Reading Apprenticeship in First Year Experience Contexts

  • How do we support students as they transition to college?
  • How do we build their willingness and capacity to read more, and more-rigorous (college-level) texts?
  • How do we create more equitable classroom environments, and how do we ensure that “High Impact Practices” are actually high impact?

We believe that the transition to college and the transition to college level reading are one and the same.  That is why First Year Experience Program and Seminars that have holistically integrated Reading Apprenticeship are so powerful.

At Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, faculty teaching the First Year Seminar course infused Reading Apprenticeship routines into their classes.  Of those students who completed the course, 97.2% remained in school after one year compared with the overall campus retention rate of 72.9% — a 33 percent difference.

At Pasadena City College, where Reading Apprenticeship is integrated into the First Year Pathways (FYP) program, a study by the UCLA Social Research Methodology Group in 2015 found that students were much more likely to persist from year 1 to year 2, and from year 2 to year 3:

2012-2013 FYP Cohort PERSISTANCE:

Year 1 to year 2  Pathways Non-Pathways
Overall 84% 40%
     Latinx 81% 37%
     African American 69% 26%
Year 2 to Year 3
Overall 61% 28%
     Latinx 60% 27%
     African American 50%  12%


Professional Learning:  3 day Seminar, Reading Apprenticeship for First Year Contents

Classroom Video:  A short clip from Shelagh Rose’s First Year Seminar Course:

Student Video:  Pasadena City College students discussing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the “One Book, One College” selection in 2012: