazing faculty. Whether teaching English 101 or English 102, each teacher approaches these courses differently. For example, some teach with literature, some teach with media, others with popular culture, and some even resort to traditional rhetoric. While all of these courses may contain research papers, essays and other types of rhetorical methods, how they are delivered and what they cover allows us to reach our diverse population of students.

Our other classes have the same breadth of content to deliver a fairly standard curriculum. In other words, we are attempting to ensure that if you take an English 96 (Reading Improvement) class from two different teachers, the books, topics and assignments may differ but their outcomes are that the student leaves the class with skills and strategies to read academic reading.

We also use the course fair as an opportunity for our non-standard classes to be announced. For example, this is a great opportunity to advertise the upcoming I.D.S. course or any of the other special courses offered the following term. Moreover we offer an excellent range of literature classes, and once again, a course fair allows us the opportunity to announce, then discuss these classes with interested students. With such an exciting line-up of classes, we feel much better when we know we have offered students the opportunity to find out more about them.

The Common Text and the Portfolio Process

The common text is a piece of literature or non-fiction chosen each quarter by English faculty. All English 101 students read the common text during the quarter, which provides students a shared classroom experience. Additionally, all English 101 students write an essay on a topic originating from the common text; this essay becomes one of the components included in students' English 101 Writing Portfolios. The common text is often chosen to connect with big ideas or issues within our culture or to supplement upcoming events within our campus or civic community.

English 101 Portfolio

folderThe English 101 Portfolio is a collection of your best written work from the class. The SCC English faculty have asked you to create this collection because portfolios are increasingly becoming an important part of your future education and employment requirements. Whether they are used as classroom assessment or for a job interview, portfolios have become common in composition classrooms. By asking you to manage a project of this importance, we believe you will be better prepared to represent yourself as a writer both now and in the future.

At a practical level, the writing you include in your English 101 Portfolio will demonstrate your ability to think critically, to write essays with understandable development and logical organization, and to express yourself clearly. Additionally, the evaluation of your portfolio will allow us as faculty to gauge the quality of the English 101 course as we refine the classroom strategies that will help students become successful writers.

At the beginning of the quarter, you will receive further information from you instructor about the process, structure, and content of the English 101 Portfolio. Should you have questions or concerns about the portfolio as the quarter progresses, do not hesitate to talk to your instructor or to make an appointment with the department's Director of Composition.

English 101 Final Portfolio Assessment Criteria

Directions: Please review the following criteria for your portfolio essays:

  1. Your understanding of ESSAY STRUCTURE:
    1. An effective Introduction with a Thesis Statement that answers/relates to the prompt question/idea
    2. Clear Topic Sentences that advance the thesis idea
    3. Two or more Body Paragraphs that effectively connect to the thesis idea
    4. Transitions which enhance these connections
    5. A Conclusion that brings the essay to a logical closure
  2. Your understanding of CRITICAL THINKING:
    1. In-depth explanation or analysis that demonstrates an understanding of the prompt question/idea
    2. Adequate details that support and develop the thesis idea completely and clearly, with reflective and evaluative evidence from the text
    3. Textual references (well-chosen quotations, paraphrases, and citations) that are appropriately incorporated and documented in the MLA format
    NOTE: No personal narratives or plot summaries are acceptable as part of the development or critical thinking criteria!
  3. Your understanding of STANDARD EXPRESSION:
    1. Correct spelling, grammar (sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, subject-verb agreements), and punctuation usage
    2. Effective sentence structures, using correct verb forms for clarity and logical flow of ideas
    3. Word choices that are appropriate to semi-formal academic standards

Frequently Asked Questions

What's in the portfolio?

A complete English 101 Portfolio consists of a signed cover sheet and three distinct essays that you have written in English 101 throughout the quarter. The three essays are:

  • One essay written in class in response to a shared prompt developed from the English 101 common texts
  • One essay written out of class and revised, using your instructor's feedback
  • One clean copy of an additional essay demonstrating your writing skills

What's the process?

As you prepare for the English 101 Portfolio, keep all the writing you do during the quarter, including prewriting, drafts, graded work, and revisions. Your instructor will help you assemble your portfolio into a manila folder toward the end of the quarter. Your instructor will collect the portfolios sometime during the last two weeks of the quarter, after which your portfolio will be assessed by another instructor and returned to you.

