Date of Conferral







Alice Eichholz


There is a literacy gap reflected in high school students’ preparation as they enter college. Empirical literature has indicated the importance of faculty connecting with students by using best practices for more engagement to increase literacy, learning, and comprehension. A question remained what the experiences of community college faculty members were as they worked to increase student engagement and improve literacy in reading and writing in developmental freshman community college composition courses. The theory of andragogy and the theory of cultural literacy provided the framework for understanding community college instructors’ approaches of engaging their adult students in developmental courses. Using a basic qualitative design, interviews were conducted with 8 faculty who taught developmental freshman composition courses for at least 2 years and the data were analyzed with open-coding. Themes that emerged from data analysis included meaningful dialogue, lack of college readiness, development of voice through engagement, cultural variety of material, and student-centered learning that resulted in a positive experience from their student population. A possible contribution to positive social change was the identification of innovative methods that can be used by community college faculty teaching developmental composition classes to increase basic reading and writing skills of students through student-faculty engagement.