An English education bachelor's eegree from NSU teaches valuable skills that transfer easily across disciplines and careers.

    About The Program

    As an NSU English education major, you’ll learn to write clearly, read critically, connect ideas meaningfully, understand diversity, relate historical context to human interactions, and see others empathetically. NSU's English program is structured with different areas of emphasis to help you tailor your major to suit your needs and career goals.


    At NSU, English education majors complete courses required for the teaching emphasis and professional education course work in secondary education.


    NSU's English degree pairs well with other specializations and students are encouraged to take minors, or even to double major, in areas such as history, business, political science, and art design.


    Many English majors earn master's degrees in education or business. Explore NSU's graduate programs to learn more.


    In addition to teaching in middle or high schools, an NSU English education degree can set you on the path to teach at the college level or teach English as a second language in the U.S. or abroad. Teachers who are geographically  mobile and obtain licensure in more than one subject are likely to have a distinct employment advantage.


    Other career possibilities include employee development or training specialist, interviewer, education administrator, personnel specialist, public relations specialist, sales representative, media relations representative, non-profit administrator or educational consultant.


    For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.


    NSU's English program also supports career readiness through internships that require students to apply their skills in the workplace. Students have interned in such diverse positions as writer/copy editor at their hometown newspaper, grants assistance at the university, public relations for the community theater, archival work in a museum, and web design for a local nonprofit organization.


    A three-credit internship is required.

    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, contact Jessica Ness, or call 605-626-2272 or 605-626-7900. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or

    Kiera Ball is an Instructor of English, having joined Northern’s faculty in 2023. She holds a master’s degree in English literature from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sioux Falls in English and theology/philosophy.

    Her research interests focus on regional literature and gender and theology in 19th- and 20th-century American and British literature.


    Dr. Lysbeth Em Benkert arrived at Northern State University in the fall of 1995, one year after receiving her Ph.D from Washington State University. 

    Her specializations include rhetorical theory and early modern literature, including Shakespeare. She also teaches creative writing. In addition to her academic scholarship, she has published original poems in a variety of literary magazines and a chapbook titled #girl stuff (Dancing Girl Press, 2018). A second chapbook of poems, Please thank you but why, is forthcoming in February of 2023.

    B.A.  University of Northern Colorado
    M.A.  Central Michigan University
    Ph.D.  Kent State University
    Courses Taught
    ENGL 101/201: Composition I & II
    ENGL 213: Backgrounds to Literature
    ENGL 222: British Literature II
    ENGL 230: Literature for Younger Readers
    ENGL 284: Introduction to Literary Criticism
    ENGL 484: Literary Criticism
    ENGL 490: Seminar
    MCOM 210: Basic Media Writing
    MCOM 311: News Editing
    Dr. Haller is a professor of English at Northern, having joined the faculty in 2009. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado (1999), an M.A. in English literature…
    B.A. in English, Briar Cliff University, 1988
    M.A. in English, South Dakota State University, 1995
    Ph.D. in English, University of South Dakota, 2001


    Dr. Pen Pearson is a professor of English at Northern. Pearson also advises Northern Lights, Northern’s student literary magazine, and mentors high school English teachers in Northern’s Rising Scholar program.

    Her novel about Edwardian poet Charlotte Mew, Bloomsbury’s Late Rose, was published in 2019 (Chickadee Prince Books). Dr. Pearson has also published two books of poetry: Trespass to Chattel (Atomic Press) and Poetry as Liturgy (Mellen Poetry Press). Her current project is a memoir about her late father. 

    Courses Taught
    Engl 101  Composition I
    Engl 201  Composition II
    Engl 283  Introduction to…
    M.A., Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia
    Dr. Peter Ramey came to NSU in August 2012 and is NSU's English Club advisor.
    Courses Taught
    ENGL 221 Survey of British Literature I
    LING 443 Development of English
    ENGL 201 Composition II
    LATI 101 Elementary Latin
    IDL 190 Seminar
    Research Interests
    Old English language and literature


    “Crafting Strangeness: Wonder Terminology in the Exeter Book Riddles and the Anglo-Latin Enigmata.” Review of English Studies 69.289 (2017): 201-15.

    “The Riddle of Beauty: The Aesthetics of Wrætlic in Old English Verse.” Modern Philology 114.3 (2017): 457-81.