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Takoma Park Silver Spring - English and Reading
Department Chair: Ellen Olmstead
Phone: (240) 567-1385                                                 
Fax: (240) 567-1421
Department of English and Reading
7600 Takoma Avenue
P3 Room 122E
Takoma Park, MD 20912 

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StudentsWelcome to the Takoma Park/Silver Spring English and Reading Department

The Takoma Park English and Reading Department has a longstanding tradition of working in collaboration with the departments of American English Language and World Languages to hone our teaching practices to best serve the needs of our students. We may be assigned to one discipline, but our curriculum and our methods of teaching reflect our faculty’s multilingual and multicultural background and pay homage to the global community we serve. The department takes great pride in its multidisciplinary history and the innovations which that history sparked. From our department emerged holistic, humanities-infused programs which began at the Takoma Park campus, became part of the fabric of and brought national recognition to Montgomery College: Learning Communities, Writing in the Disciplines, and the Global Humanities Institute.  Presently, our department facilitates the operations of the nationally-renowned Global Humanities Institute, which champions teaching from diverse perspectives. All of our English and Reading faculty teach developmental-level courses, reflecting our wholehearted commitment to the mission of the community college to provide access to opportunity and to promote equality through the acquisition of strong reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, as well as a facility with technology, regardless of a student’s preparedness or resources. While we strive to address students’ needs, we focus on their talent and potential.

Takoma Park’s English cadre (17 full-time and 40 part-time) offer the full complement of writing courses, from Basic Writing Skills, to Writing for College, to creative writing, to professional writing (journalism and technical writing). Our rotation of literature offerings, reflecting our faculty’s areas of expertise, provides ample options for students to fulfill their General Education Arts and Humanities requirements. Our writing faculty are not only highly-credential professors but are prolific, award-winning, published journalists, poets, and scholars.  In other words, we practice what we teach. We are home to two Professors of the Year—for the state of Maryland and for the United States—whose primary commitment is to developmental learners, yet another testament to our department’s dedication to empowerment and excellence.  

The Reading Discipline at Takoma Park comprises dedicated faculty with advanced degrees and decades of teaching and research experience--consummate professionals who are passionate about working with beginning through advanced readers, from learners to teachers of reading. Our mission is to help students increase their reading proficiency, not only at the literal and inferential levels, but also at the critical thinking level. We equip students with the skills necessary to manage information in college textbooks across the content areas. Our reading courses instill sound strategies that support successful students, highly employable individuals, and cautious consumers.

The Takoma Park Reading Discipline offers reading classes both in person and online. College Reading Skills I and II, our non-credit developmental reading courses, are designed for native speakers of English who need additional work and support in developing the necessary academic skills for college level reading. Credit-level reading courses address the needs of two groups: college students who want to comprehend and use study techniques in various college level content courses will benefit from Reading and Study in College Content Areas; educators who wish to explore methods for teaching reading will benefit from Methods of Teaching Reading in the Secondary Content Areas, Parts I and II. 

Takoma Park’s smaller size makes us feel like family. We regard teaching you as a privilege, and we look forward to supporting you to achieve your goals and to delighting in your success.  Our office is located in P3, Suite 122. 

Ellen Olmstead
Department Chair

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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