May 2018 Special Issue of TETYC:
Academic Freedom and the Teaching of English in the Two-Year College
Many of us teaching in higher education have recognized important changes to the cultural, financial, structural, and ethical aspects of postsecondary teaching, from the increasing reliance on contingent faculty to a decline in state funding contributions to public colleges, and an increasing emphasis on corporate management models. These converging factors are reshaping higher education, but have a particular resonance for two-year college English instructors who work with a wide range of students, take on many uncompensated service and administrative responsibilities, and often work off the tenure track. Further, two-year colleges traditionally have had fewer traditions of shared/faculty governance than our university counterparts. As a result, our institutions may be affected disproportionately by these paradigm shifts in higher education.
Within this context, TETYC invites proposals for articles or other features focused on the special issue theme of “Academic Freedom and Teaching English in the Two-Year College.” (See the Information for Authors page for an overview of the types of pieces the journal publishes). I imagine this theme expansively, with the following suggested topics or themes serving as a starting point:
- Contingency, expectations of continuing employment, and short-term or long-term contract faculty
- Teaching and learning conditions, and working conditions more broadly
- State contexts, including legislative influence on higher education institutions within specific states
- Curricular regularization /standardization
- Faculty autonomy–influenced by employment status or other factors, deprofessionalizing or professionalizing efforts within institutions or other contexts
- Imposition of corporate models on the two-year college mission; reductions in state funding and disinvestment in public higher education–impacts, consequences, opportunities?
- Ongoing faculty development in two-year college English (including institutional and departmental training for instructors)
- How we develop our programs within the 21st century college and other contexts
- Liberal education, vocational education, and the multipronged missions of two-year colleges
- Faculty protections and job security inflected differently across the states, including assaults on public unions, threats to tenure and shared governance; legislation mandating right-to-work policies, etc
- The risks and rewards of teacher-scholar-activist work; with a greater need than ever for faculty advocacy, what are the risks of such work (see Sullivan, 2015)?
Timeline and Process
Unlike prior calls for special issues which seek complete manuscripts, the TETYC editor and editorial board hope to work with authors closely throughout the process of developing manuscripts.
- Proposals of 500 words are invited for submission by December 1, 2016. Authors should remove all identifying references to their identities or institutions; the proposals should identify the type of manuscript (feature article, instructional note, symposium, review essay, etc) as well as key arguments and sources, the exigency and importance of the topic to readers of TETYC.
- Please submit proposals to the TETYC Editorial Manager site; when the dropdown menu appears, select “Proposal for Special Issue” as the “Article Type.”
- Proposals will be reviewed by the Editorial Board, with authors of pieces selected for inclusion to be notified by March 20 2017. Complete manuscripts will be due to the TETYC submission system, Editorial Manager, by August 15, 2017. Revision suggestions will be provided by October 1, 2017, and final manuscripts are due to the editor by December, 30, 2017.
Resources and References
In July, 2017, an updated organizational statement from the Two-Year College English Association, “Guidelines for the Graduate Preparation of Two-Year College English Faculty,’ will appear in College English (and will also, subsequently, appear in TETYC in September). Aimed at graduate programs, the document updates the 2004 “Guidelines for the Academic Preparation of English Faculty at Two-Year Colleges” and spells out standards for best preparing two-year college English professionals. To build on this work, the September 2017 issue of Teaching English in the Two-Year College will focus on the special issue theme of “Preparing Two-Year College English Faculty.” The journal invites submission of full manuscripts related to this theme.
A rich scholarly body of work across the discipline has identified how best to prepare instructors for success in the two-year college English classroom (see Andelora; Toth; Toth, Griffiths, and Thirolf; Lovas; Sullivan; Hassel and Giordano; Hassel; TYCA). Building on this foundation, I invite submissions that speak to the ongoing work of preparing faculty for the unique teaching environments of two-year college English (including writing of all types, literary studies, and other areas of teaching and professional activity). Submissions might address the following topics:
- Department, institutional, or state-sponsored faculty development
- Effective or ineffective graduate school/training models
- Post-graduate preparation for teaching
- The role of assessment
- Ongoing faculty development
- Strategies for effective departmental collaborations, including writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines
- Model programs
- Challenges of professional development in two-year colleges (see Klausman)
- Internal and external forms of professional development for instructors
- Tensions or objections to ‘faculty development” (see Penrose)
- Fiscal, intellectual, disciplinary, or state/local contexts and constraints shaping faculty development
- Using classroom or program-level data to shape professional development activities
- Inter-institutional collaborations
- The risks, rewards, and challenges of collective work (vs. individual scholarship)
- Strategies for creating integrated teaching, service, and research responsibilities in the two-year college
- The role of administration in faculty development
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; submission cover letters should specify how the manuscript advances this special issue theme.
Complete essay submissions should be received by the editor for consideration in the special issue by December 1, 2016. Authors should follow the submission guidelines for Feature Articles, Instructional Notes, Symposia, Review Essays, or What Works for Me manuscripts available at the TETYC webpage, including submission via the Editorial Manager system.
References and Related Sources
The Two-Year College English Association is excited to announce the creation of a list-serv for two-year college English teachers. The goal is to create a forum for broad communication among professionals who teach English in two-year college settings—technical colleges, community colleges, junior colleges–and to provide a tool for community building as well as disseminating resources and opportunities.
