The concept of a Common Reading Experience (CRE) has been embraced at colleges and universities across the United States in recent years. The purpose of the CRE has been described as providing
(L. Patterson, 2002, New Ideas in First-Year Reading Programs Around the Country, First-Year Experience Newsletter, 14(3), p. 8).
Readings typically explore universal themes of identity, gender, race, ethnicity, and civic responsibility that contribute to students’ academic and social development and can be addressed from multiple points of view. The CRE serves to initiate and integrate the academic experience broadly across campus, while strengthening relationships within the NIU community and beyond.
(J.L. Laufgraben, 2006, Common Reading Programs: Going beyond the book, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition).
Common reading programs promote student success, such that they model academic behaviors, set expectations for student success, foster involvement, and promote more meaningful learning.