Introduction: Access as Praxis for Graduate Writing




Madden, Shannon

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This special issue, Access and Equity in Graduate Writing Support, comes at what my co-editor Michele Eodice and I feel is a time of both significant challenge and tremendous opportunity for writing centers and the discipline of writing studies more broadly. On one hand, changing student demographics in graduate programs across the U.S. present a challenge to traditional conceptions of the need for writing support at the graduate level and a challenge to existing ways of doing graduate education. Enrollments of international and multilingual students have been on the rise for a number of years, and scholars have used these growing enrollments as exigence for re-examining the important role that writing support plays in graduate professionalization (see for instance Caplan and Cox; Curry; Mallett, Haan, and Habib; Phillips; Simpson). Equally important, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) recently reported that in fall 2015, underrepresented minority (URM) students constituted almost 25% of all enrollments by first time graduate students (Kent). Although students from URM groups are still drastically outnumbered by majority/white students among graduate enrollments overall, these changes suggest that universities are making muchneeded efforts to recruit a more diverse graduate student cohort.

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