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Communication Arts and Literature 5-12 Major

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The communication arts and literature education major prepares you to be a high school or middle school English teacher as you complete significant coursework in English and education, with additional coursework in communication studies—making connections between the subject matter and the teaching strategies it requires.

Why should I study communication arts and literature education?

The world needs teachers who love literature, communication, writing, and adolescent students. If students are skilled in literacy, they will have more power and success, as well as many opportunities for personal enrichment. You could be the person that inspires and instructs these students.

Moreover, Bethel communication arts and literature education graduates are in high demand. It’s not unusual for students to secure jobs before they complete their student teaching. Principals call in August looking for teaching graduates, and we often have to turn them away because all of our graduates have jobs for the fall.

What can I do with this degree?

Get your Minnesota teaching license to teach middle school and high school English, including literature, writing, speech, journalism, and media studies. Our graduates have taught in:

  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Washington
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Indonesia
  • Hungary
  • Korea
  • Mexico

Attend graduate school for:

  • Special education
  • School counseling
  • Literature
  • Library media studies

What skills will I develop?

  • First-rate literary scholarship
  • Skilled writing
  • Teaching
  • College-level speech
  • Newspaper writing
  • Literary journal work
  • Skills to help you partner with theatre—earned through participation in productions
  • Student governing
  • The ability to attend and participate in literary readings in the Twin Cities and around the world

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Get involved on campus

  • Participate in or lead work on The Clarion student newspaper, the Coeval student literary journal, or the Textura magazine
  • Serve as a teaching assistant (TA) or work in Bethel’s Academic Enrichment and Support Center
  • Submit your own creative work for consideration to win an annual cash Jerry Healy Poetry Prize
  • Attend on-campus theatre productions in addition to productions and readings throughout the Twin Cities and around the world

Go abroad

  • Teach abroad during January interim or participate in a program that sends student teachers around the world
  • Study off campus through the Department of English and Journalism on semester-long England Term, or during J-Term courses like Travel Writing and for the Textura project.

Learn through hands-on experiences

  • Receive individual attention and mentoring from full-time faculty who are committed to teaching as well as being respected scholars in the field
  • Gain 100+ hours of field experience in both urban and suburban schools before student teaching to see theory at work in real classrooms
  • Be mentored by a full-time faculty member during student teaching who will observe you almost weekly, giving you valuable, individualized feedback that will help you reflect on your work and improve exponentially

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

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full-time faculty in the department


students attend professional conferences annually

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Student Media

The "Coeval" Undergraduate Literary and Art Magazine

The Coeval, meaning "of the same age," is Bethel's undergraduate literary and art magazine. Published each semester, the Coeval is edited by students and advised by the English and Journalism department. See the archive of Coeval issues in the Digital Library

The Clarion Newspaper

The Clarion is Bethel's student newspaper. It has received multiple national awards for writing and photography, and most recently for its website, including being named Best in Show by the Associated Collegiate Press. 


Textura is a J-Term trip that gives students a unique opportunity to practice their photojournalistic skills internationally and work together with graphic designers to turn their content into a magazine. The Textura Guatemala magazine from the 2017 trip to Guatemala received a national Best Feature Magazine award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP).

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