Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 226 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Robert P. Yagelski

Committee Members

Julie E. Learned, Laura Wilder


college readiness, first-year composition, writing instruction, writing transitions, College freshmen, Academic writing, Academic achievement, Student adjustment

Subject Categories

Education | Higher Education | Secondary Education


Over the past few decades, standards-based educational reforms in the U.S. have sought to enhance students’ college and career readiness. The most recent wave of such reforms has emphasized writing as an essential aspect of college readiness and a 21st century skill necessary for success in the workplace. A common feature of these conversations concerning college writing readiness is a prevailing sense that high school graduates are underprepared for postsecondary literacy demands and, relatedly, that standards-based instruction is the key to bridging this “gap.” Compared to the number of studies that focus on writing at either the secondary or postsecondary level, however, few studies inquire into the nature of this transition, that is, what it means move from writing in high school to writing in college. This study, therefore, takes up this question by focusing on how first-year college writers perceive and make sense of this writing transition.