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Integrated reading and writing in community colleges: a qualitative study of developmental literacy education




Church, Martin A., author
Doe, Sue, advisor
Kiefer, Kathleen, committee member
Davies, Timothy, committee member

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The following thesis investigates the potential benefits that integrating reading and writing instruction provides to developmental students. In light of several bans on developmental education at four-year institutions across the country, the role community colleges play in providing literacy instruction appears to be increasingly important. This project strives to understand the potential to integrate developmental reading and writing instruction in community colleges by answering the following questions: To what extent are community college administrators aware of the literature on the reading/writing connection? What are the costs and benefits of integrating developmental reading and writing and what do the better curricula consist of? How do issues concerning developmental literacy education change in the context of community colleges when compared to four-year institutions? What administrative, programmatic, and organizational challenges do integrated developmental reading and writing programs create and how can those challenges be addressed? Based on my analysis of interviews conducted with seven developmental program administrators, representing five community colleges within the state, I conclude that organizational factors at these institutions strongly influence notions of literacy education and administrator’s ability to 111 implement programmatic revisions. Further, I argue that administrators’ efforts to implement effective forms of integrated developmental education must include not only a sound pedagogical grounding in reading and writing and a framework to account for specific challenges that arise at their institution, but also a better means for articulating developmental concerns to their college’s central administration, each other, and state officials.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

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Developmental studies programs
Community colleges
Reading (Higher education)
English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching
Functional literacy


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