College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Professional Opportunities

The EFL M.A. program is committed to providing students with a range of opportunities to help them professionalize. To that end, we provide numerous leadership opportunities, hands-on experience, and comprehensive mentoring to help students achieve their career goals.

1. Teaching Assistant Program

The English M.A. program offers paid Teaching Assistantships in the fields of Literature, Composition, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Once selected, each Teaching Assistant will teach no more than one course per quarter, in the area for which he/she applied. A maximum of 15 Teaching Assistantships will be granted per academic year.

To qualify, candidates must be currently enrolled in the EFL graduate program and working toward the M.A. in English at Cal Poly Pomona. Candidates for the Literature pool must be declared in the Literature option or directed group of electives, candidates for the Composition pool must be declared in the Rhetoric & Composition option or directed group of electives, candidates for the TESL pool must be declared in the TESL option or directed group of electives.

In addition, candidates for the Literature pool must have successfully completely one of the following: ENG 587 (Teaching Basic Writing), ENG 588 (Teaching Freshman Composition), ENG 589 (Pedagogies of Reading), 590 (Pedagogies of Dramatic Literature) or be registered for ENG 587 in the Fall quarter following their selection as TAs. Candidates for the Composition pool must have successfully completed either ENG 587 (Teaching Basic Writing) or ENG 588 (Teaching Freshman Composition), or be registered for ENG 587 in the Fall quarter following their selection as TAs, or have completed an equivalent course elsewhere. Candidates for the ESL pool must have completed ENG 523 (Grammar for ESL Teachers) or ENG 525 (Teaching ESL Composition) or have completed an equivalent course elsewhere. Graduate students with conditional status are not eligible.

Graduate students in the TA program must maintain enrollment in two classes per quarter during the year of the award in addition to the TA Practicum (1 unit) course.

Please direct any questions about the TA program to the graduate coordinator.

Students may obtain an application by contacting the graduate secretary in building 24, room 207.

Applications are typically due at the end of April each year.

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2. Pomona Valley Review

Pomona Valley Review CoverIn 2002, Pomona Valley Review was created by Dr. Faith Barrett in an attempt to give students and faculty alike a literary place in the history of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and its community. Armed with the creative imaginaries of several humanities students, the English and Foreign Languages department of Cal Poly and its students put forth a noteworthy journal that included publications from several different members of Cal Poly’s and other universities’ ranks. After a hiatus between the years of 2006 and 2010, Pomona Valley Review resurfaced out of the EFL department once again, led by then-graduate students Ryan Leack and Chris Baarstad.

Today, PVR is an online literary journal that receives submissions from dozens of countries, universities, and freelancers across the globe in the fields of poetry, short fiction, and art. PVR continues to offer members of the literary community a diverse space for reading, writing, and publishing, presenting opportunities to staff to gain experience in submission managing, editing, web design, computer design, and marketing. Over the years, the journal has evolved into a (post)modern publication where the editors seek to read and experience the work of different communities and expressions, of different backgrounds and aesthetics, and most of all, of the new, the complex, the partially exposed, the unknown.

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3. Annual Graduate Symposium

In the Spring Quarter, Cal Poly Pomona hosts its annual symposium for the presentation of graduate research. Emulating the space of the professional conference, students practice and hone their presentation and critical thinking skills in front of an audience comprised of their peers, families, professors, and mentors. This academic conference functions as an inspiration to undergraduates aspiring to graduate study and constitutes a priceless experience for graduate student presenters as they prepare for the professional world.

The symposium is organized in concurrent panels of three presenters each, with representatives from all three M.A. options (Literature, Rhetoric & Composition, and TESL). Proposals are accepted for individual, paired, and group presentations, as well as for entire three-paper panels dealing with thematically related topics. Students interested in presenting should submit a title to the graduate coordinator by the advertised deadline (usually in April). Undergraduate and graduate students alike are strongly encouraged to attend and support their peers. Roughly 25 students choose to present their work annually not only to add to their CV as employers and doctoral programs alike value this type of professionalization, but also to gain experience, to build confidence, and to partake in shared scholarship. For more information about the Graduate Symposium, please contact the graduate coordinator.

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4. Teaching in China Program

M.A. students also have the opportunity to teach English oral proficiency in China during a 4 week summer program organized by EFL faculty members from Cal Poly Pomona. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona or at other institutions. Upon selection, students receive training during Spring quarter to teach English to middle-school Chinese students. These weekly training sessions allow students to develop cross-cultural awareness, acquire linguistic pedagogy, know how to conduct second language needs assessment and modification, learn interactive teaching techniques, and learn how to create appropriate lesson plans in a partnership with another student. Upon completion of their training, students embark on a 4 week-long summer trip to China where they typically teach in teams of 10 students.

This teaching program is designed to develop students' cultural awareness and sensibility while providing students with the enhanced professional opportunity to acquire experience in teaching non-native speakers of English. Participants in the China program learn classroom management, practice teamwork daily, and develop self-confidence as teachers and orators. Graduates of the program return from China with an increased understanding of English learners' needs, a comprehensive understanding of effective teaching methodology, and a recognition and appreciation of their self-development or growth as educators.

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5. PhrienDs: A Student Support Group for Ph.D. Aspirants

Getting into a Ph.D. program requires more than intellect; students need to be prepared. Founded in 2013, PhrienDs is an informal group of students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Among other things, the group hosts an annual Ph.D. Forum that brings faculty, alumni, and students together to talk about the application process: taking GRE exams, writing personal statements, and preparing CVs. For more information, check out the PhrienDs resource page.

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