7 research outputs found

    Offering a First-year Composition Classroom for Veterans and Cadets: A Learning-Community Model Case Study

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    This article discusses my university’s creation of first-year-composition courses designed with a learning community or cohort approach for student-veterans, service-members, and cadets desiring this model. At my locale, neither the standard sections of Composition I nor II had been created to provide a military population with a common student community, customized readings, flexible attendance policies, and seamless communication with university veteran services that might better facilitate the transition to college for some student-veterans. Thus, as writing program administrator, I piloted linked composition courses for a service-member, veteran, and ROTC learning community, with the latter course also enrolling a nontraditional-student population. In a year-long study, I investigated the impact of enrolling military-affiliated students in linked courses within a traditional classroom to interact under a continuing instructor, engage with military-based readings, and opt to write about their military backgrounds. In presenting patterns that emerged, I argue that these experimental learning-community courses, contingent upon some local factors, supported many military-affiliated students’ engagement with first-year composition, as well as facilitated their transition to academia, through a loosely-structured, cohort model promoting aspects of students’ common but broadly-defined identities. </p

    Sisters and the Undertakers Son: a Novel Manuscript with a Critical Introduction

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    "The Sisters and The Undertaker's Son" is a first-person narrative about a fifteen-year-old girl, Shine, from a small town in central Illinois. The time is Christmas, 1979. At the opening of the book, Shine's family goes bankrupt, an older sister Shine has never met shows up on the doorstep and ruins Shine's birthday party, and a great aunt dies but fails to leave Shine's family an inheritance. In the book, Shine attempts to form various relationships, including one with her unhappy and secretive mother; her absent, truck-driving father; her attention-getting half-sister, Rowena; her precocious sister, Mosha; her unthinking cousin, Arnold; and the moody, dark undertaker's son, Rembrandt. Shine even sits atop the Second Baptist Church and waits for "God in the Sun" to appear to her. She wants to be recognized and loved, and she will resort to greater and more desperate measures to achieve her goal, including dropping out of school, getting married, and trying to rid herself of Rowena forever.English Departmen

    College Students Discuss an Important Location to Them During the Pandemic Through Building Websites

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    During the COVID-19 pandemic, many college students, including low-income and racial minorities, experienced stressors related to their physical and psychological health, relationships, finances, and academic status. Moreover, most students had possessed difficulty previously in writing about their personal and communal identities and needs; exploring place-related rhetorics; and engaging in digital composition practices, including creating a website. This article presents an exploratory case study, which applies a mixed-methods approach employing a convergent-parallel strategy, involving an assignment where students used digital composition practices to build a website about a place, such as their hometown or a local park, that was important to them during the pandemic. The study involved 65 low socioeconomic status (SES) students from a rural university with a Native American subpopulation. For the assignment, students explored their identity and background, as well as how they and their location of choice were impacted by the pandemic. As outcomes of formulating a website about two difficult topics for the students to raise, their identity and the pandemic’s impact upon themselves as part of the greater, epic crisis, students learned to think critically; examine their personal and cultural pandemic-related concerns; research information about their place of choice; make creative decisions about their website; draft, compose, and revise digital work; and reflect upon their project. In completing a website about an important location as the study’s aim, students became more willing to consider their background and the pandemic’s impact on them and to gauge the 24 potentially related stressors they experienced tied to their physical and mental health, familial and social relationships, financial outlook, and academic goals. The author delineates the website assignment’s objectives, and both students and faculty raters measured students’ writing outcomes upon completing their site

    Covid-19, Stress Factors of Native American and Caucasian College Students, and Implementing Classroom Dialogues

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    This article explores issues associated with the academic and greater health, relational, and financial stressors of rural, low socioeconomic status (SES), Native American college students, compared with those of regional Caucasians, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the study considers concerns about both populations’ low proclivity within the classroom for discussing students’ individual and group identities, as well as their pandemic stressors and experiences, in order to seek community and provide mutual assistance regarding their academic and larger needs. Further, the study offers faculty important dialogical strategies for reaching their Native, rural, or similarly marginalized ethnic/racial minority, geographically disadvantaged, and/or low SES students during stressful periods of difficulty and epic proportion, such as the current pandemic. Utilizing an exploratory case-study design with a mixed-methods approach and a convergentparallel strategy, the study involves 114 Native and 114 Caucasian students from a U.S. university. During the pandemic, both Native and Caucasian students surveyed reported stress levels in 12 areas affecting their educational, health, relational, and economic outcomes. As an issue, overall, Native students were affected more adversely than Caucasians by the pandemic, but both populations, suffering from stressors, might have benefited or profited more from sharing and processing their experiences within a classroom setting, if desired, and if such a forum had been made available. Nonetheless, in turn, another conflict arose as many students were also reluctant to cover the pandemic, including its effects on themselves; were fatigued of the subject; and thought their beliefs would be seen as insignificant. Accordingly, this article calls upon teachers to engage in greater efforts to support peripheralized students during perilous and monumental times, such as the current pandemic, by implementing a classroom dialogue and curriculum supporting students’ academic, personal, and larger identities and needs as students wished to share them

    Students Veterans’ Preference for Traditional Versus Online Course Formats: A Case Study at Two Midwestern Universities

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    Recently, there have been many discussions about how to meet student veterans’ needs according to curricular and course formats. While national studies indicate that many student veterans enroll in online classes, questions about the nature of their preferences and requisites, especially in some university environments, remain. For instance, how do traditional and online course formats address different student veterans’ needs and desires? This article discusses a three-year, case study of student veterans’ course preferences at a comprehensive research university and a regional university and involves forty-two student veterans and fifty-nine nonveterans. Based upon results from survey data and the follow-up interviews of thirty student veterans, students describe their course format preferences. Many students in our sample have a low-socioeconomic status, live in a rural location, work full-time, and have children. Moreover, despite the large number of adult learners participants included, the majority describe themselves as having the digital proficiency necessary for engaging in online courses. Nonetheless, in this study, most students, including those of all ages, preferred traditional classes, with the student veterans reporting that the traditional format gave them a better connection with their teacher and peers, as well as accommodating their learning style. The study’s results have implications for teachers and administrators seeking information about providing course format options for student veterans. </p

    31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one

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