Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Pete Smudde


Literacy, or the ability to read at or above a determined level, is an important and necessary skill. Many adult education programs exist to provide adults with specific educational resources. Literacy centers and programs contribute a vital resource to their respective communities, in helping adults who struggle with reading obtain their goals. In this thesis, I focused on the one such organization in particular, the Literacy Center of West Michigan. This organization utilizes regularly updated forms of online communication, including a News & Blog site on their website with 165 articles pertaining to the experiences of learners, background of staff and volunteers, events, and other information necessary for understanding how these organizations communicate with their intended audiences. Using Michel Foucault as a theoretical orientation, in addition to principles drawn from literacy research and Foucauldian public relations, I conducted a rhetorical criticism of the center’s online News & Blog. This rhetorical criticism aims to fill a gap in the literature assessing literacy center communication, with the ultimate goal of improving such efforts. My analysis evaluates the effectiveness of News & Blog, while detailing how this case is emblematic of the episteme of adult literacy center communication.


Imported from Monsma_ilstu_0092N_11890.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Communication Commons