Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Laura McGrath


Dr. Lara Smith-Sitton


Writing center practices have been widely accepted as beneficial for literacy development, especially given the ubiquitous nature of writing. However, many off-campus communities lack writing support as visible, organized, and well-documented as that available to those on-campus through writing centers. Further, while evidence of writing center community-engaged initiatives exists anecdotally, research identifying the possible impact of such efforts on specific community partners and populations is limited. Hence, this study explores how literacy is supported in university/college writing centers and adult community-based literacy centers. Survey and interview data suggest the potential value that community-engaged projects between the two are likely to produce, as well as their unique challenges. For writing center and community literacy center practitioners interested in creating community writing spaces and/or exploring community engagement projects, study findings present important considerations for future collaborations and challenge existing assumptions of institutionalized and community literacy distribution.