English Department

  • Bookshelf with a variety of fiction and nonfiction books

    Sherman Bookshelf

    Professor Rachel Sherman's bookshelf.

Welcome to the English Department!

The English Department at Ohlone College is dedicated to inspiring and empowering students in their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. We strive to design courses and programs with culturally relevant themes and readings and that represent a diverse chorus of voices. Our goal is for students to broaden their ideas of what is possible in their own reading and writing and in their educational goals as a whole. To this end, faculty and staff in the English Department have renewed our commitment to empowering students in the following ways:
  • We are committed to reviewing our course offerings to ensure cultural relevance.
  • We are committed to developing new course offerings on socially and culturally relevant themes.
  • We are committed to reviewing texts, themes, and activities in all our courses to ensure cultural diversity and cultural relevance.
  • We are committed to working towards hiring a more diverse group of faculty within the department.
  • We are committed to engaging in ongoing trainings in equity, inclusion, and anti-bias/ antiracist classroom strategies.
  • We are committed to continuing our professional development through regular and ongoing conference attendance, workshops, seminars, and retreats.
  • We are committed to treating all students with respect in all classroom and lab settings.
  • We are committed to regularly surveying our students on their classroom experiences and to gain insight and suggestions for ways to improve our courses and programs.

For more information on Ohlone’s Student Equity and Achievement efforts, visit the SEA website.
For information on Student Support Services at Ohlone, visit the eCampus Student Resources homepage.

What's New?

English 101AX was created by the English Department in late 2018 and began officially in Fall 2019. The 6-unit course is made up of the base 4-unit English 101A course and a 2-unit “X” course. Students who enroll will see two courses on their schedule, although English 101AX is considered one course. The content covered in this 6-unit course is the same as a traditional English 101A course but with more time to cover specific skills.

Should I take English 101A or English 101AX?

If you are currently an Ohlone student and have not already done so, you can take the English placement online. Answering a set of questions will better determine your appropriate level. If after looking at the sample reading and writing prompt you feel that you are not comfortable with your writing, English 101AX will provide the extra help and support you need to successfully pass transfer-level composition.

Students new to Ohlone need to complete the enrollment process, which includes the English Placement.

If you feel that you are not prepared to take English 101A or 101AX, you can enroll in the pre-transfer course (English 151RW) to develop your reading/writing skills.

What if I (still) have questions about the English 101A and/or English 101AX course?

You should contact either professor Rakesh Swamy or professor Kerrie Kawasaki-Hull for more information as both are the designated coordinators for the courses, and they can help answer your questions.

About the English Department

The English Department at Ohlone College offers classes in reading, writing, critical thinking, and literature to students at the transfer and developmental levels. as seen in the chart below. More specific information about each course can be found by visiting the English Courses page


Pre-Transfer-level English Courses

Courses Description
These courses are designed to help student prepare for the academic rigor of transfer-level English skills and study by covering basic elements such as proper writing etiquette, reading skills, and grammatical awareness when writing.

Transfer-level English Courses

Courses Description
These courses are designed to fulfill the transfer-level English requirement. Additionally, the 101B and 101C courses help provide the critical thinking component necessary for those students thinking or wishing to transfer to a CSU or UC.

Transfer Electives Courses

Courses Description
ENGL-104 The Short Story
ENGL/JOUR-106 Reading Banned Books
ENGL-107 Literature and Film
ENGL-109 The Graphic Novel
ENGL-111A/B Beginning/Intermediate Creative Writing
ENGL-112 Modern Fiction
ENGL-113 Poetry
ENGL-114 World Mythology
ENGL/WS-115 Women in Literature
ENGL-117 Science Fiction and Fantasy
ENGL-118 Introduction to Shakespeare
ENGL-119 The Gothic Novel
ENGL-120A Survey of American Literature: Beginning to 1865
ENGL-120B Survey of American Literature: 1865 to Present
ENGL-121 The Mystery: Unlocking Its Secrets
ENGL-122 Environmental Literature
ENGL-125A English Literature: From the Middle Ages to the Restoration / 18thCentury
ENGL-125B English Literature: From Romanticism to Modernism
ENGL-127 Autobiography: Writing Journals and Memoirs
ENGL-129 Psychology and Literature
ENGL-130 American Stories: Multicultural Autobiography and Memoir
ENGL-131 Hip Hop/Slam Poetry
ENGL-141 Advanced Novel and Short Story Writing
English is not only about essay writing and grammatical correctness. There are many other facets or “branches” of study, and each of the courses listed here provide students with additional skills and insight into those other subset fields of English. Additionally, these courses help fulfill some of the Elective or GE requirements that students need when transferring to a CSU or UC. If you are going to be an English major, you can click here (link to English Degrees).

1-unit Courses

Courses Description
ENGL-172 Vocabulary Improvement
ENGL-173 Improvement of Learning Techniques
ENGL-174 Spelling Improvement
ENGL-175 Reading and Comprehension Improvement
ENGL-176 Rapid Reading
These courses are offered through the English Language Center (ELC), but they are designed to help students improve their reading skills in specific areas. Classes are individualized-students are assessed and given their own programs to complete, based on ability. Students can work on their own time to complete their programs, whenever the English Learning Center is open.

Specialization Courses

Courses Description
ENGL-156 Introduction to Report and Technical Writing This course helps students interested in improving their job-related reading and writing skills.