Betty Hodges McFarland, M.A.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Betty Hodges McFarland, M.A.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 24, 2024,

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Betty Hodges McFarland, M.A.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Associate Professor Emerita

Biographical Text

Associate Professor Emerita of English Betty Hodges McFarland (July 3, 1937-) was born in Watauga County, North Carolina, to Marilla Mae Love Hodges and Benjamin Franklin McFarland. She spent fifty-one school years on the Appalachian State University campus, attending the laboratory schools of Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University), Appalachian Elementary School, and Appalachian High School (now Chapell Wilson Hall). McFarland received both her B.S. (1959) and M.A. (1963) degrees in English from Appalachian State. She also completed additional course work at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Flainpshire; and Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. McFarland married fellow English teacher, Bob McFarland, in 1960, and they have two children. Michael Benjamin received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is currently that university's Director of Communications. Michael is married to Jennifer Elisabeth Bailkey of New Orleans, and the couple has two daughters, Elisabeth Katherine and Margaret Caroline. The McFarlands' second child, Jill Elaine, earned B.M.Ed, and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is the Director of Professional Development for the American School Counselor Association in Alexandria, Virginia. She is married to John Glenn Cook III of Texas City, Texas. They have four children: Katharine Alexandra, twins Emma Elaine and Benjamin Tyler, and stepson Nicholas Anthony. From 1959 to 1961, McFarland taught English at Ashley High School in Gastonia, North Carolina. She was the first graduate assistant in Appalachian State's Department of English to assume teaching responsibilities (1961-62).' In the fall of 1962, before she had completed her master's degree, she joined the faculty in that department as a full-time instructor. In 1976, McFarland was promoted to assistant professor, and, from 1977 to 1979, she was a joint appointee in the departments of English and secondary education. She became an associate professor in 1982, serving in this capacity until retirement in 1997. McFarland was extremely active within the English department and the university. She was the co-director of the Appalachian Writing Project from 1983 to 1995, a program funded by $300,000 in grants from the National Writing Project. From 1979 to 1981, she was the director of composition, her major emphases being to refine the writing placement program for freshmen to identify remedial and strong writers and to supervise graduate teaching assistants assigned to freshman writing courses. From 1964 to 1979, McFarland was the director of the English Writing Center, which provided tutoring and individualized instruction for university students. For nine semesters she taught English honors seminars. Other service to the university included sitting on the Readmission Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Teacher Education Council, and the Faculty Senate. Within her department, she was the chair of the Composition Committee, chair of the English Education Committee, member of the Personnel Committee, and member of the Scholarship Selection Committee. McFarland's teaching efforts were recognized when she received the Appalachian Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teacher, 1979-80. She also was nominated for the College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 1991 and 1993, and she was a nominee for the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. In addition to her teaching activities, McFarland served as a consultant for North Carolina public schools on the teaching of writing and the state assessment of writing. She published Preparing for the State Writing Assessment: An Instructional Guide and Workbook (1991) for North Carolina middle school language arts teachers. From 1988 to 1997, McFarland conducted one hundred workshops for 2,500 teachers from forty school systems. She also wrote Writing and Proofreading in 1977, a resource that offered five modules on major grammar usage errors and was printed for schools that requested the material after the 1974 listing of the Ford Foundation project for marginal composition students in The Yellow Pages of Undergraduate Innovations. This publication was purchased by fourteen schools in eight states and by a Californiabased consulting firm to adopt for use in a thirdworld country. McFarland's publications include: "Reflections on an Intensive Journal Workshop and Writing Project Institutes." North Carolina English Teacher 46 (Summer 1989): 5-6. "An Individualized Course in Elementary Composition for the Marginal Student." Personalized Instruction in Higher Education: Proceedings of the Second National Conference. Edited by Ben A. Green, Jr., Washington, District of Columbia: Center of Personalized Instruction, 1976. 45-48. "The Non-Credit Writing Laboratory." Teaching English in the Two-Year College 1 (Spring 1975): 153-54. "Counterstatement." Teaching English in the Two- Year College 2 (Spring 1976): 179-80. McFarland also wrote the stories for Professor Peggy Poison's Sketches of Early Watauga (1973), with the proceeds of the sales going to the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. In 1996 she presented a paper at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Centennial Conference at Princeton University, "Nicole's Angle: Fitzgerald's Use of Nature Imagery in Tender Is The Night to Focus Nicole Warren's Growth from 'Dicole' to Warren Woman." After retiring as associate professor of English, McFarland continued assisting in the English education program as an academic consultant to student teachers, serving as an adjunct professor from 1997 to 2002. She was approved for faculty emerita status in December 1998. Sources: Appalachian State University files, and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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