How is my portfolio assessed?

Your English 101 Portfolio will be assessed holistically, meaning that another instructor will take a comprehensive look at all the writing you have included in your portfolio. This faculty reader will provide you numeric feedback on each of the major English 101 abilities areas, including essay structure and elements, critical thinking, and expression.

Almost all English 101 students create a successful portfolio. In rare instances, a portfolio may be considered incomplete or unacceptable, and 0.4 will be deducted from the student's overall course grade.

What should I do with my portfolio at the end of the quarter?

Because more universities are moving to portfolio systems, the SCC English faculty recommend that you keep your complete, assessed portfolio even after the quarter is over. Additionally, you may find that certain jobs require writing skills; having samples available of your best writing can provide you with an edge during applications and interviews.

Who should talk to if I have additional questions?

Please see your instructor or the department's Director of Composition if you have further questions about your English 101 Portfolio.

All course offerings are subject to change. The college cannot guarantee class offerings, designated times or specific instructors - as funding levels and student interest may affect whether or not an offering is available.

Click on the course title to view course description.

Course Title Credits
ENGL 50ESL Writing 5.0
ENGL 52ESL Reading 5.0
ENGL 53ESL Listening and Speaking 5.0
ENGL 54Beginner Applied Grammar 5.0
ENGL 61ESL Writing 5.0
ENGL 62ESL Reading 5.0
ENGL 63ESL Listening and Speaking 5.0
ENGL 64Pre-Intermediate Applied Grammar 5.0
ENGL 71ESL Writing 5.0
ENGL 72ESL Reading 5.0
ENGL 73ESL Listening and Speaking 5.0
ENGL 74Intermediate Applied Grammar 5.0
ENGL 81ESL Writing 5.0
ENGL 82Reading and Study Skills for the ENS (English for the Non-native Speaker 5.0
ENGL 83ESL Conversation 5.0
ENGL 84High Intermediate/Advanced Applied Grammar 5.0
ENGL 94Study Skills 5.0
ENGL 96Reading Improvement 3.0-5.0
ENGL 97Basic Writing: From Sentence to Paragraph 5.0
ENGL 98Writing Lab 1.0-5.0
ENGL 99Improvement of Writing 5.0
ENGL& 101English Composition I 5.0
ENGL& 102Composition II 5.0
ENGL 104Grammar and Punctuation 3.0
ENGL& 111Intro to Literature 5.0
ENGL& 112Intro to Fiction 5.0
ENGL& 113Intro to Poetry 5.0
ENGL& 114Introduction to the Literature of Drama 5.0
ENGL 120Applied Technical Writing for Vocations 3.0-5.0
ENGL 151College Reading and Study Skills 5.0
ENGL 188Introduction to Writing for Vocational Students 1.0-3.0
ENGL 189Writing for Vocational Students 1.0-3.0
ENGL 208British Literature to 1800 5.0
ENGL 209British Literature since 1800 5.0
ENGL& 220Intro to Shakespeare 5.0
ENGL& 235Technical Writing 5.0
ENGL& 236Creative Writing I 5.0
ENGL& 237Creative Writing II 5.0
ENGL 238Advanced Expository Writing 5.0
ENGL 241The Bible as Literature 5.0
ENGL 247American Multicultural Literature 5.0
ENGL 248American Literature to 1865 5.0
ENGL 249American Literature since 1865 5.0
ENGL 254Literary Magazine Production 2.0-5.0
ENGL 255Advanced Literary Magazine Production 2.0-5.0
ENGL 259African American Literature 5.0
ENGL 261Studies in the Novel 5.0
ENGL 271World Literature to 1650 5.0
ENGL 272World Literature since 1650 5.0
ENGL 278Women Writers 5.0
ENGL 295Special Studies in Literature 2.0-5.0

SCC's writing program strives to prepare students to write effectively in their college courses and the workplace. Our courses are geared towards students at all levels of preparation.

  • Smaller classes of English 98 and 99 offer more individual instruction to help less experienced writers discover their strengths and build on them, thereby increasing confidence.
  • (writing) English 101, Basic Composition, grounds our composition program. Students write essays, exchange and discuss their writing with peers, improve their critical reading and thinking skills, and acquaint themselves with collegiate library and electronic research.
  • In English 102, Advanced Composition, students further develop the critical reading, thinking, and research skills acquired in 101 by writing research-based papers.
  • English 235 prepares students for writing used in the business and technical worlds.

