Find your world in the First Year Experience

About the Common Reading Program

The Common Reading Program is a comprehensive first-year experience for students new to St. Cloud State University.  It provides new first year students a coordinated, academic transition experience through summer reading and associated assignments, book talks at New Student Orientation, classroom use of the text in common first-year courses, and programming throughout the academic year.

Background on Common Reading Programs

Programs where students read a book during the summer before their first year at a college or university have become quite a regular feature of students’ transition experiences. Increasingly in the 1960’s universities began assigning students summer readings. In the last two decades, the number of universities focusing on common reading opportunities in some form or another for new students has increased dramatically. 

While there is not an established standard for the structure and components of common reading programs at universities, the various types of programs in existence seem to share the goals of improving student success through the development of an academic transition experience; fostering partnerships across campus, including interdisciplinary faculty work; and cultivating a sense of community on campus around a shared experience.

A summer reading assignment gives the university an opportunity to address academic transition issues students will face before students arrive on campus. Book panels and lectures associated with the book give the university community an opportunity to gather around events which bring together diverse constituents around a community intellectual activity.

Partners of the Program

The Office of First Year and Transition Programs is partnering with programs, offices and individuals across campus to bring you this opportunity. We would like to thank those offices and individuals who have made this experience possible, including:

  • The American Indian Center
  • Division of General Studies
  • Honors Program
  • Husky Bookstore
  • Office of the Provost
  • Office of Residential Life
  • University Program Board
  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College Connections Program
  • Common Read Community of Practice
    • Dan Huwe
    • Jim Knutson-Kolodzne
    • Sandra Russell
    • Darlene St. Clair
    • Vicky Williams
  • Book Selection Committee
    • Victor Bertrand (student)
    • Janice Courtney
    • Monica Devers
    • Bob Flinders
    • Jamie Hoffman (student)
    • Gretchen Huwe
    • Adam Klepetar
    • Lori Lemm
    • Kayla Lind (student)
    • Kerry Marrer
    • Isolde Mueller
    • Tracy Ore
    • Jennifer Quinlan
    • Peggy Sarnicki
    • Suzanne Stangl-Erkens
    • Lindsey Teeter (student)
    • Rachel Wexelbaum
    • Nona Wilson

And thank you to the many faculty partners we have who are using the book in their classes!!

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