Joint Program in English and Education

Anne Ruggles Gere

Anne Ruggles Gere holds numerous titles, including Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. This title was given in recognition of her commitment to and investment in undergraduate teaching. She also directs the Sweetland Writing Center and is cochair of the Joint Program in English and Education.

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The Joint Program in English and Education administers the academic program leading to the doctor of philosophy in English and education. Designed for students who hold master's degrees in English or education and who have teaching experience, the program prepares students to become professors of English and/or of education—or to pursue other relevant opportunities in research and administration.

This interdisciplinary program emphasizes research traditions and methods used to study English as well as those followed in the study of educational issues. Students have opportunities to take a range of courses in English and in education, as well in fields relevant to their research interests, such as linguistics, communication, history, anthropology, American culture, and many more. The program provides qualified students with a rich doctoral experience that supports students' individualized goals in a demanding, collegial, and intellectual environment.

To date, all graduates of the program have found tenure-track positions in colleges and universities. These academic jobs have been located in: university English departments focusing on rhetoric and composition, on English education, and/or on English language studies; and in university departments of education, teaching methods courses, adolescent literature, new media, or literacy courses. Some graduates have found joint appointments in English departments and schools of education. A listing of some of the program's alumni and their positions is available.

As with all graduate degree programs, this program is administered through the Rackham Graduate School.
 Students enter the program with a master's degree in English or education. Over the next two and a half years, they are required to take four to six courses in English and the same number in education. Students design individual programs of study, electing courses and designing exam reading lists in their areas of interest. Students consult regularly about their program of study with the program chairs. Students are encouraged to seek a "specialization" early in the program, as identifying a specialization is useful in planning course selections and in laying the groundwork for the dissertation. At the same time, the program allows students to explore new interests.

Students' specializations range from topics in rhetoric and composition to theories and pedagogies of literacy, from English linguistics to professional concerns at the intersection of English and education. A few recent examples are an examination of how English professors at historically black colleges contributed to the Harlem renaissance; a study of the ethical and political dimensions of student writers’ discursive engagements with violence; an ethnographic study of adult learners to deepen our understanding of factors affecting participation in adult literacy programs; an investigation of the ways that white teachers, students, teacher educators, and researchers approach multicultural issues in white-dominated educational settings; an analysis of how ideologies about standard edited American English influence the identities writing instructors construct for student writers.

Three examinations are required. The exams include a special topic exam: an article-length research paper focusing on a specialized area of interest for the student. The theorization of learning exam requires reflection on graduate school learning and articulation of directions for future research. The third exam is the prospectus for the dissertation.

To make timely progress toward the degree, students should complete all examinations and meet the foreign language requirement by the beginning of winter term of the third year. Students who do not adhere to this schedule are not eligible for some fellowships.

Students also must meet a foreign language requirement. This is typically fulfilled either by taking course work in the language at an advanced level or by taking and passing a departmental examination (one advanced exam or two basic exams). In addition, students may petition the Program Committee to fulfill the requirement in another way that better fits their individual backgrounds and/or academic plans.

Within This Section

Joint Program
in English and

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

610 E. University Avenue, Room 4204
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259

Phone: 734.763.6643
Fax: 734.615.6524

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