English: Composition, Literature, Basic Skills

English Department

Welcome and thank you for visiting. This site is intended to serve as a resource for current and prospective students, faculty, and the community. We hope you will find all the information you need within these pages, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the department directly.

Here you can meet the Program faculty and students, and learn about the course offerings.

Mission Statement
Our goal is to develop in our students the ability to criticize, analyze and respond in writing to the ideas presented in expository prose and literature in order to foster intellectual growth and academic success.

Composition & Literature

The Composition and Literature Program provides instruction to nearly all of over 14,000 students enrolled at Bergen Community College. All matriculated students take at least Composition I, and a great many students take Composition II and Literature courses.

No matter what year, semester or time you take the course, the composition courses will contain certain common features. Faculty may vary from these to reflect their individual teaching styles. A number of faculty have developed their own web sites. These may be helpful to you in making course selections or checking on assignments. Several composition courses are offered on-line every semester.

We help composition students achieve improvement in their their writing style, diagnose difficulties or overcome writing problems. A number of support services are available. The On-line  Writing Center is staffed with professional tutors and faculty. You can contact them via e-mail for answers to writing questions.

 Visit our Literary Arts Blog


English Basic Skills

“I once had a student who struggled in my EBS class, but did enough to pass. He went on to earn a B in Writing 101 and a B+ in Writing 201. Whenever I saw him, he said that my class was his wake-up call. He realized how much he had to learn, how much work learning took, and dedicated himself to doing it.”
Professor Don Reilly, Chair, English Basic Skills Department

The mission of the Department of English Basic Skills is to prepare our students, with their diverse academic backgrounds, for the demands of college reading and writing, and to provide them with a challenging educational experience that enhances the critical thinking skills necessary for life-long learning.

Based upon the results of the English portion of the basic skills assessment and placement test, a student may be placed in one of four entry level English courses:

  • Developmental Skills I and Developmental Skills II (EBS 011 / 012)
  • English Skills (EBS 021)
  • Directed Studies in Writing and Composition II (EBS 033 & WRT 101, co-requisite course)
  • Directed Studies in Writing and Composition I (EBS 041 and WRT 101)
  • Composition I alone (WRT 101)

Students placed in Developmental Skills I and II or English Skills must enroll in their required course in their first semester at the college.