Community Engagement in a Graduate-Level Community Literacy Course

Lauren Marshall Bowen, Kirsti Arko, Joel Beatty, Cindy Delaney, Isidore Dorpenyo, Laura Moeller, Elsa Roberts, John Velat


A case study of a graduate-level community literacy seminar that involved a tutoring project with adult digital literacy learners, this essay illustrates the value of community outreach and service-learning for graduate students in writing studies. Presenting multiple perspectives through critical reflection, student authors describe how their experiences contextualized, enhanced, and complicated their theoretical knowledge of public rhetoric and community literacy. Inspired by her students’ reflections, the faculty co-author issues a call to graduate programs in writing, rhetoric, literacy studies, and technical communication to develop a conscious commitment to graduate students’ civic engagement by supporting opportunities to learn, teach, and research with community partners.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.