TYCA-SW 2024 Annual Conference Proposal

Conference Theme: Possibilities and Potentials: When the Breaks in Our Normal Lead Us to Question, Innovate, and Change for the Better 

Dates: 18 and 19 October 2024

Format: Virtual (Zoom), including three presentation options

Deadline for Proposal Submission: 19 April 2024

Conference Submission Portal: Complete the TYCA-SW 2024 Virtual Conference Proposal Submission through Google Forms.


Graduate school never offered a class about teaching through a pandemic. Or teaching through a massive shift to online learning. Or teaching through politically motivated censorship and content bans that make “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” into negative things. Or teaching through increased awareness of A.I. generated writing. We’ve had so many tensions, traumas, and trials in the last three years—and if we’re still in the classroom, what has kept us there? 

In a 1990 interview, Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed [1968], Pedagogy of Hope [1992]) spoke about how important conflicts and breaks in tradition are for knowledge making and creativity, calling these moments ruptura—and declaring “there is no human existence without ruptura” (We Make the Road by Walking, p. 38). While he was talking about students and their learning, we might think about how we have used ruptura—we’ve had no shortage of them—to explore, to innovate, and to try something new in our teaching. Freire told us more than 30 years ago that tensions (the “ruptures” in our normal) could be good, so this conference asks members to consider his decades’ old assertion that we need these moments to make things better. 

The 2024 TYCA-SW Annual Conference invites members to explore how we’ve used our ruptura moments to find the possibilities in our classrooms, to rethink approaches to teaching and learning, and to change what we do, even in the smallest of ways. What important conversations have we had spurred forward by three years of constant change? What changes have we made in the classroom that we’re happy to have made, even if it came from a site of stress? What questions do we want to explore as we continue forward?  

The Call for Proposals:

The conference co-chairs invite members to propose one of three session types, all considered as “presentations.” 

Option 1: Ruptura-Inspired Assignment Presentation 

For this session type, presenters will share an assignment they created because of recent shifts in higher education (i.e., online learning, legal teaching restrictions, changing student demographics, and/or generative A.I. conversations). Presenters can expect to share the session time with one other assignment presentation. 

Successful proposals will explain what inspired the assignment development, what readings and/or conversations with others inspired the assignment, and how the assignment was integrated into the course to improve student learning situations. Those interested in this session should review the Teaching English in the Two-Year College’s Guidelines for Writing Instructional Notes

Option 2: Ruptura-Inspired Learning Discussion 

For this session type, presenters will share learning they’ve done related to a ruptura topic. Presenters can focus on one or more texts that they have learned from and found helpful, and they can expect to have a full session time for the discussion. Conference organizers may put together presenters who have overlapping learning. 

Successful proposals will explain the ruptura topic, how the text(s) shared was beneficial, and a plan for how to guide a discussion about their learning. 

Option 3: Ruptura Concern Guided Conversation 

For this session type, presenters will guide a conversation session based on a ruptura topic relevant to teaching writing and reading in the two-year college. This session does not require presenters to be experts in the topic but invites presenters to facilitate a conversation with others to address concerns/issues. Presenters can expect to have a full session time for the conversation, but conference organizers will put together presenters who have overlapping interests so they can facilitate the guided conversation. 

Successful proposals will explain the ruptura topic’s connections to our teaching situations, a plan for how to guide the conversation, and a list of 3-4 sources someone interested in this topic might benefit from reviewing. 

It’s that time of year! Register for the 2022 Annual Conference

Conference Theme: Bodies in Space: Fostering Connections in Theory and Practice

Dates: 13-15 October 2022

Locations: In Person at the Aloft Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK, and Virtual through Zoom

Registration Information:

If you have any questions leading up the conference, please contact the conference chairs at tycasw2022okc@gmail.com.

TYCA-SW Statement in Support of Academic Freedom

The Two-Year College English Association — Southwest, representing two-year college English teachers in six states (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana), supports academic freedom for all college instructors. We also stand against proposals to forbid the teaching of Critical Race Theory in institutions of higher education and any calls to deny or revoke tenure for those professors who engage with a decades-long discourse in their classes. 

While we stand in solidarity with faculty at four-year institutions where tenure is under fire, most faculty at two-year colleges lack this security. Nevertheless, we join with our university colleagues to assert that quality education everywhere is based on academic freedom. College instructors are field-experts and should never fear contract non-renewal or any other penalty for teaching the material they have deemed relevant to student learning. 

Any attempt by any government entity to dictate what college teachers do in their classrooms is unconscionable. Scholars should be free to teach, research, and ask critical questions regardless of political punditry.

Therefore, we stand in support of academic freedom and job security for all faculty and against ignorance and heavy-handed political intrusion into college classrooms.

The First-Ever Virtual TYCA-SW Conference 2021

Conference Co-Chairs Toni McMillen and Sarah Fish were pleased to coordinate the first-ever virtual TYCA-SW Conference, bringing us together, though we stayed physically apart. You can check out the sessions and conversations we had this year within our conference program.

The First-Ever Travel Awards Announced

The TYCA-SW Scholarship Committee is happy to announce the inaugural travel award recipients for the 2021 Virtual Conference. They have received this honor based on the merits of their proped presentations:

  • Linda Kapocsi, Collin College
  • Rosalinda Valenzuela, Collin College
  • Jessica Goodman, Oklahoma City Community College

The First-Ever Assignment Innovation Track

Another first this year was our inclusion of an Assignment Innovation Track, a way to asynchronously share unique approaches to assignments and offer another way to present at the conference.

