Conference Presentations

Career Options for Master’s Program Graduates: Expanding Beyond Preparation for Ph.D. Work

Karen Kuralt, Kailyn Shartel Hall, Kathryn Lee Hunt, Benjamin Waldrum, Nicole Godfrey and Madison Ellis. (February 2023). Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists Standing Group Sponsored Panel. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, Illinois.

This panel explores several higher ed career options for MA graduates as alternatives to seeking a Ph.D and becoming full-time faculty. To prepare graduates for employment in these types of positions, MA programs may need to adjust their curriculum, GA training, and more. MA alumni and current graduate students discuss how their programs prepared them for their current full-time jobs.

“I’m Doing My Best” Practices: Challenges and Innovations in Graduate Teacher Training

Hall, Kailyn Shartel, Marisa Yerace, Margaret Weaver, Ti Macklin, and Linda Haynes. (March 2022). Chaired Roundtable at Conference on College Composition and Communication, virtual.

This roundtable will explore, through moderated discussion, questions that invite us to consider the complexities of how graduate training programs fit within not only our writing programs but our institutions. We will discuss content related concerns such as topics that graduate students struggle with in the practicum, but we’ll also discuss larger scale issues like what we do when our institutions take away a dedicated practicum for new instructors. This roundtable will also discuss the emotional labor that mentoring new graduate students involves, from both a faculty and graduate student peer mentor level. The speakers have decades of mentoring experience between them, so we’ll discuss what they have noticed as shifts in graduate teacher training methods over time. The roundtable will also dedicate time for questions from the audience in order to invite additional perspectives on these issues. 

Session Materials available here. (Click Link)

Framing a Critical Place Conscious Literacy: Writing to Know Our Communities

English, Cathie, Hannah Haworth, Taylor Pinon, Grace Bowman, Lindsay Marsh, Mika Siebert, Rachel Kramer and Kailyn Shartel Hall. (November 2021). National Council for Teachers of English Annual Conference, ELATE Strand, virtual.

Pre-service and in-service English Language Arts (ELA) teachers in a mixed credit course focused upon teaching composition in high school engage in three writing experiences to frame their understanding of a critical place conscious literacy that can be enacted in rural, urban, and suburban locales. Teachers will discuss their writing experiences and how they informed their instructional practices and theoretical foundation.

Invitation Stories: Program Profiles as Recruitment Tool

Almjeld, Jen, Karen Kuralt, Andrew Fiss, Eric Leake, Kailyn Shartel Hall, and Matthew Moberly. (October 2021) Council for Programs in Scientific and Technical Communication Annual Conference, virtual.

In a recent national survey of master’s programs in Writing Studies (MDCWSS 2021), graduate directors repeatedly mentioned recruitment as a serious challenge to the sustainability of their programs. This workshop, sponsored by the Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists, positions recruitment specifically as a strategy for and responsibility of diversity and inclusivity initiatives. Scholars have analyzed “the portrayal of racial and ethnic diversity” on our campuses via recruitment materials (Pippert, Essenburg and Matchett, 2013), but this workshop seeks to move recruitment past staged photos to authentic stories of program identities and aspirations.

As noted in a Journal of Marketing for Higher Education article discussing recruitment, particularly of diverse students, “While it is not difficult to conceive why universities attempt to present their campus in the most positive light, the question remains as to whether or not the symbolic representations in recruitment materials accurately portray the reality of the institution and its characteristics” (Pippert, Essenburg & Matchett, p. 259). Combining the findings of the 2021 MDCWSS survey and the experiences of the facilitators representing various stakeholders in graduate writing education, this workshop will invite participants to imagine recruitment as program profiles with special attention to who such narratives invite in and who they keep out.

Facilitators for the workshop represent a variety of positions in the academy including a graduate school dean, a graduate director leading a one-year recruitment campaign project, a concentration coordinator struggling with recruitment, a new graduate director building inclusive internal processes, and a graduate student offering insights about what students need and want to hear from our recruitment stories to feel welcome. After a very short introduction, the facilitators will guide participants – in small groups – to reflect on recruitment goals and offer a strategic approach (Frolich & Stensaker, 2010) for brainstorming and workshoping stories of their programs that sincerely invite prospective students into our communities and create, from the outset, an inclusive environment. Participants, who we expect to be mainly program and department directors but might also appeal to any faculty involved in recruitment efforts, will be encouraged to pay particular attention to how we balance best versions of our programs alongside frank conversations about our field, the job market and long-term career goals in ways that are realistic and ethical.

