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CBW Award for Innovation: Call for Applications

The Council on Basic Writing (CBW) invites applications for the 2015 Award for Innovation. CBW wants to recognize those college and university programs that are implementing new or unique ways to improve the success of their basic writing students. Is your program doing something especially useful and effective in terms of assessment, placement, pedagogy, curriculum, community outreach, etc.?  If so, please nominate yourself for the 2015 CBW Award for Innovation.

Please note that only innovations that have been implemented will be considered for the award.


Recipients of the Council on Basic Writing’s Award for Innovation will be determined by a review committee.


*       Originality – the creativity and uniqueness of the innovation

*       Portability – the extent to which the innovation lends itself to application in other institutions or contexts

*       Results and Benefits – specific details, data, and observations derived from the innovation, focusing on specific educational benefits to students


The following will be considered a complete application packet.  ALL application materials must be submitted in electronic form.  Please include the following:

1. A descriptive title of the innovation, along with the name, institution, address, phone number, and email of the contact person.

2. An explanation of how the course/program in which the innovation is centered includes students labeled “basic writers” by the institution and, if applicable, a brief (one paragraph maximum) explanation of how students are labeled as such.

3.  A complete description of the innovation including:

*       justification of the creativity and uniqueness of the innovation compared to traditional methods

*       evidence or examples of portability to other basic writing programs

*       the measurements and monitoring used; results indicating a significant benefit in achievement in educational goals or outcomes

Please note that applications are limited to five (5) pages or less; single spaced; 12pt font; graphs and charts are accepted as part of the page limitation.


February 25th, 2016: Nominations due

Early March, 2016:  Award recipient notified

April 2016: The Winner will be honored with the presentation of a plaque at the CBW Special Interest Group (SIG) at CCCC in Houston. The winner will be invited to give a brief presentation about the winning program to the SIG attendees.


Lynn Reid

Co-Chair, Council on Basic Writing

Coordinator of Basic Writing, Fairleigh Dickinson University

*Please check for a confirmation email to be sure your materials have been received.*

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New Issue of BWe!

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue of Basic Writing e-Journal, guest-edited by Tom Peele.

The link to the new issue is here:

BWe Special Issue:

Basic Writing, Community Engagement, and Interdisciplinarity

Issue 13.1


Thomas Peele, Guest Editor

Barbara Gleason, BWe Editor

Lynn Reid, Associate Editor, Production

Introduction:Basic Writing, Community Engagement, and Interdisciplinarity

Thomas Peele

Basic Writing Through the Back Door: Community-Engaged Courses in the Rush-to-Credit Age

Cori Brewster

This essay describes a linked, community-engaged writing course, “Field Writing: Food Stories,” which was offered as part of an early college program for rural high school students at a regional public university. While demonstrating many of the benefits commonly attributed to public writing and service learning in composition, the course raised important questions about the politics of access and acceleration, and about the role of community-engaged coursework in continuing to protect room in the curriculum for both high school and college writers.

A Service-Learning and Transfer-Oriented 
Approach to Teaching Developmental Reading and Writing Students

Jeremy Branstad

In this essay, Branstad discusses how he used service-learning informed by the scholarship on transfer to reimagine current-traditional assumptions common in composition and to create rhetorically-oriented pathways for student success. The evidence of student learning demonstrates the value of implementing service-learning techniques informed by the theory on transfer within the basic writing classroom.

Story-Changing Work and Asymmetrical Power Relationships in a Writing Center Partnership

Ann Shivers-McNair and Joyce Owleski Inman

Shivers-McNair and Inman analyze and reflect upon the dissolution of a partnership between their institution’s basic writing program and writing center. In their network reading of the partnership, the authors argue that their efforts to combat institutional discourses about students and faculty in two marginalized programs were complicated by asymmetrical relations of power. The authors conclude with reflections on possibilities for partnerships and collaborations between marginalized programs.

From Obscurity to Valuable Contributor: A Case for Critical Service-Learning

Marisa Berman, Julia Carroll, and Jennifer Maloy

This essay argues the benefits of a critical service-learning project in which English Language Learners and developmental writing students documented the stories of Holocaust survivors for a campus-based resource center at a two-year college. The authors demonstrate the importance of designing service-learning projects that promote reciprocity and sustained collaboration among participants and stress the need to structure such projects to meet the needs of community college students.

From Obscurity to Valuable Contributor: A Description of A Critical Service Learning Project and the Behind the Scenes Collaboration

Marisa Berman, Julia Carroll, and Jennifer Maloy

In this follow up to “From Obscurity to Valuable Contributor: A Case for Critical Service-Learning,” the authors detail how they collaborate in order to produce a successful project through the interviewing of Holocaust survivors. In this description, readers learn about the planning, interviews, and the final product produced by the students – with examples of student writing and photographs. As reference for educators looking to develop their own projects, the article covers how to build an authentic relationship across diverse communities, generate content knowledge and design classroom curriculum, and provides a chart detailing the collaboration and activities that educators can use as a template for organizing their own projects.

