A narrative inquiry into corporate unknowns: Faculty experiences concerning privatized-partnership matriculation pathway programs

by Winkle, Carter Allen, Ph.D., BARRY UNIVERSITY - ADRIAN DOMINICAN SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, 2011, 375 pages; 3525011


Host universities of Intensive English Programs (IEPs) commonly found on university campuses as a means to preparing English language learners (ELL) for tertiary education are being targeted by for-profit educational service providers for privatized partnerships. Partnership agreements generally include provisions for assumption of international student recruitment, IEP administration, and development and administration of English for academic purposes (EAP) matriculation “pathway programs.” Such pathway programs allow for admission of advanced ELLs who have not met language requirements for matriculation into universities’ credit-bearing, subject-matter courses. Academic-content faculty teaching in pathway programs may be ill-prepared to adequately provide for ELLs’ cultural and linguistic needs. IEP faculty, who have generally operated with some degree of administrative, curricular, and pedagogical autonomy within their host universities, albeit from more marginalized positions of status, must now yield to governance by for-profit, joint-venture partnerships.

Through experiential stories of English-language-program administrators, English-language-teaching faculty, and academic-content-teaching faculty, this Narrative Inquiry provides insight into timely and important questions related to the impact of for-profit privatized-partnerships on academic professionals in tertiary settings. Specifically, through twelve personal anthologies of experience, this qualitative study reveals, examines, and retells faculty stories of working in universities with EAP matriculation pathway programs vis-à-vis their institutional status, curricular and pedagogical autonomy, and beliefs concerning impact to students and host universities. Précis of findings: (a) continued feelings of marginalization by English-language-teaching professionals; (b) curricular and pedagogical autonomy largely retained by faculty, yet concerns are revealed that “too much” autonomy in credit-bearing academic-content pathway courses may result in inadequate equivalency between such courses and their mainstream counterparts, potentially putting accreditation of academic programs and institutions at risk; (c) observations that academic-content-teaching faculty lack professional development support in meeting ELLs’ cultural and linguistic needs, yet perceived lower status of English-language teaching professionals may inhibit this skilled resource from being fully utilized; (d) perceptions that corporate-partner-recruited ELLs admitted to pathway programs are not prepared for credit-bearing academic work; and (e) a repeated refrain that universities could have created matriculation pathway programs themselves without having to engage an outside corporate partner.

AdviserVictoria A. Giordano
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsLanguage arts; English as a second language; Curriculum development; Higher education
Publication Number3525011

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