Here’s a humorous quote to begin with:
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
– Flannery O’Connor
I don’t believe that is always true but, in my experience, English majors and profs can be very close-minded and even elitist. That is such a waste because there is so much to write about and so many different ways to express it. Closing yourself to others’ opinions, including those of ‘non-writers’, will cut you off from some great experience.
I tried a few English courses at University. The first one (at the University of Guelph with Homer Hogan) I hated so much I dropped it right away: it was far too analytical for my taste. The second was an upper year creative writing course with Susan Musgrave, then writer in residence at the University of Waterloo. I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot.
As I write more and have grown older I know that the only sure way to learn to write, as Stephen King suggests, is to sit yourself down and write, write, write. He’s right, right, right.