Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Kristen H. Gregory, MEd, is a Doctoral Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction: Literacy Leadership at Old Dominion University. She has over 20 years’ experience as an educator in K-12 and higher education. Her research interests center on disciplinary literacy, adult literacy, and mobile learning. Monique N. Colclough, PhD, has worked in post-secondary education for over 10 years and is a graduate of the Higher Education doctoral program at Old Dominion University. Monique’s research explores the social experiences of college students with autism.


Approximately a quarter of community college students are entering college-level courses underprepared for the literacy and critical thinking skills required to be successful in discipline courses (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2013). Discipline faculty are considered experts in their content area and are often not trained in pedagogy and literacy instruction, yet they are faced with meeting the diverse literacy needs of their students while still maintaining high content-focused expectations within their courses. This phenomenological case study investigated community college discipline faculty’s perceptions and practices regarding integrating literacy instruction within their disciplines. Data were collected from community college faculty through demographic questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. In general, the faculty articulated that it was not their role to integrate literacy instruction into their content-specific coursework, yet they often felt they had to in order to meet the needs of their students. The findings provide insight for professional development programs and indicate areas for future research.



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