Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs
286 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Apr 2017
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Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs

Utah State University Press

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.

Contributors: Matthew Bridgewater, Cristine Busser, Beth Buyserie, Polina Chemishanova, Michael Day, Bruce Feinstein, Patricia Freitag Ericsson, Nathan Garrett, Joanne Baird Giordano, Tawanda Gipson, Sarah E. Harris, Mark Hartlaub, Holly Hassel, Jennifer Heinert, Ashley J. Holmes, Rita Malenczyk, Christopher P. Parker, Cassandra Phillips, Anna Plemons, Pegeen Reichert Powell, Marc Scott, Robin Snead, Sarah Elizabeth Snyder, Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Susan Wolff Murphy

'A valuable contribution to the field of composition and rhetoric, and to institutional discussions about retention and persistence that cut across fields.'
—Rolf Norgaard, University of Colorado Boulder

'Full of good writing and a sense that good people are doing this work. The book will resonate beyond WPAs and will likely foster more partnerships within institutions.'
—Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma

Todd Ruecker is assistant professor of English at the University of New Mexico and the assessment coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Transiciones: Pathways of Latinas and Latinos Writing in High School and College and a co-editor of Linguistically Diverse Immigrant and Resident Writers: Transitions from High School to College and has published in a variety of venues such as TESOL QuarterlyCollege Composition and Communication, and Writing Program Administration.

Dawn Shepherd is associate professor of English and associate director of the first-year writing program at Boise State University. She is the author of Building Relationships: Online Dating and the New Logics of Internet Culture, and her research on romantic matchmaking and algorithmic culture has been featured in local and international media, including BBC World andThe Times of London. Her work has been published in edited collections as well as The Norton Book of Composition Studies andWPA: Writing Program Administration.

Heidi Estrem is professor of English and director of the first-year writing program at Boise State University, which was recently awarded the Council of Basic Writing’s Award for Innovation. She has published on first-year writing pedagogy, new instructor development and support, and a range of writing program administration issues in WPA: Writing Program AdministrationComposition StudiesPedagogy, and numerous edited collections.

Beth Brunk-Chavez is professor of rhetoric and writing studies at the University of Texas at El Paso and the dean of Extended University. She is a 2009 recipient of the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Her publications have appeared in WPA: Writing Program AdministrationWritten CommunicationComposition Studies, and numerous edited collections. She served as the writing program administrator for the first-year composition program for five years, during which time the program was awarded a Conference on College Composition and Communication Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

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