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1 First-Year Composition (FYC) Proposal The FYC Proposal at a glance Reasons for the proposal 1) Why baccalaureate credit? 2) Why “stretch?”

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Presentation on theme: "1 First-Year Composition (FYC) Proposal The FYC Proposal at a glance Reasons for the proposal 1) Why baccalaureate credit? 2) Why “stretch?”"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 First-Year Composition (FYC) Proposal The FYC Proposal at a glance Reasons for the proposal 1) Why baccalaureate credit? 2) Why “stretch?”

2 2 The FYC Proposal From the Old to the New EPT SCORECOURSES A 85B to EPT SCORECOURSE SEQUENCE  103  to  Current Proposed

3 3 Why Baccalaureate Credit? The content of every course included in the FYC proposal is every bit college-level work (assignments, texts, faculty). The history of remediation in the CSU and the fact that the EPT, the sole determinant of who is considered “remedial,” is a norm- referenced placement test, not a criterion- referenced proficiency test, which means the notion of “remediation” is an accidental historical creation.

4 College-Level Work In all of the FYC courses at CSUSB, students read book-length, non-fiction texts, conduct research, and address essay assignments at a level comparable to any college-level work they are engaged in at CSUSB. They do not practice grammar skills in isolation or learn to write sentences and paragraphs before they are asked to write complex academic essays. In short, this is not “Bonehead English”; the courses do not consist of the content that they “should have learned in high school.”

5 A Bit of Pedagogy The field of composition studies has taught us that teaching grammar in isolation, before the stuff of “real” academic writing simply does not work because: the process of learning to write is not linear and incremental, but spiral. grammatical competence begins to drop off as language tasks become more complex or abstract Thus, attention to grammar and editing is incorporated into all writing classes at CSUSB, including 306 and even graduate level classes; it is not indicative of “pre- collegiate” work.

6 6 A Brief History of CSU “Remediation” Since 1977, CSU freshmen have been taking the English Placement Test (EPT) unless exempted (SAT score, AP credit, etc.) Since 1986, those who score below 151 (EPT score range: ) on the EPT have been labeled “remedial” and placed in non- baccalaureate English classes. Rumor had it that number of “remedial” students was increasing, so the CSU Board of Trustees set a goal in 1997 to reduce the need for remediation.

7 7 % of CSU Freshmen College-Level English “Proficiency”: Reported EPT Results and Trustee Goals

8 8 Why We Failed to Meet the Goal A placement test has been used as a proficiency test. The EPT is norm-referenced, aimed to place about half of its students below “Freshmen Composition,” and it boasts a reliability (ETS website). Between 1977 to 1986, there was no “remediation”: English 100 and 101. In 1986, special funding from the CSU led to the creation of non-baccalaureate English courses (99, later 85A, B, C and 95). CSUSB resisted the move but to no avail.

9 9 A Comparison of the English Placement Test (TOP) and Entry Level Mathematics (BOTTOM)

10 10 The CSU Has Been Aware of the Tyranny of the EPT It has approved doing away with the EPT as a placement tool (Channel Islands, Fresno State); It has agreed to award baccalaureate credit to all FYC courses (Channel Islands, Fresno State, Fullerton, SF State).

11 11 Why Stretch? Builds from the assumption that FYC can be best taught as the same set of skills (“content”) in different sequences (time spans). Longer sequences are “stretched” versions of the shortest one. A key component: Learning community—cohorting of students, consistency of instructor, etc. National trend: Arizona State (ASU), IUPUI, SF State.

12 12 So, We Began to “Stretch” in : 85A and 85B EPT SCORE COURSE (SEQUENCE) COURSE A 85B

13 13 CSUSB Stretch and Retention 85A FALL 85B WINTER RET. % AVERAGE Unstretched 71% Stretched 84%

14 14 But We Can’t Fully Stretch in the Current FYC Program EPT SCORE COURSE (SEQUENCE) COURS E (6)A 85(6)B The problem is the divide between 101 and previous classes: 101 is taken by all students and is the same in content. But a fully stretched program presupposes a different end-point class.


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