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Dear Colleagues:

I currently teach a summer graduate course in our graduate program in
Developmental and Adult Education at Texas State University-San Marcos.  An
important part of becoming educated in our profession, at least in my
opinion, is a critical understanding of the political, social, legal and
ethical issues involved in  developmental education and learning assistance.
The images (and myths!) of our learners and our field, changes in social
policy, changes in national and state funding issues, and a plethora of
other issues are as vital and worthy a topic in my graduate classes (and I
believe on our listserv) as any other.

We all benefit when we have open discussions and especially when we are not
afraid to challenge our ideas and beliefs. I am certainly a more informed
educator now having more knowledge into the current happenings at GC. I
would have also welcomed discussion from someone supporting the changes.

My graduate students were fascinated when I informed them that in 1932 the
University of Minnesota established a separate General College in response
to the state's mandate that the university accept all state high school
graduates. This  initiative, we posited, may have resulted from the great
depression and the need for state leaders in Minnesota to help its citizens
become more educated to find work (see Maxwell's discussion, Chapter 1,
Improving Student Learning Skills, 1997). We then speculated on what may be
causing the current change in philosophy and mission for the university. It
certainly was an enriched and lively discussion.

My thanks to Jeanne for keeping me informed and for having the courage to
speak up on the listserv.


Sincerely,

Russ Hodge, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
College of Education
Texas State University-San Marcos
[log in to unmask]
512-245-7922


On 6/13/05 9:39 AM, "Sharon Smith" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Jeanne,
>
> I work  at a college at which it has been mandated that we send
> "developmental" learners to community college.   Even so, our 2 critical
> thinking instructors, while enrolling only some "developmental" students, do
> address a need.
>
>  In other discussions on this web site, I have stated my position that college
> reading and writing are on a continuum.  Every student is a developing reader
> and writer.  (I hope this is not heresy.  I don't mean to downplay the
> excellent work of developmental instructors and curricula at the college
> level. ) Also, some students can effectively read an art history textbook but
> struggle with  their chemistry textbook.
>
>  In the fall, I hope to begin to persuade faculty across fields and their
> students that needing help with college reading  has no taint.  It is probably
> widespread whether you are 4-yr college, a community college, or a research
> university.
>
> Please keep these "airwaves" open so we can all address the needs of our
> students in the best way possible.  Please stay "on the air," Jeanne.
>
> Sharon W. Smith, Ed.D
>
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