Career Paths in English and the Humanities

For several years, the English Department has reviewed options for a course dedicated to helping our undergraduate students find their career path.

This fall, we’re excited to launch our pilot offering: ENGL 599 “Career Paths in English and the Humanities.”

This one-credit hour course will provide, in an 8-week concentrated format, elements of career planning that students have told us are particularly helpful and successful — activities and experiences from our annual Career Seminar, from our advanced courses, and our annual Alumni Connections event.  We’ve also consulted colleagues from other English Departments across the country who have similar courses.

The activities and experiences for our new course include:

  • Identifying personal strengths and skills for academic and non-academic settings
  • Exploring career pathways by way of information interviews, alumni profiles, and internship opportunities in a range of professional fields
  • Attending and reflecting on alumni and career events sponsored by English and by others at Kansas State
  • Considering the role of humanities in public and private life

Why a one-credit hour course for just eight weeks, offered online and asynchronously?

We want to make sure this course can fit into already busy schedules, especially when students are balancing obligations to other courses, to jobs, and to family.

We also want to encourage students to pursue a two-credit hour internship, either concurrent with the career course or following it, so they can put directly into practice the strategies that the course offers and earn a total of three credit hours towards graduation.

With just one required book — Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans — we are keeping any costs beyond tuition as low as possible, too.

As I mentioned above, this course has been in development for several years. Many thanks to Deborah Murray, Allison Kuehne (the instructor for our pilot course!), and Naomi Wood for all of their work on this project — and our thanks to all of the faculty members who have incorporated professional development activities into their courses and offered feedback along the way.

Our goal is to help students in English and the Humanities to dream, design, and plan for a career and life post-graduation that will be both fulfilling and satisfying. We can’t wait to see the results.

In the meantime, we’re ready to enroll undergraduate students for the offering that begins October 18!

Contact us at for permission to add the course or for more information. For those planning ahead: we will have a second offering for the spring semester, running January – March, 2022.

Alumni and friends of English: Would you like to contribute to or sponsor an undergraduate student scholarship to help students enroll for this course or to cover the cost of the required book? Please reach out to me at Thank you!

— Karin Westman, Department Head


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