SCC's writing program offers all learners flexibility and leading-edge technology. Students can fulfill their degree requirements in the format best suited to their learning style: in a classroom, online, and/or via hybrid classes supported by online technology. Our computerized composition classroom capitalizes on students' diverse learning styles by providing the latest advances in technology-assisted collaborative learning.

SCC's composition teachers are pleased to understand and meet the writing needs of this college's diverse community.


SCC offers a wide range of literature courses to suit every student's need and interest. Our goal is to make literature accessible and enjoyable by offering students the tools to fully appreciate what they are studying. In addition, most of our literature courses are Writing Intensive courses ('W' courses), which satisfy yet another requirement of an AA degree. We hope that students come away from our courses with the beginning of a lifelong love affair with literature that will continue to enhance their lives.

Our 'W' or Writing Intensive Courses

There is no better medium for a 'W' course experience than literature. Novels, short stories, poetry, and drama are mines loaded with content that thoughtful, reflective writing can access best. Because of this, most of our literature courses are designated as 'W' courses to provide our students with this enriching experience.

Our 'D' or Diversity Courses

Our goal as a community of learners is to come to understand, appreciate, and celebrate the cultural and human diversity that abounds in this country and throughout the world. One of the best ways to foster this appreciation is through the study of literature. And so the SCC English/Foreign Languages Department offers a variety of diversity courses ('D' courses) to develop a greater appreciation for the diversity that lies within our human heritage. These range from cross-cultural literature courses to modern foreign language and American Sign Language courses.

community photo One way to take your English courses is to participate in a Learning Community (LC). An LC is a class that combines two or three academic courses into a single college class - a group of students and faculty members who meet together to explore a class theme. Example LC classes include InSync and Read Right.

These classes contain ten or fifteen credits, and they are a great way to meet your AA degree and transfer requirements. So, instead of signing up for a few unrelated five-credit classes with unconnected assignments and learning outcomes, you sign up for an LC that links together two or three separate courses into a single class environment. These ten- or fifteen-credit classes meet together with all of the instructors for two or three hours a day, giving the students the chance to get to know their classmates and faculty members well. These supportive, integrated learning environments create strong class communities - thus, the name "learning communities."

For more information on these classes, see the LC website.

SCC's LC classes usually focus on a central theme (for example, the environment, heroes, ancient Greece, modernism, racism, or food), and your instructors work to connect your assignments and readings around that theme. You get the chance to study your class theme from a variety of academic disciplines, letting you see how knowledge is interconnected. This helps you see how knowledge of one academic area (like sociology, biology, or composition) can help you excel in other areas.

The English and Foreign Languages department participates regularly in SCC's LC courses, and you can often receive English 101 or 102 credits by taking an LC. Additionally, some LC classes include literature courses that meet the humanities requirements of your AA degree options.

For more information on upcoming and recent LC classes, visit Upcoming and Recent Offerings.

InSync is a program designed for students entering college who are not as prepared as they need to be. It combines two (or more) courses that will strengthen the skills necessary for success, such as Study Skills and Basic Writing.

The courses are usually combined into one class with two instructors in blocks of two hours and count as 10 credits of the student's quarterly schedule. This combination, called Learning Communities, allows students to integrate what they are learning in one course with the assignments of the other course and to see how all learning is collaborative, that is, we all work together to understand the ideas being explored.

We have found that those students who complete an InSync class do better in their subsequent courses and tend to complete the degrees they came to pursue. This is important because we began this program to combat the problems we had seen when students entered college without the skills and knowledge they needed; those students tended to get discouraged by the rigors of college and didn't know how to get the help and support available to make it through that difficult first year.

We encourage all entering freshmen to look at the InSync offerings and decide whether this style of learning would benefit them.

» More about SCC Learning Communities

Read Right (English 95) is a reading improvement class designed to help students become more confident with both their reading and verbal skills. Each student works at an individual pace and on an individual level out of textbooks provided in class. The reading lab is open during fall, winter, and spring quarters, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Students are required to attend based on the amount of credits they sign up for (1-5 credits). A Pass/Fail grade is dependent on completion of credit hours.

» More about SCC Learning Communities