Eastern Michigan WP Tackles College Readiness

Feb 26, 2013
Posted by: kcmckay

Eastern Michigan WP brings together university faculty and middle school and high school teachers to address college readiness.

Last year’s Dean’s Program Development Initiative allowed faculty from Eastern Michigan University and teachers from middle and secondary schools in southeastern Michigan to participate in much-needed conversations about writing and about best approaches to teaching writing that prepare students for college and beyond.  In a three-day workshop last summer, co-sponsored by the Eastern Michigan Writing Project (EMWP), The University Writing Center (UWC) and the Writing Across the Curriculum Program (WAC), twenty-eight teachers from thirteen academic disciplines (ranging from biology to art to philosophy to nursing) met together to explore these issues and to create partnerships across grade levels.  The schedule from the three days (see attached agenda and letter to participants) gave faculty and teachers time to explore their own uses of writing and to explore the connections (and disconnections) across the grade levels and across disciplines.  Placed in cohort groups based on disciplines, middle and high school teachers joined their university counterparts to learn from each other just how literacy is taught at each level and to think together about how they might create a more seamless path for students to move from middle to high school to college in their own discipline.

At the end of the workshop, faculty from EMU and secondary teachers formed partnerships to create projects that they would pursue in the coming school year.  Before the workshop ended, we scheduled follow-up meetings for the whole group to facilitate staying in touch and to provide a mechanism for reporting back on our progress.

In February we shared this model of collaboration at the EMWP’S Saturday workshop “Literacy Standards for Life.   In May, we will meet again to report back on the outcomes of the projects and to search for ways to disseminate this work.