Check out the cool work shared below:

Brianne Sardoni, Social Media and Big News: Fact or Opinion? Low Stakes Assignments for Understanding Credible Sources

Kimberly George, Creating Change Portfolio End-of-Semester Project

The conference recognizes these contributions on the same level as a presentation.

TYCA-SW 2021 Conference Registration

TYCA-SW Virtual Conference logo in a half blue circle with conference dates 15 and 22 October 2021.

Conference Theme: “Accentuate the Positive”: Examining the Successes and Failures Navigated during COVID-19

Schedule: 10 AM-2 PM on 15 and 22 October 2021
Check out the specific sessions offered on each day by reviewing the Conference Schedule Overview.

Format: Virtual, including a Presentation Track and an Assignment Innovation Track

Cost: $45 Event Registration, including one-year membership to TYCA-SW

To Register for the 2021 Virtual Conference, click HERE (redirects to an Eventbrite web page).

TYCA-SW 2021 Annual Conference Proposals

Conference Theme: “Accentuate the Positive”: Examining the Successes and Failures Navigated during COVID-19

Dates: 15 and 22 October 2021

Format: Virtual, including a Presentation Track and an Assignment Innovation Track

Deadline for Proposal Submission: 15 June 2021

Conference Submission Portal: Click Here for the Google Form.

Background: At the 2019 TYCA-SW annual conference, keynote speaker Dr. Cristina Cedillo (University of Houston-Clear Lake) asked us to think about how our students’ embodied experiences were and could be part of the classroom.  She reminded us that our literacies and languages provide opportunities to redefine and reshape Englishes and thus engage our writing projects in and out of classrooms.  And she reminded us that the realities of food and housing insecurities, political spaces that erase and remove communities, and a host of other responsibilities are carried into our classrooms. 

And then by March 2020, COVID-19 drastically, fundamentally altered all of our learning and teaching situations.  2020 was a crash course in the very things Cedillo had asked us to consider—and for many of us, we could literally see into the lives of our students and they into ours as we met virtually, trying to create learning spaces that maintained our institutional requirements and navigated the many new responsibilities we faced. 

More than a year into this new teaching situation, the TYCA-SW Conference chairs would like our 2021 Annual Conference to be a space to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, how we innovated, how we failed, and ultimately what adjustments we’ve made to account for our students’ lives and our own outside the classroom.  What changes have you made that were successful?  What material have you read that has made you rethink teaching?  What have you learned about how to best balance your demands?  What can you share with our membership to help as we all keep moving forward. 

The Call for Proposals: Because the 2021 Annual Conference will be virtual, the chairs invite proposals for a Presentation Track or an Assignment Innovation Track, both treated with equal weight for the conference.  Accepted proposals for both tracks will receive additional information to prepare in advance of the conference. 

For the Presentation Track, those interested should propose more traditional conference-style presentations to be delivered virtually, with individual 15-minute presentations placed within a panel, or proposals for a group panel related to the conference theme.  Proposed presentation topics could include new (inter)disciplinary knowledge that has informed adjustments to your teaching, learning experiments you tried out in the classroom to meet specific student demands and the results, or approaches to course design to maximize student engagement in virtual learning situations.  This list is not exhaustive, so the chairs encourage interested members submit proposals for additional ideas they think align with the conference theme. Successful proposals will explain the exigence for the presentation, its value to conference attendees, and its connections to the conference theme. 

The Assignment Innovation Track asks for an original assignment innovation created over the last year to better address the educational context and outside lives of students paired with an explanation/rationale for the assignment.  Successful assignment innovation proposals briefly explain the assignment (what the assignment requires, context used, learning outcomes met) and offer a rationale for the assignment tied to institutional contexts and research about student learning or approaches to teaching.  Material for this track will be made available on the TYCA-SW website to share with all membership and the national organizations we’re connected with (NCTE, TYCA National, CCCC). 

TYCA-SW 2020 Professional Development Series

All two-year college English, Developmental Education, and Humanities departments in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are invited to sign up for TYCA-SW’s first ever free professional development events outlined below:

16 Oct.
10:30 AM-12:00 PM
“Part 1: Addressing Faculty Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma: Recover, Renew, and Rewire” (Janet Zadina)
16 Oct.
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
TYCA-SW Member Panel: Equity, Access, and the Classroom
23 Oct.
10:30 AM-12:00 PM
“Part 2: Addressing Faculty Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma: Recover, Renew, and Rewire” (Janet Zadina)
23 Oct.
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
State of the States: What’s Happening in Higher Ed across Our Region
23 Oct. 2:15 PMTYCA-SW Executive Council Meeting (open to TYCA-SW members)

For more information about the conference, check out the TYCA-SW Fall 2020 Newsletter and Janet Zadina’s website.

We only have 250 virtual seats for Janet Zadina’s sessions and 100 virtual seats for the other sessions. The first individuals and groups to claim their spots via the Registration Portal will be the first served.

If your department would like to remotely host or provide a social distanced room to reach more instructors, we would appreciate a lead contact person’s name, a list of attendees, and email addresses for each who attend. We suggest that this session can be used as a formal professional development opportunity for faculty in a time of social distancing.

If needed, TYCA-SW will send formal recognition of participation/attendance for the sessions. Registering groups should include names and email addresses for attendees to ensure they receive needed documentation. Email addresses will strictly be used for links to attend this TYCA-SW session and to confirm the links for this event.