Julionna Ledbetter 

English 1102- 200- Weaver 

Reflection Paper


Coming from a small private Christian school in Lilburn, GA, with less than 500 students in the high school, I always believed that the way people saw me or thought of me was all that mattered. This is ironic because, at a Christian school, one is constantly taught that the only opinion that mattered was God’s. As I look back at these four months and reflect on my academic self during the span of this course, I realized that even though I’m doing school online, behind a screen, miles away from anyone else, I continued the same trend of only showing people the best rather than the truth. So in this reflection, I would like to reintroduce my academic self and values as well as explain how this year has truly changed me as a person and writer. 

For the Major 1 project, I told my partner that I was passionate, flexible, and productive. Those aren’t awful responses and if you knew me, you would say those weren’t bad answers to define me. Sure I’m passionate about learning, and I can be flexible sometimes, and I have moments when I’m productive with my school work. The problem is, four months ago I never made an effort to discover what my academic self was like, I simply looked for the most obvious put-together answers. However, throughout the course, I was able to dive deeper into my academic self. Therefore, three words that genuinely describe my AS would be procrastination, dedication, and perseverance. 

I am a huge procrastinator, especially when it comes to writing. I don’t have troubles in any other aspect of academics but when I have to write a paper I try my hardest to push it off. I had come to terms with the fact that writing wasn’t my thing and I just wasn’t a good writer. The one thing that brought me out of this mindset was the class reading “Some People are Just Born Good Writers “ by Jill Parrott. In her essay about bad ideas about writing, she pushed against the idea of “good writers”, stating that “good writers are not born. They are learned” (Jill Parrott, 74). Her essay identified many of my wrong ideas about writing, particularly the fact that I don’t like messing up and I prefer getting things done the first time rather than trying again. This essay taught me that in order to learn while writing, one must make multiple mistakes and reflect on them. In reality, writers don’t get things right the first time, and having to redo drafts is perfectly normal.       

Dedication and perseverance are also accurate descriptors of my year. At this point in my academics I feel burnt out and the motivation that once was so vivid is slowly dying out. Despite all of my emotions towards the school I have stayed dedicated to my studies and persevered when I wanted to give up. This speaks volumes to my character but also to life. What once gave me joy could, in a blink of an eye, cause me emptiness. Through this, I have discovered the importance of my “why” over the “what” in academics. “What” I am doing school for is simple. I do it for a degree, to hopefully get a lot of money in the future, and make my family proud. Everyone has a “what” but it’s difficult for people to conjure up a “why”. Why do you endure four more years of higher ed after just completing high school? Why are you going to college when you could just make money like your other friends? The “what” will cause you to get burnt out and to lose your purpose but the “why” will sustain you for the whole race. This semester I have been trying to evaluate my why to academics and why I stay even though many days I don’t want to. I pursue higher education because I desire to connect with people from various backgrounds, perspectives, beliefs, and thought processes. This is essential for me because ever since this point, my life has been one-sided and I hope by going to college and pursuing a major I will learn to love and care for people that are utterly different from me. That is my why, it may seem odd to some people but it is rooted in who I am. It may change in the future but for now, this is my motivation. I hope whoever else reads this is encouraged to discover their own why.             


Source cited: 

Parrott , Jill. “Some People Are Just Born Good Writers.” Bad Ideas About Writing , 2017, 

Setbacks are a part of the Journey

Emma-Leigh Barfield

Professor Weaver

ENGL 1102

4 May 2021

Major Project 5: Setbacks are a part of the Journey

Being an online college student among a pandemic is never something I imagined for myself. Although past Emma would have wanted things to be much different for me, I believe I am right where I need to be. This semester has been my most challenging one yet, but the experiences and the lessons I have learned will stick with me through the rest of my semesters here.

Our first assignment in this class was to talk and describe our academic selves. At the start of the year, I was prepared, eager, and ready to start new classes. I described myself as dedicated and organized; however, as the semester went on, I fell apart. I quickly lost motivation and faced some difficult challenges in my life among my mental health, family health issues, and career difficulties. My academic self was not the same anymore, at least I thought. I felt unprepared and useless. I felt as if I was letting down my academic self because of the struggles I was facing in my life. 

Along with feeling like I let my academic self down, I quickly felt like my values for my academic self were also not valid anymore. In my IP5, I picked patience, creativity, and ambition for myself and my goals. Yet again, as the semester went on, I felt as if I was letting my academic self go and was not representing the values I had set for myself. I had no patience in myself by getting upset with myself when making a mistake, I lost all creativity by not having any good ideas for when I needed to create one for a paper or a discussion post, and I had felt like I lost all ambition when I could not find the motivation to succeed. I thought I was not going to be able to pull myself out of the hole I had dug myself in; however, I was wrong.

Although this semester did not go the way I wanted it to, I still learned more about myself, especially my academic self. I overcame many obstacles and challenges that I was faced with and took lessons from them. I first learned that even though I thought I did not live up to the values that I had given myself, I actually did live up to them. Two weeks before finals week, I had to dig myself out and prepare for my exams so I could succeed. I had the patience to sit down and really focus on what I needed to study so I could pass. I had the creativity to reteach myself the many lectures I had just gone through. Most importantly, I still had the ambition that I thought I had given up. I had the ambition to succeed in my classes even with the struggles from the semester. I then realized that I did not give up on my values, I simply altered them for the experiences I was going through.

Within this semester and this class, I also learned more about how to be a better, understanding person and how to make connections. One of our readings from this year, Student Parent Voices Are Critical To Colleges Civic Engagement Plans by Nicole Lynn Lewis, honestly hit me the most. I realized that many students go through day-to-day struggles in their lives and a minor setback does not determine their future. Every day student parents struggle, whether it is balancing their kids with work and school, financial problems, or not getting the recognition they deserve, these students still continue to represent their values and academic selves. I connected this to my academic self by not giving up on myself just because of a minor setback and continuing to strive to represent my values. This reading and pandemic have also helped me understand that people struggle every day, so stay kind and compassionate. This reminds me of the first time I talked to Manasvi about our project. She had told me that it was her senior year and things were not going the way she planned. During a time like this, I have learned that everyone is struggling so being there for one another is important right now. I also thank Professor Weaver for being one of the most understanding professors I have ever had. Especially during a time like this where I am not able to physically meet Professor Weaver, I still managed to learn about myself in the class.

This semester did not go how I wanted it to at all, but it still taught me more about myself and life in general. Just because I had many struggles and setbacks does not mean that my future is ruined or I am not a good student anymore. A setback is just a part of the journey and success moves at different speeds for everyone. This lesson will stick with me for the rest of my life. So, as I move on to the next chapter in my journey, I will remember to stay patient, creative, and never give up on my ambitions.


Hanah Feinstein Reflection

Hanah Feinstein 

Dr. Weaver 

English Composition 2 

5 May 2021 


This semester has been rocky to say the least. Online classes have been extremely challenging. As Wi-Fi dropped out at the most inconvenient times and communicating with professors seemed almost impossible, I considering giving upMy motivation to complete assignments without face-to-face interactions plummeted throughout the whole semesterAnd while school was hard, general life in a pandemic has not been all sunshine and roses either. In February I had to help my boss close her business. So, while I was losing a job and security, I was watching a family lose their entire business. I had worked so hard for so many years at that jobSo, when I lost that job, I also lost motivation and drive. Yes, this semester, 2020, and 2021 have been rocky, but some of the greatest things come from being rocky. Exhibit A- rocky road ice cream is one of the tastiest ice creams. Exhibit B- Rocky Horror Picture Show and Rocky are two of the greatest movies of all time. During this semester like Rocky Balboa, I have also been rising up to the challenge of my rival. Though my rival, the global pandemic, is an unyielding rival, I have rose to the challenge. I have learned and grown academically and personally through this challenging time.   

