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Taylor’s English Department Commended by Academic Policy Committee After Review

  • By: Victoria Lawson
  • Published:
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Taylor University’s English Department has been commended by the Academic Policy Committee (APC) after its finding the department meets and exceeds institutional standards of excellence. Dr. Nancy Dayton, Department Chair and a Professor of English, presented the department’s eight-year review to the APC during the fall semester.

The department’s External Reviewer and Professor of English at Houghton College, Dr. Linda Woolsey, said she was impressed with the degree of quality, and dedication of the faculty she found in Taylor’s English department.

“Over the past few years I have often heard praise for Taylor’s English department from colleagues in Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL), and other organizations devoted to Christian higher education and scholarship,” Woolsey said. “What I found at Taylor not only lived up to the buzz about the university in general and the English department in particular, but exceeded my expectations. The English department at Taylor University truly is, as department chair Nancy Dayton describes it ‘a relational department,’ grounded in lively, Christ-centered relationships among faculty and between faculty and students. The evidence I examined—from syllabi to departmental outcomes data, from class room observations to one-on-one discussions with faculty and students—suggests that this community is also academically serious in the best sorts of ways.”

Each department at Taylor is required to conduct an academic review every eight years. With the exception of Taylor’s education, music and social work departments, which process their reviews separately, the APC evaluates all departments based on four standards of excellence: Mission Alignment, Program Quality, Faculty Qualifications, and Continuous Quality Improvement. The English department received recognition for its high marks in each of these categories.

Every Taylor student cycles through English department at some point in their career as part of Taylor’s foundational core, so quality in the department is an essential piece of Taylor’s liberal arts curriculum.

Beyond classroom teaching and writing, Taylor’s English department also hosts a biennial Making Literature Conference, which draws attendees from throughout the United States. The department also sponsors Parnassus, a student-produced magazine of original poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and artwork from the Taylor community.