We imagine this list could be used for many purposes: posing and answering questions about teaching, learning, and program development in two-year college English; circulating conference or publication opportunities; connecting members in particular regions; as a sounding board for common issues faced by teachers working in the two-year college, etc. To join, please click on the following link:
If you have questions, contact Holly Hassel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Suzanne Labadie at email@example.com.
We look forward to this exciting new strategy for connecting up two-year college English instructors.
Greetings from Houston! My conference is full of meetings with amazing colleagues and inspiring sessions about all sorts of teaching and learning topics of interest to two-year college instructors. Right now I’m looking forward to session B.17: Basic Writing at Community Colleges: Redesigning Curriculum and Professional Development.
Colleagues with cool projects and ideas that are a good fit for the journal should stop by my Open Office Hours tomorrow, Friday, 4/8 12:30–3:15 pm:
Teaching English in the Two-Year College
Find me in Booth #108!
I am excited to announce the appointment of two great colleagues to the Teaching English in the Two-Year College editorial team. Mark Blaaw-Hara and Sheri Rysdam are joining the journal as review editors and will be collaborating with me during my term as editor of the journal.
Mark Blaauw-Hara is the Writing Program Coordinator and an English faculty member at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan. He has taught a wide range of courses, including first-year composition, developmental writing, creative writing, literature, and film. His research interests include threshold concepts, transfer theory, developmental writing, student veterans, and writing in the disciplines. Mark’s work has appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, The Community College Journal of Research and Practice,Community College Week, and The Writing Center Journal, as well as in the forthcoming edited collection, WPA Transitions. He has been a peer reviewer for TETYC for many years, as well as College English and the upcoming Journal of Veteran Studies. He currently serves on the Executive Board for the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and he has served on and chaired the CWPA Best Book Award committee.
Sheri Rysdam is Assistant Professor of Basic Composition at Utah Valley University. In addition to her scholarship on feedforward and other strategies for responding to student writing, her interests are in the rhetorics of political economy, issues of social class in the composition classroom, and women’s rights and advocacy. Her work has appeared most recently in Issues in Writing and the Journal for the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. She also has chapters in Critical Expressivist Practices in the College Writing Classroom and Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Collaborative Peer Review and Response in the Writing Classroom.
If you haven’t already done so, read the fantastic piece published in the March 2016 issue of the journal, Christie Toth and Patrick Sullivan’s “Toward Local Teacher-Scholar Communities of Practice: Findings from a National TYCA Survey” which offers some fantastic insights and conclusions for two-year college English instructors and the field as a whole. I am looking forward to implementing some of their findings into my work as journal editor as I work toward my first official issue as editor, September 2016.
I am seeking a colleague to serve in the professional service role of book review editor for Teaching English in the Two-Year College. Historically, the book review editor has been responsible for coordinating the book review process for the journal. The responsibilities include coordinating with publishers to manage review copies (or request them), communicating with book review authors, and circulating review manuscripts for peer review prior to publication using Editorial Manager, the online review system that is used by TETYC.
The TETYC book review editor will work with me to plan review needs for the upcoming issues. Typically 2 to 4 books (sometimes other types of media or web-based resources) are featured in each issue, and the usual review process (submission, two to three reviewer reports, a revision stage, editing, then publication) applies to reviews.
As a professional service role, rewards to the review editor are entirely psychic, intellectual, and professional–the person in this role will be contributing to the professional dialogue on topics of interest to peers in the field and cultivating editorial and review skills that will serve as preparation for someone interested in moving to a journal editorship role in the future.
Duties may range from one to several hours per week, depending on the number of reviews in progress. Due to the magic of technology (and Skype), the person selected for the role will collaborate with me to learn Editorial Manager and to engage in ongoing publication planning. There is no specific term to be met.
If you are interested in serving in this role, please send a brief cover letter and curriculum vitae to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2016.
Instructional Note Guidelines
The “Instructional Note” has been a staple of Teaching English in the Two Year College for some time and serves the purpose of providing evidence-based, research-situated discussions of innovative teaching practices/approaches. Authors, readers, and reviewers should know the following about the Instructional Note and its conventions.
An excellent Instructional Note does the following:
- Establishes an exigency: A publishable Instructional note will identify a teaching problem to be addressed that requires some innovative strategy in order to reach the desired outcomes. What is the exigency for the project? What are the desired outcomes? On what basis does the author’s claim that this is an important teaching or learning problem rest?
- Situates the strategy in the context of the ongoing discussion: In other words, a literature review is expected, albeit not the full-fledged, thoroughgoing one that would be expected in a feature article. Strong notes will identify how their ideas reflect or challenge current disciplinary thinking about the teaching or learning questions being discussed. Effective instructional notes will also situate the author’s pedagogical ideas within local circumstances by describing the course, the curriculum, the campus, and the students to some extent.
- Presents the “how-to” of implementing the instructional strategy: The pedagogical approach is outlined in sufficient detail to reproduce in another instructor’s classroom. Further, as experienced instructors, readers know that no plans proceed without a hitch. What challenges can readers expect? What bumps in the road did the writer have to problem solve? How were they resolved, and if they weren’t, why not?
- Offers Clear Outcomes: Instructional Notes conclude by offering evidence of student outcomes either through a case study or two of student work, anecdotal evidence of what transpired, student reflections on their experiences, or other assessment measures appropriate to the activity; these should be used with permission from students or from the appropriate institutional review board.
Many readers of TETYC are most interested in learning about innovative practices from reflective practitioners; the Instructional Note’s purpose is to respond to that readerly interest.