Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ben Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lilia Savova, Ph.D.


The perceptions of six community college faculty members about the qualities of college-level writing were explored in a series of guided interviews conducted at Prairie Community College (a pseudonym) located in the central time zone of the United States. The study examined the perceptions of the six faculty members with regard to important characteristics of college-level writing, acceptable multiple discourses within college-level writing, and perceptions of faculty members from different academic disciplines about college-level writing. Interview data were analyzed through the lens of transcendental phenomenology.

The results showed that the six community college faculty members differed greatly by academic discipline about what they perceived college-level writing to be. The English faculty members believed that college-level writing consists of grammatically correct sentences presented within essay structures. However, faculty members of biology, economics, and mathematics were much more open in their perceptions about what could be accepted as college-level writing.

The results of the study suggest a need for dialogue among faculty members of different disciplines within community colleges about the characteristics of college-level v writing and what community college students need to learn to become successful college-level writers.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons