Books

Transiciones: Pathways of Latinas and Latinos Writing in High School and College

Transiciones is a thorough ethnography of seven Latino students in transition between high school and community college or university. Data gathered over two years of interviews with the students, their high school English teachers, and their writing teachers and administrators at postsecondary institutions reveal a rich picture of the conflicted experience of these students as they attempted to balance the demands of schooling with a variety of personal responsibilities.

Todd Ruecker explores the disconnect between students' writing experiences in high school and higher education and examines the integral role that writing plays in college. Considering the almost universal requirement that students take a writing class in their critical first year of college, he contends that it is essential for composition researchers and teachers to gain a fuller understanding of the role they play in supporting and hindering Latina and Latino students' transition to college.

Arguing for situating writing programs in larger discussions of high school/college alignment, student engagement, and retention, Transiciones raises the profile of what writing programs can do, while calling composition teachers, administrators, and scholars to engage in more collaboration across the institution, across institutions, and across disciplines to make the transition from high school to college writing more successful for this important group of students.

Linguistically Diverse Immigrant and Resident Writers: Transitions from High School to College

Edited with Christina Ortmeier-Hooper

Spotlighting the challenges and realities faced by linguistically diverse immigrant and resident students in U.S. secondary schools and in their transitions from high school to community colleges and universities, this book looks at programs, interventions, and other factors that help or hinder them as they make this move. Chapters from teachers and scholars working in a variety of contexts build rich understandings of how high school literacy contexts, policies such as the proposed DREAM Act and the Common Core State Standards, bridge programs like Upward Bound, and curricula redesign in first-year college composition courses designed to recognize increasing linguistic diversity of student populations, affect the success of this growing population of students as they move from high school into higher education.

Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs

Edited with Dawn Shepherd, Heidi Estrem, and Beth Brunk-Chavez

From scholars working in a variety of institutional and geographic contexts and with a wide range of student populations, Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs offers perspectives on how writing programs can support or hinder students’ transitions to college. The contributors present individual and program case studies, student surveys, a wealth of institutional retention data, and critical policy analysis.

Rates of student retention in higher education are a widely acknowledged problem: although approximately 66 percent of high school graduates begin college, of those who attend public four-year institutions, only about 80 percent return the following year, with 58 percent graduating within six years. At public two-year institutions, only 60 percent of students return, and fewer than a third graduate within three years. Less commonly known is the crucial effect of writing courses on these statistics.

First-year writing is a course that virtually all students have to take; thus, writing programs are well-positioned to contribute to larger institutional conversations regarding retention and persistence and should offer themselves as much-needed sites for advocacy, research, and curricular innovation. Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs is a timely resource for writing program administrators as well as for new writing teachers, advisors, administrators, and state boards of education.

The Politics of English Second Language Writing Assessment in Global Contexts

Edited with Deborah Crusan

Reflecting the internationalization of the field of second language writing, this book focuses on political aspects and pedagogical issues of writing instruction and testing in a global context. High-stakes assessment impacts the lives of second language (L2) writers and their teachers around the world, be it the College English Test in China, Common Core aligned assessments in the U.S., English proficiency tests in Poland, or the material conditions (such as access to technology, training, and other resources) affecting a classroom. With contributions from authors working in 10 different countries in a variety of institutional contexts, the chapters examine the uses and abuses of various writing-related assessments, and the policies that determine their form and use. Representing a diverse range of contexts, methods, and disciplines, the authors jointly call for more equitable testing systems that consider the socioeconomic, psychometric, affective, institutional, and needs of all students who strive to gain access to education and employment opportunities related to English language proficiency.