• Conceiving College Writers and What Influences Their Success in the Transition

      Goldblatt, Eli; Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-; Williams, Roland Leander; Campbell, Angela (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      This study sought to form joint conceptions of success by creating a habits of mind orientational framework drawn from university administrative and practitioner scholarship and theory. Previous literature directed at university writing higher-level administrators and practitioners in first-year writing programs and writing centers was largely engaged in battle for control of determining what success means for incoming writers and how programs can support this version of success. This framework served as the basis for this study’s methodologies for the collection as well as analysis of data. Data was collected from twelve university stakeholders who support freshmen writers through first-year writing programs and writing centers at a small Catholic university in the Northeast. These data were collected using three different methods: semi-structured interviews, ranking activities and retroactive reflections. I found that the members from the three groups of university writing stakeholders shared either cognitive, interpersonal or intrapersonal orientations when conceiving what habits make writers successful and what programmatic mechanisms can help writers form these habits. These three groups did not, however, largely prioritize writers possessing or learning the same habits within each domain. The main commonality between groups sharing a cognitive domain orientation are that the habits they privileged look to preserve conventions grounded in a white Western rhetorical tradition. Yet, writing instructors and tutors mostly do not explicitly teach these conventions because they are expected to have been acquired in high school. Thus, students of color and/or from low income backgrounds are pushed to prepare themselves to meet these conventional expectations and abandon their own culture’s priorities and conventions if they are to succeed. Groups that had inter - and intrapersonal domain orientations privileged addressing each incoming writer’s individual needs through collaboration or teaching them an actionable process that can be continuously used in each new writing context. Based on these findings, I assert that utilizing a habits of mind orientational framework can benefit transitioning writers because university writing stakeholders can identify a single set of habits from each domain that can be consistently emphasized and reinforced through programmatic mechanisms.