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Another FaCTS Mellon Project

Reading to Lead: Enhancing Student Reading Comprehension via the News Exchange

by Dr. Brenda Edgerton-Webster

A concentrated implementation of the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) within the required introductory course for the Department of Communications [MSCM 1100 — Introduction to Mass Communication — (XULA QEP-1.3)], this proposed curriculum enhancement is a drill course specifically designed to assess and improve the reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills of entering freshman and transfer students. The goal of this ancillary course will not only help students find success in their freshman year at Xavier University of Louisiana, but also will prepare them to productively matriculate through the rigor of the Communications curriculum.

Modeled after the course and drill curriculum of the sciences at Xavier, this communication drill will help students accomplish the following primary objectives: 1) develop or improve reading comprehension skills and strategies (XULA QEP-1.2); 2) become habitual consumers of the print media — traditional and electronic newspapers and periodicals (XULA QEP-2.5.2); 3) demonstrate critical thinking and thus effective writing skills; 4) cultivate a commitment to active citizenship in their immediate community (XULA QEP-2.2.3); and 5) assimilate into the culture of Xavier's mission to promote a more just and humane society as both students and emerging communication professionals.

For all that this supplementary drill will provide to students, they will in turn model social responsibility via a service-learning project titled, "The News Exchange" with 11th Grade U.S. History students in the New Orleans Recovery School District.

Start date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Finish date: Wednesday, May 11, 2011