One thing about my academic self that is for certain is consistency. The word I used to describe my academic self in the first IP was “stressful procrastinator.” Now four months later that has not changed. Considering how late my last two projects have been, it could be argued that I have digressed into an even worse stressful procrastinator. In my academic profile, I wishfully said, hopefully by the end of the semester, I will be able to look at a blank essay without as much fear.” I hate to break it to you four months ago Hanah, but present day us is still stressed by a blank essay. Seeing a blank piece of paper or an unedited Word document is still my personal Hell. I continue to dread the failure that might come from my writing, so I put off my writing until the deadline is so close that my result is often way less than great essay. I need to continue to grow to get out of my head writing essays, but Rome was not built in a day. I have a lifetime to continue to grow, and I will use the lessons Dr. Weaver taught me over this semester to improve. My favorite piece of writing advice I have ever received is “curse in your first draft” instructed by Dr. Weaver. I am also trying to implement Anne Lamont’s suggestion from their article “Shitty First Drafts” to write shitty first drafts. Cursing and purposely writing a shit show of a first draft allows the freedom for creativity to flow messily. This alleviates the fear of a structured essay, and in this essay that has really helped me. The language initially used in the first draft of this essay would make even a sailor crySomething about writing an essay as if I am my father watching the Alabama football team lose to Auburn makes essays way more fun. I will continue to do this as I continue my journey growing as a writer.  

While this semester was a challenge, it awarded me the opportunity to learn and grow from the adversity. I have loved reading and interacting with all of you on this blog. You are all powerful and strong writers who inspire me to improve my writing. The best part of this rocky semester is if I pass this essay, I will earn my associates degree. With that blissful thought in mind, a huge wave of relief passes through me as I write this final sentence.  

Reflection Essay

There is a saying that practice makes perfect. This semester challenged this famous quote.  It seems that my high school writing experience was nothing compared to this college course. In some analysis assignments, I struggled to make the transition which made my assignment not completed in my best ability.  It caused me to become frustrated as I usually excel in writing and English coursework. After meeting with Dr. Weaver, I began to structure my writing using her techniques to better organize my research and/or writing. My academic self-assessment in the beginning of the course completed by a fellow classmate describe my academic self as impatient, independent, and hard-working. Throughout this semester, these characteristics did not work in my favor because I found it harder to focus, ask for help, organized and concentrate on my work. I was so impatient that I did not wait for the teacher’s instructions which sometime lead to my misconception of some assignments. These misconceptions lead to low scores on important assignments. I became disappointed and embarrassed because I felt like this was not my best work. I found it harder to focus and retain information due to some heath issues and family issues.

                I can relate this assessment to my favorite reading, which is “Some people are just born writers” by Jill Parrot. It says, “Good writing instruction can only occur if the person believes they can be a good writer.” I believed that everything could be solved through my own will. I began to second guess my will and ability to write a paper properly. This led to me not be as confident when turning an assignment. My academic self can now be described if only basing it off of this class as unorganized, impatient, and insecure. I plan on building on my skills during the summer to prevent this cycle from happening again when I take another English course. One thing I learned of upmost importance is signposting as it flags the most important parts of an argument, signals transitions, and clarify the stakes of an argument. These words and phrases helps my structure my writing in order to make it flow and make it understandable.

In the Major Project 3, I had the pleasure of redoing the assignment which rebuilt my confidence. I had a personal meeting with Mrs. where she explained how to organize my text and include each piece of the prompt in the paper. The one takeaway was the strategy of using a T chart to create 2 causes or reasons and 3 sources of supporting evidence. This honestly was a rough draft which helped me fix my biggest issue was misconception and confusion. I learned that it best to overstate and re explain arguments and explanations of evidence because being vague would lead to the reader to be confused or not being able to connect it with the prompt.

 Also, my writing style was very basic, and I could learn to analyze or further elaborate each detail. The purpose was to break down the article of my choosing which was “Taking My Parent To College” by Crucet. I choose this article because I had a personal infatuation with the hardships first generation students. I found the text inspiring and keep my motivated to complete my revision. This was also a topic that hit close to home because I had family members who were first generation college students. I’ve learned and at times experienced the lack of resources for first generation college student. Therefore, it is so important for me to graduate college because I want to pass on the tradition of going to college as it brings better opportunities. I choose this as my research assignment because of my compassion of the topic. I learned of resources of scholarships, waivers, clubs, organizations, and workshops to help first generation student get the financial, economic, social, and cultural help they may need. Many of the students who need these resources are not aware of how to receive it due to their lack of knowledge and parents lack of experience.

