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 “I’m an American” an interview series by WUWM’s Race and Ethnicity reporter, Teran Powell.

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.

2019 Common Reading Experience Facilitator Workshop

To help prepare facilitators, CETL has designed and scheduled two facilitator training workshops. During training we will cover strategies for promoting lively discussion, sample discussion questions, and all the details you need to know about the day of the CRE. Facilitators, especially those who are first-time, are encouraged to attend a workshop, but it is not mandatory. If you would like to attend one of these training workshops, please sign up below. Both sessions will be held in Engelmann B73.

Canvas Resource Site

This year we are also offering an online (Canvas) site for CRE Facilitator Training, which will give you access to the training materials, logistical details, and an online discussion forum for questions and idea-sharing. This site is intended to be an alternative to the in-person trainings listed above… although you’re welcome to join the site in addition to attending a training, if you wish! The button below will allow you to self-enroll in the site.

Enroll in the Canvas site

Please email Sarah MacDonald ( with any questions about the CRE training.