Melissa Cheese

Assistant Professor of Reading - Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Melissa Cheese

Assistant Professor of Reading - Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Biography

Melissa Cheese is an assistant professor of reading in the Department of Academic Enrichment at Bloomsburg University. She earned her doctorate in Literacy Studies from Hofstra University. Her research interests include using literacy practices, culturally relevant pedagogy, and student success and retention strategies to support at-promise students’ learning and development.

Co-author: Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar

Creating Pathways for Success by Unlocking Personal Literacies

Having grown up in a media-saturated environment, college students utilize literacy skills every day in their personal lives. However, they often struggle transferring these strategies to an academic context. Faculty can support students by developing multidimensional instructional practices. In this presentation, participants will learn and practice teaching strategies that will allow students to discover and benefit from their personal literacies.

College students utilize literacy skills every day, throughout the day, in their personal lives. Having grown up in a media-saturated environment with technology at their fingertips, most students feel comfortable finding information online. As a result, they construct meaning in a different way. They scour the internet for the latest on Beyoncé or to find out what happened in the game last night, becoming fountains of knowledge about pop culture, yet many struggle when interpreting academic text. If students understand their personal literacies, we can help them transfer these skills to academic contexts, mitigating the disconnect between these worlds. Because college students use technology in nearly every aspect of their daily lives, incorporating digital culture into the classroom can raise student interest and participation. If we, as educators, embrace the way students learn rather than fighting it, we can create opportunities to help promote an active learning environment. To connect with students from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, and intellectual backgrounds, faculty can support student literacy by developing a flexible and strategic approach to teaching. Multidimensional instructional practices create opportunities for students to learn new strategies to which they may not have been exposed. In this presentation, participants will learn and practice teaching strategies that will allow students to discover and benefit from their personal literacies.