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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Leah Fair Rankin
ENGL 121
Seattle Campus

Composition: Social Issues

Focuses on the study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. Includes a service-learning component allowing students to engage with and write about social issues in applied ways.. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

This class is all about the educational achievement gap in the United States. We will take a holistic approach to evaluating the origins and persistence of this issue including non-academic factors like health care, nutrition, family situation, and racial/ethnic/class identification. By focusing on coverage of this topic in scholarly discourse through academic journals, public discourse through the news media, and community discourse (indirectly through these two outlets with the potential for direct experience through interaction at placement sites), students will be exposed to a wide range of perspectives on the topic and encouraged to pursue their own analysis of the issue by investigating questions such as:

• How late is too late to change a student’s attitudes about (higher) education? • What are some of the non-academic causes of the achievement gap and how are they linked? How tangible are these issues? • In what ways have recent policy decisions engaged the issue of the achievement gap?

Please note that this is a service learning course and hours spent in the community are a required component.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Leah Fair Rankin
Date: 06/04/2013