Being a dual enrollment student, I find this to be a learning experience that will give me a edge when I officially enroll into college. I will know how to better operate and organize my schedule when I go to college. This semester I took Precalculus, English 1102, Human communications, and Intro to Human Development. I found this class most challenging because I struggled towards the end with the major projects 3 and 4. I love to complete the IP assignments as I found it a great way to express myself like a journal writing. I loved my teacher as they were patient and gave many resources. I know I need to better build my analysis, use of signposting, structure of writing, and using in text citations. I made a positive connection with Young Ahn who completed my academic self assessment 3 months ago. We both found similarities in our personalities. We helped each other by doing each other’s peer review and giving clarified instructions for some assignments.  This class influenced me to not only focus on advancing my math skills but also further study English strategies and curriculum to make myself a stronger writer. I wish I had a more positive attitude when it came to submitting certain difficult assignment because it could have changed my mindset. I believe my mindset was my setback at times as I struggled to find the motivation to complete a difficult assignment. I did not want to bother or oppose my teacher as I completed assignment pass office hours.

Another tool I will make use of next semester will be office hours and iCollege emailing or collaboration with classmates to gain clarity and revision suggestions. I loved the independent of online learning but the fact everyone is also learning at home became a distraction. I had to help my younger siblings while my parents worked which set my work completion back. My schedule began more chaotic but I am proud of myself for completing every assignment to my best ability. This is partial reason for me not participating in office hours. There was nothing I could do about the situation due to the pandemic requiring online learning. Hopefully, I can pursue online courses without the at home distractions which can lead to more time to truly understand strategies and assignment requirements. I felt like I rushed to complete every assignment.

Major Project 5: Reflective Essay

Sabria Hall

English 1102-Weaver

Major Project 5 Reflection

May 3, 2021

This Isn’t the Hard Part

            A global pandemic screamed to educators and students to be more creative and resourceful in their learning. I lit torch on my academic self, found it enflamed with panic and desperation. Who was I but this vessel of years upon years of academic stagnation? Teachers that were uninspired. Teachers that were tired. Teachers that had braved archaic learning structures just so students could open a window to freedom. My academic self lay shriveling instead of ballooning. English 1102 challenged the preconceived notions I had of academic writing. I was a tiny island betrayed by the ominous colonizers, maybe the metaphor seems extreme, but I hadn’t known just how far away I could get.

If you can picture Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, overweight and mumbling his lines a shell of his shiny glory as Hollywood’s affecting prince. I was Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now the brightness of the first assignment, learning another person’s academic self, meeting classmate Hannah via Zoom, immediately recognizing I had been starving to talk to anyone who was facing the identical challenge of learning within a global pandemic. It was remarkable in how our expression of conversation flowed but when I left the Zoom, I knew the solitary pursuit of a satisfying grade in the class would only be my very own journey.  The Tuesday and Thursday videos a glimpse of a professor who was effusive in giving learning a spin, a destiny beyond just a grade. The patchwriting assignment became the first marginal hiccup, dissecting the words of writer Sean Michael Morris and his article ,“Pivot to Online: A Student Guide. An article that surmised  pandemic teaching would require resilience and a bit of fortitude. The author focusing on those marginalized uniquely and willful to give insight into how to help. I hadn’t thoughtfully engaged with the text and my writing reflected as much.  I couldn’t rely on flowery prose I had to open my brain and give it sunlight. It was another bullet in the already weakening academic self.

            I am a bad writer. I’m not a bad writer. I was born a good writer. That’s the voice in my head. I swallowed that voice. I had to if I wanted to complete the SAR Project 3. This scary thing happened I realized if I wasn’t interested in an assignment. I pushed it off a cliff, let it cling helplessly to the stony edge. Since I was five and could make words form sentences, I’d scribbled tales of evil witches and pugnacious girls in a faded tablet. The teachers fawning over the child who writes the tales, “She was born a writer!” they so easily stated. I received an 80, and I didn’t bother looking at the rubric feedback. I was a bad writer. I was staring at a blank computer screen like thousands of other students. If I put my hand to the screen would someone else’s hand reach back.   

