Nelson Graff, Ph.D.

California State University, Monterey Bay​

Nelson Graff, Ph.D.

Nelson Graff, Ph.D., associate professor and director for the Communication Across the Disciplines program at CSU Monterey Bay, is recognized for implementing the Reading Apprenticeship (RA) framework in courses across disciplines.

Since his first year on campus in 2015, Graff has centered reading practice as the foundation of education at CSUMB. As a response to assessments identifying reading as the most significant hurdle encountered by students, Graff brought the RA program to multiple disciplines on campus, including First-Year Seminar and freshman mathematics and statistics. He has also collaborated with CSUMB's tutoring center in bringing RA to tutoring practice. In addition to his campus leadership, he has become a system leader in RA efforts, presenting in several webinars and at RA conferences.

Graff transformed reading and written communication instruction when he created CSUMB's two semester “stretch" course, incorporating RA routines and strategies. Following the CSU's elimination of non-credit bearing remedial writing courses, Graff's stretch model proved to be successful, with all students of various levels of academic preparation passing the course at the same rate.

Graff's successful implementation of stretch courses earned him an invitation from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to provide professional development in RA to faculty redesigning math courses in response to Executive Order 1110. In addition, four courses meeting CSUMB's quantitative reasoning GE requirement were completely redesigned while Graff trained faculty in RA.

Graff's efforts have already shown a positive impact on student success: In fall 2018, pass rates for students enrolled in the co-requisite, credit-bearing support courses were 2 to 6% higher than students who had been enrolled in the remedial course during the prior semester, suggesting that the credit-bearing, co-requisite support course was more effective than the non-credit ​bearing remedial course that was eliminated by EO 1110.​