The Adolescent, Post-Secondary, and Community Literacies doctoral area of emphasis focuses on conducting research on how people in their everyday lives – whether in classrooms, communities, families, or other educational settings – use written language and other semiotic systems to learn, to communicate, to create knowledge, to engage their imaginations, to create positive identities for themselves, to enhance their communities, to promote social justice, to engage in democratic actions, and to participate in all aspects of society.

Overview

The perspective grounding the Literacy Education doctoral area of emphasis in Adolescent, Post-Secondary, and Community Literacies is that literacy education includes writing, reading, speaking, listening, and viewing.

Doctoral students in this area of emphasis join a community of scholars prepared to conduct research and to teach in diverse educational contexts. These include schools, universities, communities, families, and other cultural institutions across the nation and around the world.

Students and faculty in the program are interested in teacher education, improving classroom education, English language arts education, bilingual/bi-literacy education, service learning, uses of technology to promote literacy learning, after school, and other community education programs, and literature and written communication education.

This program area of emphasis is flexible and suited to the individual interests of each doctoral student. A key feature is the research apprenticeship. This opportunity provides doctoral students with the chance to work with faculty on their current research and scholarship and to engage in their own studies with the support of faculty. In addition, students are encouraged to present scholarly work at state, regional, national, and international conferences and to join faculty in professional writing and publication.

The program area of emphasis provides innovative preparation for educators with a strong theoretical and practical understanding of teaching, learning and educational environments. Students acquire a deep understanding of diverse perspectives in literacy education while also learning how it can transform people’s lives, foster inclusion and address some of the most difficult and intractable problems faced by individuals, families, communities and educational institutions.

Faculty and graduate students do research that values the diversity of experiences, knowledge, and literacies that people bring from their schools, homes and communities. Much of this research is explicitly oriented to social action and social justice.

We believe it is important and necessary to understand and study adolescents as they construct new literacy practices across modes (print, digital, graphic) as part of their participation in educational, legal, economic, work, and recreational institutions. 

Students are encouraged to combine their interest in Adolescent, Post-Secondary and Community Literacies with other relevant interests. These could include second language learning, bilingualism/bi-literacy, early and middle childhood education, language education and society, disability studies, multiculturalism and diversity, among other pathways.