English, Department of


First Advisor

Robert E. Brooke

Date of this Version



Jensen, Darin L. Tilting at Windmills: Refiguring Graduate Education in English to Prepare Future Two-Year College Professionals. Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2017.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Robert Brooke. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Darin Lee Jensen


This dissertation makes recommendations for the reform of graduate education to better serve current and future two-year college English instructors. The author undertakes historical and archival research to write a history of how English instructors have been prepared for the distinct profession of two-year college teaching. In addition, the author interviews two-year college English instructors from around the United States to chronicle their preparation narratively and how said preparation has affected their working experience. Drawing on the historical, narrative and current practices found in the research, the author details specific interventions, in the form of equity-centered partnerships, to improve preparation of community college writing faculty, including partnerships between graduate programs and two-year institutions, explicit and specific graduate coursework, and recognizing and promoting two-year college composition research as a discipline. In addition, the author examines how reform movements surrounding graduate school should incorporate these equity-centered partnerships into their programs to move English graduate education’s locus toward equity with two-year college English.

Advisor: Robert Brooke