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ERIC Number: EJ833915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
Rescuing Reading at the Community College
Long, Thomas Lawrence
Inquiry, v14 n1 p5-14 Spr 2009
Two national studies of Americans' changing reading habits, published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), quantified the grounds for concerns that college and university educators have expressed in recent years based on their own anecdotal evidence from observing students. "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America" (2004) documented a decline in literary reading among adults in over two decades of longitudinal studies conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. More recently, "To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence" (2007), a collective analysis of previously published peer-reviewed research, sounded an alarm that not only were Americans less likely to read, but also they were less able to read skillfully and effectively. These data are not surprising to community-college faculty who frequently lament that their students have weak reading skills and that even assigned reading, not to mention reading for pleasure, is rarely accomplished. Based on these observations and on "Reading at Risk" (2004), the two-year Rescuing Reading project was begun in 2005 at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) in Hampton, Virginia, as a college-wide response to the NEA report. Funded by a two-year Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Chancellor's Commonwealth Professorship, Rescuing Reading collected pre-intervention and post-intervention data, developed a variety of activities in order to engage all stakeholders in paying attention to reading, and used the project as a sounding board to highlight the importance and the pleasure of reading. After two years, data indicated increases in the amount of students' reading and the degree of importance that non-English faculty (both college transfer and occupational/technical) attributed to literary reading. In addition, the project was perceived by faculty as positive and effective with significant percentages of faculty surveyed registering engagement with or participation in some aspect of the project.
Virginia Community Colleges Association and Virginia Community College System. 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-819-4666; Fax: 804-819-4771; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia