Reading matters: written text, presented electronically or using paper and ink, has become virtually as fundamental to human exchange as the language it encodes. And academic texts—textbooks, technical books, journals, literary works, or essays, for example—define the university experience. But for many students—at Northridge and across the country—these texts too often present obstacles rather than possibilities.
The combined leap in both the complexity, variety, and sheer volume of texts from high school to college is hugely daunting—college reading is “hard,” there is a lot of it, and it’s different across courses. Students struggle to navigate that leap, and faculty are frustrated, not knowing how best to direct students’ efforts to make it.
The Learning Habits Project has identified the campus-wide need to address this challenge. WRAD (Writing and Reading Across Disciplines) and Learning Habits have joined forces in this pursuit. Bringing together a taskforce of faculty representing the range of disciplines across the colleges, we have begun developing a sustained program for both colleagues and students that will not only provide, but also support colleagues in developing the “maps” and guidance to engage students in navigating that leap successfully.
In the pages that follow, you'll discover more about the Reading Matters Initiative: its connections to WRAD and the Learning Habits project, the founding task force members and the Initiative's developing goals. On the Resources page, you'll have access to background readings, readings that include applications we can use in our classrooms, and videos and other university websites that at once amplify how universal the "reading challenge" is and provide relevant and useful responses to it. As we discover--and as faculty construct them--we'll add more resources to this page.