Program in Comparative Literature

Teaching at the Travis County Correctional Complex

While courses offered by Reading World Literature have not yet offered students at the facility official credit, participation in these courses does reflect well on their stay. Instructors teach at a pre-trial facility. The average stay for students is only 3 months, and enrollments are subject to change in each course as some students are unable to finish a course for various reasons. Instructors should:

  • Wear business attire
  • Arrive 15 minutes early for security and visitor’s badge
  • Bring only Driver’s License, keys, and paper (you may carry a bag for these items) and leave everything else in your car or in one of the lockers at the facility
    • NO: metal of any kind, pencils, pens, paper clips, staples, cell phones, electronics.

 Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Construct Syllabus & Reading Schedule for selected text
  • Provide accompanying discussion materials such as:
    • Vocabulary lists
    • Handouts (terms, further information, context, timeline, etc)
  • Attend all class sessions with cohort of instructors and faculty supervisor and complete any readings/assignments for the pedagogy/service learning elements of the RWL program.

Course content

  • The Travis County Correctional Complex is a pre-trial facility
  • Our students’ cases are being adjudicated, they have not been convicted
  • Average length of stay is 3 months
  • 4-6 week syllabus
  • 1 main text per course
  • Focus is primarily critical reading & discussion of text
  • Optional writing assignments to which the instructor gives written feedback

 Classroom setting:

  • Majority of population is male
  • Women are a smaller portion of the population and teachers must be flexible in scheduling courses for women
  • The maximum enrollment for any course is 25, this number may go down as students are sometimes transferred, released, etc.


  • 1-3 days a week, 60-90 minute classes; scheduling is arranged with the program coordinator at the facility
  • AM or PM classes (Programs opens at 8:30AM and closes at 1:30 PM, PM classes are not in the programs building but in one of the blocks at the facility)