Inherited Rubrics and Graduate Instructor Agency in Classroom Assessment

Hall, Kailyn Shartel. (April 2021). Session title: O-69 Methods for Effective Assessment in Writing Programs. Paper presented at Conference on College Composition and Communication, Virtual.

Often, first time graduate instructors are given program prepared materials, such as syllabi, assignment sheets, and rubrics, to ease their transition into a teaching role. This presentation discusses how GTA involvement in creating materials can limit potential classroom conflict when the GTA is new to assessing using these materials.

Session Materials and Recording available here. (Click Link)

We’re Not Who You Think We Are: English Co-Requisite Students at a 4-Year Institution

Weaver, Margaret E., Kailyn Shartel Hall, and Tracey Glaessgen. (March 2019). Poster Presented at Conference for National Association for Developmental Education (now NOSS), Atlanta, Georgia.

Note: Organization rebranded at 2019 Annual Meeting as National Organization for Student Success (NOSS).

Our study examined the demographics and characteristics of students enrolled in developmental writing at our 4-year institution. In particular, we analyzed the differences between students who enroll in a 3-hour prerequisite developmental writing class and students who enroll in a 6-hour corequisite model (developmental writing course + gateway composition course).

We obtained demographic data from students enrolled in all sections of developmental writing in Fall 2017. In Fall 2018, we gathered additional qualitative data to understand why students choose to enroll in the prerequisite or the corequisite course. To understand students’ rationale, we build on the framework of Carol Dweck’s fixed mindset. We find that many students who enroll in prerequisite and corequisite developmental writing are not who are commonly referred to as developmental writers in the literature and in the data provided by Complete College America.

Though a higher percentage of First Generation students enroll in the courses, as compared to first-time new in college students, many of the students did not struggle in high school English courses. Furthermore, some students self-select to enroll in developmental writing, even when their ACT scores do not require it.

Despite believing that writing can improve with practice, the majority of students in developmental writing (both prerequisite and corequisite) display perceptions about writing ability reflective of a fixed mindset. Qualitative comments reveal that this mindset could be more a function of family influence than teacher influence. Based on our findings, assumptions about this population of students need updating, and in turn, so do our courses to meet the needs of these students.

The Inclusive Academic Community: Acknowledging and Understanding Basic Writers’ Perceptions

Hall, Kailyn Shartel. (May 2018). Paper presented at Mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication, Richmond, Virginia.

Lisa Delpit encouraged us to find ways to include outlying students in the culture of the academic community. This became a key goal of my work with Basic Writing students at my university. As we piloted the Complete College America Co-Requisite classroom model to streamline our Composition program, questions arose about the needs of our students in Basic Writing and what we could do to serve them best.

One of the key stigmas surrounding Basic Writers is the assumption that they just don’t “get” academic culture. As the Fall Semester in 2017 began, I decided to ask the students if that was true. I conducted a survey across eight sections of Basic Writing in our composition program to find out if these students felt they were a part of our academic community.

Falling in line with the more negative research, I had assumptions about the answers I would receive. However, the students, as they always do, surprised me. What became clear as I reviewed the results was not that the students didn’t feel a part of the academic community at our university, but rather that their definitions of that phrase differed vastly from my own. Myself and the other Basic Writing instructors had made a fallacious assumption and it was based on our own steeped in academia definition of the “academic community.”

This presentation examines in detail some of the data collected during the survey. Of the eight sections surveyed, four sections represent the traditional Prerequisite model class, and four represent the experimental Co-Requisite class. Data variations between the two are analyzed with regard to factors specific to each of the classroom models. Three surveys were given to all sections: one at the beginning of the semester, one around midterms, and one in the final week of classes.

The Unexpected Transformative Power of a Mandated Corequisite

Weaver, Margaret E., Jennifer Dunkel, Kailyn Shartel Hall, Billy Janson, Benjamin Lesue, and Weston Temple. (May 2018). Panel presented at Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, Missouri.

In March of 2018 I presented on a panel titled “The Unexpected Transformative Power of a Mandated Co-Requisite.” Along with Dr. Margaret Weaver and other graduate assistant colleagues who taught the piloted Corequisite model in Fall 2017 at Missouri State University, I spoke on the challenges of teaching this new model designed to support our students in Developmental English Education.

Our panel was well attended by scholars from across the country and I spoke of my own experiences and innovations in the classroom in teaching this experimental model. During the presentation I presented demographic data that I collected through an approved IRB study that has helped shape our development of this new course.