Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Chyllis Scott

Second Committee Member

Steven Bickmore

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Varner

Fourth Committee Member

Stefani Relle

Number of Pages



Writing intensive courses, as one facet of Writing Across the Curriculum programs, aim to support undergraduate student writing across the disciplines. Importantly, writing intensive courses are often embedded with undergraduate writing tutors who must cross institutional boundaries to collaborate with faculty and support student writing in these courses. The purpose of this study was to better understand faculty-tutor collaboration in writing intensive courses and to describe how embedded writing tutors negotiate identity and experience transformation in those collaborative spaces. This project attempted to answer three research questions: (1) How does faculty and writing tutor collaboration in writing intensive courses constitute boundary work?; (2) How do embedded writing tutors negotiate their identities in writing intensive courses?; and (3) What opportunities does writing intensive course collaboration provide for embedded writing tutor transformation?

In order to answer the research questions, this instrumental collective case study utilized data from faculty-tutor pairs from four writing intensive courses at a small four-year public institution of higher education. Data were collected from pre-semester faculty-tutor interviews, mid-semester individual semi-structured interviews, mid-semester course observations, and an end-of-semester embedded writing tutor focus group. This study utilized Akkerman and Bakker’s (2011) theory of boundary learning as its theoretical framework for analysis.

Results of this analysis suggest that faculty-tutor collaboration in writing intensive courses constitutes boundary work in three main ways: the construction of boundaries between faculty-tutor disciplinary expertise; the use of boundary objects to aid in collaboration; and the creation of boundary practices. Additionally, this analysis provides evidence of the ways in which embedded writing tutors negotiated their identities between writing center and classroom roles and between feeling like novices and experts, as well as through attempts to understand faculty perspectives. Finally, the analysis demonstrates that these embedded writing tutors experienced transformation in terms of their disciplinary identity and their community membership. This study discusses implications for writing intensive course programs in terms of the identity development available for tutors and the types of collaborative faculty-tutor relationships that promote transformative experiences for tutors.


Writing intensive courses; Writing tutors; Faculty-tutor collaboration


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Methods

File Format


File Size

1.7 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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