UNL's Composition and Rhetoric program identifies the graduate seminar classroom as one among many sites of important scholarly work. As a result, we try to make many professional opportunities available to the graduate students in composition and rhetoric. The program foregrounds teaching as a site of scholarly work and does so within a larger English department that has strong commitments to teaching. From the nationally recognized Project English (mid-1960s) when faculty across the department joined with k-12 educators to create a comprehensive k-college language arts curriculum for Nebraska schools and postsecondary institutions to the present, the department and its teaching staff continue to:
- procure grant funding for innovative teacher and curriculum developments projects;
- publish widely on teaching; and,
- win university-wide teaching awards.
In addition to coursework and teaching, graduate students regularly pursue other kinds of professional opportunities, many of which are described here. The Composition and Rhetoric faculty regularly procure multi-year and shorter-term grants that bring with them opportunities for graduate student research in the areas of composition, rhetoric and classroom practice. Each year, the program brings visiting scholars for 2-3 day visits in which they give formal lectures, work with individual classes, and hold informal study groups. (Past visitors have included Arnetha Ball, Brenda Brueggeman, Linda Flower, Kristie Fleckenstein, Anne Ruggles Gere, Ted Lardner, Andrea Lunsford, Krista Ratcliffe, Cynthia Selfe, and Denny Taylor.) Finally, UNL's English graduate students are an exciting and dedicated group of professionals that have a history of initiating colloquia, reading series, brown-bag discussions and conferences in response to professional interests and important community concerns as they arise.