Dr. Lorretta Holloway

Professor, Department of English

Lorretta Holloway

Dr. Lorretta Holloway has been a professor in the English Department at Framingham State University for 15 years. Her teaching and research interests include 19th century British Literature, Women Writers, Drama, Children’s Literature, and international college readiness standards. She holds a PhD in 19th Century Literature from the University of Kansas. In 2011, Dr. Holloway was presented with the Dr. Robert Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award for her work as an instructor of first-year writing courses and her efforts to educate high school students and their parents about college readiness.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Framingham State?

Interacting with the students is one of the things I enjoy most at Framingham State. They are hilarious. I tell them I don’t need to watch television because I have them. They are regular people, and they allow you to be a regular person in the classroom. Another thing I really enjoy about being here is that I’m allowed and encouraged to pursue different interests I have. At many other places I would be expected to just do literary research and get published in that area, as opposed to here, where they really value different kinds of research.

What opportunities have you had to engage with students outside the classroom?

I’ve had a great experience chaperoning various student trips. For many years now I’ve chaperoned the SUAB (Student Union Activities Board) New Your City bus trip, which is always a lot of fun. I’ve also been a chaperone for Alternative Spring Break and recently I also led a study abroad trip to London. It’s great because most of our students have never been out of the country. Many can’t afford to do a full semester-long study abroad experience because of the time and cost, so these shorter trips are important. It can be a transformative experience for them.

Discuss your work with parents around the topic of college readiness.

I’ve spent a lot of time on the parent piece of college readiness and what parents can do to help their children prepare for and succeed in college. I think about my own experience preparing for college, and the opportunities for grants and scholarships that were missed because my mother and I didn’t know about them. I’m always thinking about how much my mother wanted to help me, but she didn’t have the information she needed. I take part in orientation each year, providing information and answering questions from parents. I also hold an annual college readiness program for parents to help inform them about what they can expect - not just during the application process, but how they can support their students once they are in college.

Do you see college readiness as a major issue moving forward?

College readiness is a national problem, and I don’t think parents are given enough education about completion rates and how many remedial courses students require when they get to college. Most are very surprised to learn that 30 percent of college freshmen nationwide do not persist. I’ve been involved with an effort to redesign curriculum at the K-12 level to try to combat this problem. I’m also currently doing research that compares college readiness in the U.S. to college readiness in South Korea, which is one of the countries we are often compared to. I spent 5-weeks there in the summer of 2013 in a Korean Language Program and I’ll be returning to the country for seven to eight months during my sabbatical in 2017 to continue that research.