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Janet Mayes: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960’s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Janet Mayes, a City College SEEK writing teacher reflects on her experiences with the program. Mayes joined CCNY in the spring of 1967, making her one of the seven original SEEK writing lecturers. She co-taught a SEEK class with Audre Lorde. After a visit to the University of Iowa, Mayes theorized a new collaborative, peer-learning writing course model and walk-in writing center. After leaving City in about 1970, she began work on her doctorate, “Social Facilitation of Learning,” in clinical psychology.

Mayes went on to teach at and consult for a series of New York and New Jersey colleges. In the early 1970s, she worked with Kenneth Bruffee at Brooklyn College to set up the seminal peer-tutoring program.

Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was established as a CUNY-wide program to assist disadvantaged students who might otherwise lack the opportunity to study at a four-year college.

Source | Molloy, Sean
Creator | Mayes, Janet
Date Created | June 29, 2016
Interviewer | Molloy, Sean
Interviewee | Mayes, Janet
Rights | Copyright Molloy, Sean Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Item Type | Oral History (Digital)
Cite This document | Mayes, Janet, “Janet Mayes: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960’s SEEK Program,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed March 2, 2024,

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