What is “Stretch Composition?” The English 1A composition sequence is “stretched” over 2 semesters. This allows for students who may have formerly placed at the 400 or the 100 level to enroll into English 1A and do college-level work (readings and writing assignments) but to earn credit for freshman composition over 2 semesters instead of 1. In the 2013-14 semesters, students will still enroll into English 100 and English 1A, taking English 100 for a P/NP, and English 1A for a letter grade, until an actual “Stretch” course is approved through C&I.
What happens in a “Stretch” Classroom? The Stretch model provides an alternative to the traditional semester-long freshman composition course, offering extra time for students to develop reading, writing, and critical thinking competencies. For example, students will be assigned college-level (rather than developmental) assignments and readings throughout the stretch sequence, but will be offered more scaffolding support than in a traditional English 400, 100, or 1A as they deal with these challenging assignments. Research demonstrates that stretch composition students have increased pass rates and superior writing skills in freshman composition when compared to students enrolled in traditional composition courses.
What is the Cohort Experience? Students have the same instructor and classmates over a 2-semester period, although there are options to switch cohorts if necessary. Research illustrates that the cohort experience builds classroom community, which translates into a higher confidence level, and students feeling more comfortable to take risks in the classroom. (Eventually we will add a 3-semester cohort option, but not in Fall 2013).
Who are the ideal candidates for a Stretch class? Stretch composition is ideal for first-generation students, first-year students, non-traditional students, and underrepresented students. Each of these groups would benefit especially from the community-building aspect of the cohort. Additionally, students who might traditionally be placed into a developmental writing course and feel they would benefit from a longer time frame in which to develop the requisite writing competencies would benefit from Stretch Composition.
How do students place into Stretch Composition? Stretch composition follows a Directed Self Placement (DSP) process. Currently the specifics of this process are being worked out for the 2013 Fall semester, but will follow this structure in some way: students take placement tests, review their results with counseling services, and then choose traditional composition placement or Stretch composition placement based on their preference, learning style, and educational goals.
Stretch Composition Contacts:
Project Directors: Elsie Rivas Gomez and Kirsten Ogden
Project Assistant Directors: Mikage Kuroki and Brian Adler (adjunct)
Advisory Team: Faculty from English, ESL, Library, Reading, and allied programs who offer curriculum feedback to the Directors
Leadership Advisory: Brock Klein, Amy Ulmer, Beverly Tate, Shelagh Rose, Monika Hogan, Dustin Hanvey
Where can I go for more information? You’re here! https://pccstretch.wordpress.com OR Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/pccstretch