Common Reading Experience

A Commitment to Common Experience

The Common Reading Experience (CRE) is a joint project sponsored by the Student Success Center and CETL. The CRE goals are as follows:

  • To spark conversation about important social and moral issues
  • To connect first-year students with faculty and staff members from disciplines around the university
  • To introduce students to the nature of university work and discussion

By asking the incoming class of first-year students to read and discuss the same text, students have an opportunity to share how the ideas affected them and understand how and why someone else may have interpreted the text differently.

This year, the CRE Committee has selected Roxane Gay’s “Fifty Years Ago, Protesters Took On The Miss America Pageant and Electrified the Feminist Movement,” published earlier this year in Smithsonian.

(Image from Gay’s “Fifty Years Ago.” Credit: Johanna Goodman)

All UWM staff and faculty are invited to volunteer to facilitate a CRE discussion section. To volunteer, do the following:

  1. Sign up be a CRE facilitator
  2. Sign up attend the CRE Facilitator Workshop (below). The workshops will include materials and strategies to prepare facilitators for the CRE discussions. 

    2018 Common Reading Experience Facilitator Workshop

    To help prepare facilitators, CETL has designed and scheduled three workshops with the help of faculty and staff with expertise in the themes and topics of the article. Facilitators are encouraged to attend a workshop, but it is not mandatory. All workshop offerings are from 1-3pm and will be held in Engelmann B73.

Please email Casey O’Brien ( with any questions about the CRE training.