English & Creative Writing

The English curriculum at Centralia College ranges from pre-college and college-level composition and literature courses to technical and creative writing.

Communicating ideas, sharing experiences, and using language are skills critical to all professions, as well as to daily life. Centralia College's English program incorporates the study of a wide variety of literary genres with history and art courses to cultivate a broad understanding of the cultures, issues, and events that shaped them.

Do you enjoy exploring your world through reading? Creative writing? Research? According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook 2021 survey, verbal communication, written communication, and analytical/research ability consistently rank among the top five skills employers seek, yet report they have a hard time finding in job candidates. Cengage/Morning Report (2018) found that 54 percent of employers say that it is difficult to find employees with good communication skills, and 64 percent say that finding employees skilled in critical thinking is a challenge. As rapidly changing technologies restructure jobs of the future, these skills – central to an English major – will become even more important, helping people transition between several careers in a lifetime.

Careers in writing, teaching, and publishing are naturals for an English major, and more options beckon: studying English also prepares you for careers in law, publishing, medicine, and the fine arts. English majors work in technological fields, too, writing content for websites and social media; technical writing, too, is an ability employers seek. If skill with words is important in a field, that field is open to an English major who goes on to earn a B.A. Here are some examples:


English majors work at all levels of K-12 and college, teaching both analytical and creative writing, literature, and journalism. Students interested in this pathway may apply to work as a writing consultant at our college writing center. Centralia also offers courses in classic American and British literature, as well as special topics like Science Fiction, Women’s Literature, Non-Western World Literature, and Children’s Literature.

Creative writing

Centralia offers courses in beginning and intermediate creative writing for students who want to expand the kinds of writing they can do, as well as a literary arts journal, Spilled Ink, for those who’d like to learn about publishing, production, and digital design. Businesses seek good writers to develop content and entertainment for online platforms.


An AA in English is an excellent basis for focusing on journalism at a transfer institution. English majors can take courses in other disciplines, like Communication Studies, to help prepare for work in print, digital, radio, internet, and other media. Students interested in this path might be interested in taking elective course in the Fine Arts department, like Radio Broadcasting and Digital Photography.

Publishing and public relations  

The careful reading and advanced writing skills learned by English majors prepare them for professions like editor, copywriter, PR representative, technical writer, and more. Many organizations, whether profit or non-profit, need people who can write swiftly and effectively.

The medical humanities

As medical mistakes have gained headlines, medical schools have become increasingly open to admitting students with English degrees who have an edge in communication, as well as the ethical values learned from courses focused on humanities, like English and literature. A double major in English and a science discipline can be an excellent path for a student considering a career in health sciences.


Lawyers write constantly and must use their critical thinking skills to interpret law and apply it to cases. English majors learn to read carefully, critically, and to analyze complex material in depth: excellent preparation for legal studies.


In addition to skills employers seek noted at the top of this page, “soft skills,” like ethical awareness and empathy, rank highly. Courses in literature and writing help develop these skills. Students who are interested in majoring in English with a view to bringing writing skills to a business career might also be interested in taking Humanities electives, such as Introduction to Ethics or Humanities and Cultural Values.

English Education Plan

Degree: Associate in Arts
Emphasis: English

Note for Students

  • To satisfy the 3-5 credit diversity requirement, students may wish to take ENGL 233 Children's Literature, ENGL 260 Non-Western Literature, or ENGL 160 Women in Literature.
First Year  
Fall Quarter
  • ENGL& 101 English Composition I - 5 credits
  • Humanities Distribution - 5 credits
  • Social Science Distribution* - 5 credits
Winter Quarter
  • ENGL& 102 Composition II - 5 credits
  • Elective (Literature or Creative Writing) - 5 credits
  • Humanities Distribution - 5 credits
Spring Quarter
  • Literature Elective - 5 credits
  • Health and Fitness Distribution - 3 credits
  • Quantitative Skills Distribution - 5 credits
  • Social Science Distribution - 5 credits
* History is recommended for a Social Science Distribution.
Second Year  
Fall Quarter
  • Literature Elective - 5 credits
  • Humanities Distribution - 5 credits
  • Natural Science Distribution - 5 credits
Winter Quarter
  • Literature or Creative Writing Elective - 5 credits
  • Natural Science Distribution - 5 credits
  • Social Science Distribution - 5 credits
Spring Quarter
  • Literature Elective - 5 credits
  • Humanities Distribution - 5 credits
  • Natural Science Distribution - 5 credits

Coming soon!

University of Washington, Washington State University, and other four-year public and private colleges


Kelly Erickson
Associate Professor
Office: TAC 315
Email Kelly Erickson