Impact on Stretch Writing Instruction

Statement in Support of ASU-Tempe Instructors

As a co-coordinator of the Stretch Writing Program at ASU-Tempe, I write in response to requests from colleagues across the nation in the field of Basic Writing for a statement on the situation at ASU-Tempe. In this capacity, I support instructional innovation, which provides a clear pathway to positive learning outcomes. Yet such innovation requires workforce support beyond the classroom. Such aims are better served through a 20% service and professional development load, and an 80% teaching load. Following are more detailed points for understanding these aims:

  1. As an aid to retention between their first and second years of college, students benefit from learner-centered, process-based pedagogy that is emphasized by ASU’s Writing Program. Such writing pedagogy depends on intensive time-on-task by instructors, and developing personal contacts with students. These personal contacts remain vital at a university with ASU-Tempe’s large, diverse, national and international populations.
  2. To address financial questions regarding the costs and rewards of an undergraduate education at ASU-Tempe, undergraduate students need instructors that have the time and energy to invest in teaching undergraduates. Students voice particular concern about accruing debt as a result of high tuition, and express interest in high quality instruction. Instructors that engage in professional development and service in their field remain better equipped to offer high quality instruction.
  3. For gainful employment in the twenty-first-century workforce, students need a well-rounded education. Twenty-first-century employers expect that students will have strong writing skills, which include competence in multimedia technologies, and the ability to adapt to diverse workplace settings. Courses in Writing Studies are designed to offer strong preparation. Such preparation requires time devoted to instructional innovation and quality assurance.

Thank you for your kind attention to these concerns.

Sincerely,

Susan Naomi Bernstein, PhD

Lecturer in English

Stretch Co-Coordinator

ASU-Tempe

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