Writing Class: How Class-Based Culture Influences Community College Student Experience in College Writing
AuthorMorris, Myla Bianca
AdvisorCucchiara, Maia Bloomfield
Committee memberHorvat, Erin McNamara, 1964-
Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-
SubjectEducation, Community College
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/1958
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AbstractThis study was designed to build on the existing research on teaching and learning in community college contexts and the literature of college writing in two-year schools. The work of Pierre Bourdieu formed the primary theoretical framework and composition theory was used to position this study in the literature of the college writing discipline. Employing qualitative research methods and a critical working-class perspective, this study reflects a combined data set of participant observation, in-depth personal interview, and document analysis, giving shape to the experiences of fourteen students in one section of a first-year college writing course. This ethnographic study provided fruitful data regarding the nature of student/teacher relationships and students’ negotiation of authority in the classroom and in their writing. The results showcase the value of in-depth, qualitative research in college writing classrooms, a perspective with great potential to reveal underlying factors for student behaviors and outcomes in two-year literacy education.
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Community College Students' Awareness and Use of College InformationCaldwell, Corrinne A.; Horvat, Erin McNamara, 1964-; Goyette, Kimberly A.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Partlow, Michelle Chaplin, 1941- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)This qualitative case study utilized interviews with community college students enrolled in at least one developmental course to describe how students accessed college information and used this information to solidify or adjust their educational aspirations. College information sources included relatives, friends, classmates, professors, advisors, and other college personnel. Bourdieu's cultural capital and Tinto's integration frameworks were used as guiding theories. This study utilized semi-structured interviews with 15 first-time, full-time, remedial students at a suburban community college in the northeastern United States. Interviews conducted in the fall and spring semesters explored students' perceptions of college information sources in order to gain insight into how students viewed information and its implications over time. This study identified four categories that broadly characterize students' information seeking and application behavior: students were classified as dreamers, drifters, passengers, or planners. Students classified as dreamers had difficulty aligning their career and educational goals. While college information was an issue for dreamers, they required more intensive guidance about their larger educational picture before information about intermediary steps would be meaningful for them. Drifters had informed educational goals, but possessed incomplete information or had difficulty applying strategies to reach these goals. Passengers and planners were well-informed and had specific strategies to accomplish their educational aspirations. Planners actively sought out information. Passengers benefited from a guide, such as a dedicated advisor or mentor, who helped them to interpret and apply the information. This study suggests that just presenting students with information is insufficient; to get students on surer footing, colleges should explore both decreasing the need for information in the first place and providing students assistance with applying information to their unique situations.
Heating Up and Cooling Out at the Community College: The Potential of Student-Faculty Interactions to Contribute to Student AspirationHorvat, Erin McNamara, 1964-; Shaw, Kathleen M.; Caldwell, Corrinne A.; Jordan, Will J.; Goyette, Kimberly A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)This study examines the potential of faculty at the community college to positively influence, or "heat up," student aspirations. With increasing emphasis on graduation and transfer rates in higher education, the importance of micro-level interactions that shape student aspiration has been neglected. To better understand how individuals within the institution, especially faculty, contribute to student aspirations, this study attempts to bridge the "cooling out" and "heating up" literature in the context of the modern community college by recognizing the role of the individual academic program. Applying organizational theory from a systems perspective, as well as the theories of Paolo Freire, the study examines the nature of student-faculty interactions that have the potential to contribute to student aspiration in the context of institutional limitations. The participants include students and faculty in three academic programs that have different approaches to student success within one urban community college. The case study involves a combination of qualitative approaches, including interviews and observations. The study inductively examines student-faculty interactions and their potential to contribute to student aspirations within three different academic programs. The most significant barriers to student success and increasing aspirations are found on the institutional level. These limitations, including bureaucratic confusion, advisement issues, remediation, variation in attendance policies, financial constraints, and lacking a cohesive institutional culture and commitment, have the potential to "cool out" student aspiration, as supported in the majority of the community college literature on this topic. However, the mezzo-level effects of programs and the micro-level practices of the individuals hold substantial potential in terms of "heating up" student aspiration. Programs vary in the degree to which they handle the institutional limitations. Programs that take an active role in mediating between the limiting institutional barriers and students provide a cushioning program-wide protection from the cooling out elements. The micro-level interactions between individual students and faculty also hold potential to heat up by helping students navigate the systematic confusion that seems characteristic of the community college. Therefore, this study suggests that there is hope for the community college in fulfilling its promise of educational opportunity. Macro-level institutional challenges, as well as larger societal inequalities, are substantial and pervasive at the community college and solutions are often limited by financial constraints. However, the programs and individuals within the community college hold promise. The study suggests that the roles of the program and the individual are instrumental in shaping student aspiration.