Why does FIU have Reading and Learning?

Reading is an active process that takes place in all aspects of academic life. Professors will require it in order to have prepared discussions. Research papers will require it in order to gather pertinent information and evaluate its value for findings. Upper-division courses in several majors will likely require entrance exams that require interpretation of complex reading passages. Even during the internship experience, reading—and reading critically, will be a part of every student’s performance.

In regards to your courses, professors cannot communicate all the details of a theme or concept in a class lecture or power point presentation. Often they will assign readings from a textbook, journal, or website to provide a thorough explanation of the concepts specified in the curriculum. Power point presentations are meant to be outlines, not the full content of a course. Professors will also vary in their methods of assessment to ensure that the information has been processed and understood to their satisfaction; not all assessments are given in a multiple-choice format. As courses become more focused towards a field of study, professors will require more authentic demonstrations of understanding, e.g. papers, models, presentations, etc.

Reading at a collegiate level demands comprehension, not memorization. Many students will purchase dozens of notecards and highlighters to use for annotating facts, dates, definitions, and other pieces of information. This does not facilitate understanding, which means ultimately owning a theme or concept. If the pieces of information are not made relative to a broader concept, there will be no need to remember it for future use. The content is lost in a stack of index cards and bright neon. It stays in the ‘recall’ stages of comprehension. Learning, therefore, has not taken place. Reading is the first step to studying, which begins the process of comprehension.

FIU provides students with a learning center, The Center for Academic Success, where reading strategies are taught as tools to make transformations while studying. Students are also taught to be more metacognitive, to be more aware of their understanding and therefore select which reading strategies best fit the material they are trying to understand. The CAS Tutors are trained in working with students individually and in small groups. They are selected from a variety of majors to illustrate that reading takes place across academia. While each student is given assistance based on his/her specific need, the goal remains the same: give each student the tools necessary for active learning and independent thinking.

Which exams have a reading comprehension portion?

ACCUPLACER (admissions) GRE (admissions) MCAT (medical admissions)
GKE (education) HESI (nursing) PERT (admissions)
GMAT (business) LSAT (law admissions) SAT/ACT (admissions)

Links for Reading Research

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (JAAL)

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy is the only literacy journal published exclusively for teachers of older learners. Each issue offers practical, classroom-tested ideas grounded in research and theory. Whether you work with new, struggling, or skilled readers, you’ll find something of interest in JAAL. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy is published online and in print eight times a year: monthly from September to May, with a combined December/January issue.


College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA)

CRLA (formerly WCRLA) is a group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring, and mentoring at the college/adult level. CRLA is inherently diverse in membership. CRLA’s most vital function and overall purpose is to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas, methods, and information to improve student learning and to facilitate the professional growth of its members. Members give practical application to their research and promote the implementation of innovative strategies to enhance student learning. In a spirit of community, members share their own successful experiences with others so that all may benefit. Any individual who belongs to a faculty or administration of a public or private college or university, and who has an interest in college learning assistance, tutorial programs, reading, and developmental education is invited to join the College Reading and Learning Association.


Journal of College Literacy & Learning (JCLL)

College Literacy and Learning is a Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association (IRA) and meets once a year at the International Reading Association’s national convention. The College Literacy and Learning Special Interest Group has four primary purposes:

  1. To provide for an exchange of ideas and techniques with regard to teaching methods and evaluation of students’ literacy and learning in two and four-year colleges and universities, as well as the evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs, textbooks, and teaching materials.
  2. To propose and encourage the adoption of certain specific qualifications for the teachers of college literacy and learning programs.
  3. To act as a resource body to aid colleges in implementing or improving literacy and learning programs for their students.
  4. To sponsor conferences, meetings, and publications planned to further the purposes of CLL and IRA.


Association of the Tutoring Profession (ATP)