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Bulldog News

SC State English Program receives $10,000 grant from Modern Language Association

Author: Sam Watson, Director of University Relations|Published: May 14, 2024|All News, Faculty & Staff News

Hawes Lee
Dr. Janice Hawes and Donald Lee

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina State University’s Professional English Program has received a $10,000 Pathways Step Grant from the Modern Language Association (MLA).

The SC State project, “Increasing Opportunities for E 499 English Internship Students,” was one of 19 projects selected from 100 applications.

Approved as a course in 2022, E 499 provides English majors with opportunities to employ their transferable skills in real-world settings.

“While student responses about their learning experiences in the course have been overwhelmingly positive, we wanted to take advantage of the flexibility of the English degree and provide a greater variety of internship options,” said Dr. Janice Hawes, chair of the SC State Department of English and Communications and the grant’s primary investigator, “

English majors graduate with skills that open doors to a variety of post-graduate and career opportunities. They include public relations, technical writing, editing, speech writing, management, publishing, web content development, and teaching, as well as literary studies, creative writing, graduate school, and law school.

The MLA Pathways Step Grant project has three goals:

  • Helping students identify, articulate and employ their transferable skills beyond the classroom and campus.
  • Providing networking opportunities for students.
  • Providing internship students with mentorship and guidance.

Donald Lee, an SC State English instructor, serves as the internship coordinator under the grant, and his networking already has benefitted the program.

“Through this grant we have had students interning with a local radio station where not only did they help with on-air copy, but they were responsible for rebuilding the website of the radio station,” Lee said. “We also had students interning with a local attorney, aiding in case reading and court preparation for the attorney.

“Because of the assistance of the MLA Pathways Step Grant, Department of English and Communications students have over 40 different local, national, and international businesses and local and state government officials wanting to see the amazing product that is available at South Carolina State University,” he said.

The project’s first phase will culminate in September 2024 with a working luncheon for current and potential internship supervisors, English faculty members and students. The focus of discussion will be how the English internship can be strengthened even further for the benefit of English majors and the program’s partners.

The Department of English and Communications is part of the College of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences at SC State.