In order to serve the needs of a wide variety of students, the department offers a unique program of triad courses. Under this plan students with different types of skills are brought together into a single classroom and study the ancient world from different points of view. For example, some students may read assignments in the original Latin and Greek while others work with English translations. Others may read these assignments in a combination of Latin and English, or in Greek and English. The number and nature of the assignments are, of course, tailored individually. In this way each student is able to bring a different perspective to class discussion of the ideas and the themes of course topics and texts.
In classes of mythology, sports, and society, students examine many aspects of ancient civilization and analyze its lasting impact on culture throughout the ages. Through such studies, students increase their appreciation for, and understanding of, timeless concepts and ideas which have helped to shape the evolution of humanity.
The department supports a chapter of the Archeological Institute of America, which arranges several lectures each year by visiting archeologists. Members of the department also work actively with Latin teachers through the Illinois Classical Conference in order to promote the study of Latin throughout the state of Illinois. The faculty publish regularly and annually supervise two classics contests: the Ralston Classics Writing Contest for Monmouth College students and the Fox Classics Writing Contest, a national competition open to any high school student. Every four years the department hosts the Illinois Latin Tournament, which brings together high school Latin students from all over the state. The department also sports the Annual Fox Classics Lecture. Recent Fox lecturers have discussed Roman comedy, Roman architecture, and the classical influences of the works of William Shakespeare and Willa Cather.
Students regularly earn high honors in the National Latin/National Greek exams. Those who maintain high grades in language classes are invited to join the college's chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honor society, which promotes the love of classical learning on campus. Eta Sigma Phi members regularly attend the annual national convention and some have been elected national officers. There is also a Classics Club, open to anyone interested in the ancient world. In recent years, the Classics Department has sponsored field trips to dramatic performances, to the Art Institute in Chicago, and to the World Heritage Museum in Champaign-Urbana.
The department employs a number of students in a variety of capacities. Students work as language tutors, student assistants, grade papers and prepare hand outs. They also prepare book displays and assist with departmental mailings.
The Capron Room is one of the best equipped classrooms in the state for learning the Classics in a multimedia environment. The room contains a library, display cases, maps, slide, video and computer projections systems, and an overhead projector. The department also uses a variety of computerized software, and students in Classics courses are encouraged to use the College computer network for language drill and for writing and submitting coursework.
Students often participate in the ACM Florence Programs, which afford opportunities to study classical civilization and its influence in Florence, Rome and other European cities. Individual students have also participated in summer programs in Europe. Students also have the opportunity to study as exchange students at The American College of Thessaloniki in Greece.
A major in Classics consists of a minimum of 30 semester hours, including Classics 211, 212, and 230. Language proficiency at the 102 level in Latin or Greek is also required.
The Classics and Education Departments cooperate in offering a program, approved by the Illinois State Teacher Certification Board, that leads to certification of secondary level teachers of Latin. For certification, the state board requires a minimum of 32 credits in the field plus Latin 435. A candidate with certification in another field may qualify to teach Latin with 20 credits in a second teaching field. An individually designed program which satisfies this need is formulated for the teaching candidate.