NELP students earn 9 hours of credit. Although NELP's academic work is taught as a single integrated academic experience, the credits appear on transcripts
as three separate courses:
English 473 Topics in American Literature (3 cr.)
English 317 Literature and Culture (3 cr.)
English 328 Writing and the Environment (3 cr.)
The program emphasizes the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Sarah Orne Jewett, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Carolyn Chute, Louise Glück, as well as other 18th through 20th century writers of various backgrounds.
NELP offers creative writing workshops, but most writing is done in a journal. Journal writing is required and is central to NELP education. The journals are both personal and academic. Every NELPer belongs to a journal group, which meets twice a week for discussion and sharing. Writing assignments of various sorts are connected with the readings, and they are supplemented by writing on topics of the students' own choosing. Student writing often explores creative expression, the natural world and the New England environment, and the writer's response to the NELP experience.
NELP courses are graded. The academic program requires completion of a reading list, active work in the journal, and vigorous participation in classes and in the journal group. For English majors, NELP satisfies the American literature requirement. And, of course, NELP is open to English majors and non-English majors alike—our students always bring a variety of interests and disciplines to the program.