The Multimodal Remix: One Solution to the Double-Audience Dilemma in Service-Learning Composition

Karen Forgette, Chip Dunkin, and Andrew Davis

Students writing for an authentic audience in service-learning composition courses often face a double-audience dilemma. The texts they compose must suit the demands of the real-world audience of the service-learning project while also meeting the expectations of the academic audience. This article examines the role multimodal composition may play in helping alleviate the tension of the double audience, particularly for basic writers.

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CFP: Poster-Session at CBW 2016

Call for Proposals:


The Council on Basic Writing (CBW) invites proposals for a poster-session to be held during the CBW Wednesday workshop at CCCC. This session is intended to be a space for graduate students and other scholars to share their recent Basic Writing research and/or teaching practices and receive feedback from workshop attendees.


Posters may address topics including but not limited to:


  • Basic Writing Pedagogy
  • Basic Writing and Writing Program Administration
  • Basic Writing Histories
  • Basic Writing and Digital Literacies
  • Basic Writing in Faculty Development/Graduate Education
  • Basic Writing Theory
  • Basic Writing and Disability Studies
  • Basic Writing, Race, and Cultural Identities
  • Basic Writing and Multilingual Writing Instruction


Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to CBW Co-Chairs Lynn Reid and Michael Hill by February 6th, 2016. Submissions should be emailed to and
Participation in the CBW Workshop does not conflict with the CCCC policy on multiple speaking roles. Participants’ names will be included on the CBW program.

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CFP: BWe Special Issue on Acceleration

Accelerated Learning in Basic Writing: Investigating the Successes and Challenges of ALP Models

2016 BWe Special Issue: Call for Submissions

Guest Editors: Leah Anderst, Jennifer Maloy, and Jed Shahar, Queensborough Community College, CUNY

This special issue of BWe will focus on accelerated models of basic writing and college composition, particularly the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model envisioned by Peter Dow Adams and his colleagues at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) (Adams, et al.). Within the ALP model, students identified as needing a basic/developmental writing course enroll in a sequence of two credit-bearing college writing courses while attending a linked (non-credit) companion course to support their learning. The educational benefits for students and the cost benefits for colleges have led more than 200 colleges and universities to establish ALP programs.

Current research on ALP models focuses on quantitative analyses of large student cohorts in order to explore student retention and academic performance (Cho, et al.). Few publications contextualize accelerated learning in basic writing scholarship or focus on political implications of adopting ALP models in light of current pressures to reduce or eliminate remediation. Also absent from discussions of ALP are qualitative research studies that explore student perceptions of learning and experiences as developing writers.

To address these gaps, we seek submissions that contextualize accelerated learning within larger conversations in composition studies and basic writing theory and history and that present analyses of issues in administration, research, theory, and practice.

We hope to publish a combination of print essays (4,000 to 8,000 words) and digital texts that focus on both the possibilities and the drawbacks of accelerated learning programs within the field of basic writing. Manuscripts will be accepted through our extended deadline March 15, 2016.

BWe is a peer-reviewed online journal that welcomes both traditional and multi-modal texts. Submission guidelines for formatting print essays and webtexts appear on the BWe Website:

The editors welcome queries from prospective authors before the deadline. These should be emailed to the three editors at:,,


We welcome submissions that respond to any of the following questions:

Discussions of accelerated learning program design and administration:

  • What challenges do institutions, instructors, and students face when implementing accelerated learning programs?
  • What challenges and opportunities exist as an accelerated learning model expands and grows?
  • In what ways does acceleration promote interdisciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration?
  • How has the ALP model, initially developed at the Community College of Baltimore County, been adapted to fit the needs of a variety of institutions?
  • In what ways does the increased adoption of accelerated learning models mirror other curricular innovations in developmental education?
  • How do differing models of acceleration relate to larger national discussions of developmental education and/or standardization?


Investigations into the successes and challenges of accelerated learning:

  • What are the outcomes of accelerated learning models, both short term and long term?
  • In what ways can we measure and assess accelerated learning outcomes?
  • In what ways has the success of models such as ALP been replicated?
  • What aspects of the model contribute to its relative successes?
  • What are some of the limitations of accelerated learning models for students and instructors?
  • Which students most benefit from accelerated learning and which do not? (students with extensive developmental needs, English language learners, bilingual and multilingual students)
  • What kinds of assignments and classroom practices best serve accelerated learning models?
  • How do accelerated learning models help students bridge the gap between developmental and “college level” courses?


Theory, History, and Politics of ALP:

  • What is the place of accelerated learning within the field of composition and rhetoric, and within history of developmental education and basic writing?
  • What connections does accelerated learning have to other alternatives to or innovations in developmental education? (mainstreaming, studio programs, stretch programs, etc.)
  • In what ways is accelerated learning connected to the Common Core, increased standardization, or recent cuts to developmental education?
  • In what ways does accelerated learning impact the writerly identities of “basic” writers and “ESL” students?
  • How do accelerated learning programs respond to the “gatekeeping” function of basic writing?


Works Cited

Adams, Peter, et al. “The Accelerated Learning Program: Throwing Open the Gates.” Journal of Basic Writing 28.2 (2009): 50-69. Print.

Cho, Sung-Woo, et al. “New Evidence of Success for Community College Remedial English Students: Tracking the Outcomes of Students in the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). CCRC Working Paper No. 53.” Community College Research Center, Columbia University (2012): ERIC. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.