English, Department of


First Advisor

Shari Stenberg

Second Advisor

Rachel Azima

Third Advisor

Stacey Waite

Date of this Version

Spring 4-17-2018


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Shari Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2018

Copyright 2018 Wyn M. Richards


University students with low socioeconomic status face a variety of unique challenges. With income inequality rising amongst the general population in the US, the gap between students with high socioeconomic status university students identifying as having low socioeconomic status is also increasing. This master’s thesis examines scholarship regarding students with low socioeconomic status at the higher education level, through the lens of composition studies, turning the spotlight on writing center studies. Through an Institutional Review Board approved, qualitative research study, the gap in scholarship on the role socioeconomic status plays in the university writing center is examined. This qualitative study, sent to 153 (garnering 18 replies) higher education writing centers across the United States, asked questions regarding the use of writing center tutor/consultant training texts that specifically address the intersectional identity of low socioeconomic status, the existence of accommodations for writers with low socioeconomic status in the writing center, complimentary services offered to writers beyond that of writing tutoring, and feedback survey content completed by the participating writers in each individual writing center. In the discussion and conclusion, the implications of the research study are examined, along with suggestions for writing tutor training and accommodations in writing centers considering writers with low socioeconomic status.

Adviser: Shari Stenberg.