The English Department seeks to assist the growth of students as lifelong readers and writers. Teachers work with students to increase their abilities to comprehend what they read, to gather the basic facts of a text, and to go beneath the surface to discover layers of inferential meaning. Similarly, instructors seek to assist students in developing competence in the simple mechanics of writing: punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph development and essay organization. The curriculum combines both classic and contemporary literary texts. The ultimate goal of the department is that students will develop a deep appreciation for reading and writing with an awareness that the literature of the English language, rigorously examined and evaluated, is a lifelong gift to the mind of the alert, civilized human being.