Banned Books Week is coming to a close, marking the end of the week each year that celebrates books that for whatever reason have been banned from classrooms across the country. Some of the country’s and world’s most famous books are on that list, including classics like The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and Brave New World. More recent books are also on the list, such as the entire Harry Potter series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the Hunger Games series, The Giver, and several Judy Blume books.
Perhaps you’ve read several books on the list and you consider yourself a better person for it. If you have a passion for books – banned or not – there are several degrees you can earn and paths you can take that could set you up for a career through which you celebrate all kinds of books and teach others to appreciate them as well.
- Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Illinois Springfield: The bachelor’s program in English at public UI-Springfield prepares students to think critically, analyze language and literature, make contextual connections between a text and the time in which it was written, research thoroughly using a variety of media, and effectively communicate through oral and written speech. A bachelor’s degree in English can prepare students for a more advanced master’s program, law or business school, or a career in technical or journalistic writing.
- Bachelor of Arts in English with Creative Writing Emphasis, Regent University: The bachelor’s degree with a creative writing emphasis through Virginia-based private, Christian, not-for-profit Regent University is one of five emphases English students can choose. Students will take several courses in various types of literature, as well as writing courses in essays, poetry, short stories, storytelling and script writing, fiction, and nonfiction. Students who earn this degree may be prepared for advanced study, writing banned books, or for working in publishing or technical writing.
- Accelerated Teacher Certification, Saint Joseph’s University: Earning teaching certification through an accelerated program is a way for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree to become certified to teach in public schools. Pairing an English degree with a teaching certification could be the perfect way to teach high school English. It is important to note that states have their own requirements for certification, such as student teaching and separate examinations. Saint Joseph’s University is based in Pennsylvania, but has reciprocity agreements with more than 30 other states.
- Master’s in Library and Information Science, Drexel University: Philadelphia-based private, not-for-profit Drexel University offers one of the country’s top-ranked library science programs. Students in the program will take coursework in research, information, information users and services, and managing information systems, and can choose concentration courses in public library sources, resources for children or adults, web design, academic library service, cataloging, collection management, instructional design, and archiving. Students who earn this degree could be librarians at schools, public libraries, or universities, could be research specialists, or could work in museum or special collection archiving.
- Master of Library Science- Library Media Specialist, University at Buffalo: Public University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York System, offers a Master of Library Science degree with a program that leads to state certification as a library media specialist. Students will take courses in library studies, information technology, references, resources for children and adults, organization and control of recorded information, and management of school library centers. Students will also need to meet certain state pedagogical requirements and participate in field experiences. Students who complete the program will be certified to work in school libraries and qualified to work in libraries elsewhere.
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