Advising Document for MTL Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Multicultural and Transnational Literatures

Advising Document

Supplements information on the Departmental Website at:


Welcome to the ECU English Department’s Certificate Program in Multicultural and Transnational Literatures. The graduate Certificate in Multicultural and Transnational Literatures offers continuing education for post baccalaureate teachers, professionals, and potential graduate degree students in literatures from diverse ethnic and cultural groups that may have been excluded from mainstream literary studies. Our courses focus on U.S. ethnic and world literatures from local, regional, national, transnational, and global perspectives. Our approach to understanding and appreciating literatures is interdisciplinary, involving the study of historical, political, artistic, geographic, and environmental contexts, as well as literary aesthetics and interpretation.  Methodologies are drawn from literary studies, cultural studies, colonial/postcolonial/diasporic studies, and discourse analysis, among others.

The Certificate is offered only online. You will not be required to come to campus for any reason, though we encourage you to visit campus, meet your professors, and attend Graduation ceremonies if this is feasible for you. Completion requires 12 s.h., including ENGL 6340 and 6360 (both required), and 6 s.h. to be selected from ENGL 6330, 6350, 6370, 6380, 6420, 6450, 6460, 7350, and 7365. Other special topics graduate courses in related areas may be approved on an individual basis.

To receive the Certificate in MTL, you must be enrolled in ECU as a graduate Certificate student. If you first applied as a non-degree student, you must reapply as a Certificate student (application available on the Graduate School website: ). If you are in another graduate degree program and want to add a certificate, you should notify the English Dept. Graduate Administrative Assistant or English Graduate Director (, and then complete the online “Request to Add Certificate” form on the Graduate School website at

As soon as you are admitted, you should begin to check your ECU email account regularly for important communications about registration, program requirements, etc.  Please use this email account for all your communications with us.


Most of your courses will be delivered through Blackboard, which is accessed through the ECU home page ( by clicking on the Bb icon on the upper right of the page and logging in with your PirateID and password. After you are registered and your professor has made the course available, you will find there a list of courses you are enrolled in, which you can click on to enter. Sometimes courses are also offered through Moodle or instructor website; you will receive email information from the individual professors about how to access those courses.

Descriptions of courses offered in a given semester will be found on the Departmental web page: and you will also receive regular emails from us about course offerings and registration.


Full time graduate status is two courses per summer session and three courses during the spring and fall semesters (the maximum recommended). To receive financial aid, you must be at least half time, that is, you must take a minimum of two courses during the summer (two in one session, or one course in each session) and a minimum of two courses in a regular semester.


If you find yourself overwhelmed by your course load and unable to keep up or complete a course, be sure to discuss your situation with your professor to work out a good solution. The drop date for graduate courses (the date by which you can drop a course without receiving a grade) is fairly late in the semester. You’ll find the drop date, along with all other important dates, on the ECU Academic Calendar available through the ECU homepage (click on the calendar icon in the upper left corner of the page, near the Bb icon). It is generally preferable to drop a course without credit and retake it later rather than receive a failing grade (which cannot be removed from your record). If you need to drop a course, email the registrar at, with your name and Banner ID, the course number and title, and ask to be dropped from the class.


If you have unusual extenuating circumstances that prevent you from finishing a course that you have mostly completed (illness, death in the family, etc.), you may sometimes be able to negotiate with your professors for an Incomplete, which allows you one year to complete the assignments that you and your professor have agreed upon. Incompletes should be arranged in advance of the end of a course; they are intended for special circumstances only, not if you just get behind and can’t get that final paper in on time. If you have any kind of problem completing course assignments on time, be sure to contact your professors before the work is due! If you take an Incomplete in the class, it is advisable to finish up the required work just as soon as you can, while course materials are still fresh in your mind. If you do not finish an Incomplete, it automatically turns to an F.  Stay in close touch with your Professors about your progress as you finish up Incompletes; you do not want to wait unless the last minute (when typically your Professors are involved in end-of-the-semester grading) to suddenly dump a pile of missing work on them.


Tip: Save all your papers and assignments (originals and graded copies with professors’ comments) that you complete in the program. You will be asked to submit several papers along with a brief introduction as part of ongoing program assessment (see Program Assessment Portfolio below).  In addition, copies of your graded papers will be very useful for helping your professors write good letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate program applications.


The semester that you take the last class or classes to complete the Certificate, you should notify your adviser and the Graduate Administrative Assistant ( You will be emailed a form to print out, complete and mail to the Registrar. If you are taking extra courses beyond the four required courses in order to complete the 18 hours to qualify for community college teaching, you will want to wait until the semester or session that you take your last course to apply for the Certificate.

Program Assessment Portfolio: When you have completed the requirements for the MTL Certificate, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of selected essays with a brief framing commentary.  You will not be graded on the portfolio, and identifying information will be removed.  The portfolio will be used internally to evaluate the needs of students in the Certificate Program and the strength and weaknesses of instruction.

Your adviser in the Certificate program will be Dr. Ellen Arnold ( Questions about the admissions process can be directed to the English Department Graduate Administrative Assistant (

Welcome to the program, and we look forward to seeing you in our classes!




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