On this past Tuesday, September 15th, 2015, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., the Graduate Education Policy Committee held a Graduate Symposium to discuss the English Department’s conversion from the D.A. to the PhD degree, in the IWS back lounge. During this town hall meeting, the GEPC, which consists of accredited faculty, such as Dr. Stephen Sicari, Dr. Steven Mentz, Dr. Anne Geller, and Dr. Shante Smalls, provided necessary application details for already matriculated students, benefits of the conversion, as well as thoroughly answered any questions students raised.
The PhD conversion will add to the intellectual life of the MA/DA student population within the English Department, of St. John’s University. The professoriate explain the expectations that are aligned with the program, such as teaching, doctoral training, research, composition and rhetoric practices, situational and ethical diversity, as well as professional preparation toward the job market. After the initial presentation of this colloquia, many students expressed some anxieties about career goals, application details, and studies. The faculty was highly encouraging to the students for this degree conversion, career goals, and expectations of students’ academic positions within the new program.
Does this conversion represent a shift in students’ aspirations or expectations . . . or even graduation outcomes? The English Department affirmed quite the opposite. The department’s faculty demonstrated their understanding and support for both the new and matriculated students. Dr. Sicari, Dr. Mentz, Dr. Geller, and Dr. Smalls encompassed a likeness for the spirited, progressive community of faculty members within The Department of English. Students happily welcomed their ambitious commitment to making the PhD program a success!
To conclude, the GEPC strongly valued how doctoral training in the cannon will fortify mind stimulation, professional training, self-discipline, character development, specialized research and teaching skills, community and societal implications, and an educated constituency in democratic virtue. A doctoral education in literary studies readies an individual to become a prodigious asset to society, as well as an autonomous self. Furthermore, the new PhD conversion will strongly emphasize both the distinctive value of educational enlightenment and benefactions made to the literary society.