Burnout had come quicker this time, the lethargy had fangs. Writing in the first draft isn’t the best draft, that was a pill I needed to swallow. I thought I could use an old remedy of falling apart inside a book. I picked up the Vanishing Half by Britt Bennet. For a while it soothed the ache promised memories of staying awake past midnight to finish a novel. The research project loomed, and I kept flipping pages. I had become Travis Bickel immersed in the darker teasing of my psyche. I wouldn’t self-monologue in the mirror. I knew how to self-destruct, a perfectionist of chaos. I believed in arson; I could set my academic self on fire. Implode. Explode. Expose.

            I miss voices. I miss the curve of a smile. I miss the nervous quiet of an echoing lecture. I miss giggling. I miss flirting and provocative banter. I miss the whispers of a rumor. I miss the classroom. A makeshift desk upon my bed, the sticky kitchen table and the crowded noisy Panera I tried it all to get that old thing back, but it isn’t the same. Fall semester is still in its slumber but when it awakens, I will go back to campus vaccinated and maybe a just a bit stronger.


Major Project 4: Research Project

Salma Ahmed

ENG1102 Weaver Section 400


Major Project 4 – Research


Colleges’ Responses to the Spanish Influenza Outbreak of 1918



For some individuals, the COVID-19 pandemic did not but merely allow them to slow down the very fast-paced lives they were living. However, for high school seniors like myself that intend to attend college in the fall, understanding how colleges and universities reacted to the global pandemic of 1918 can prove to be quite useful in allowing us to look forward to the upcoming semester. We could recycle some of the strategies used during that pandemic and test them to see if they could help us cope better, at least in the college and university setting. Doing so may even assist us in developing more strength, patience, and resilience for upcoming school years in which this outbreak may continue.



In his article titled “A 1918 Influenza Outbreak at Haskell Institute: An Early Narrative of the Great Pandemic”, author Peter Grant discusses the impact that the influenza pandemic had on the Haskell Institute (now known as Haskell Indian Nations University). While describing the flu pandemic,  Grant states that it was “like a thunder bolt out of  clear sky” (Grant 1). His stating this shows that similar to the coronavirus pandemic, it was quite sudden and impacted students almost immediately. Students at the Haskell Institute began to fall ill at a rapid pace, with awful symptoms such as “nausea, vomiting, chills, and ‘Rigors’ (shivering)..” (Grant 1). While these symptoms seem quite tolerable today due to there now being a vaccine that originally was released in 1945, what preceded it made it extremely difficult for those that became ill. This is significant because although hundreds of thousands of individuals have been vaccinated in the United States since January 20th, we are still in a time where the number of people that have caught the coronavirus is increasing daily–which is also increasing the number of deaths caused by it. Grant’s article is primarily written from the perspective of the state of Kansas but still ties well with the argument that implementing the lessons and strategies that may have been used during the pandemic of 1918 may assist head individuals of colleges and universities in making more efficient decisions considering the current epidemic we are in.


Authors James W. Thomas and Holly Ann Foster highlight in their article titled “Higher Education Institutions Respond to Epidemics”,  other states across the nation, however, government officials struggled to manage the outbreak and this resulted in colleges being “turned into military training centers…” (Thomas and Foster). This was due to the upcoming war that was to take place known as World War I. On another note, the faculty of some colleges such as the State College of Washington (located in Pullman, Washington) stated the following concerning the Spanish flu outbreak: “…it was believed that the State College in its position of comparative isolation from the centers of population and traffic might escape a serious attack of the malady. These hopes were justified until the arrival of the October fifteenth detachment of six hundred student-soldiers who, by the War Department, had been assigned to this institution for vocational training in military trades. In spite of all that could be done by the college authorities and the officers in command of the detachment, Spanish influenza assumed a very serious aspect, and a number of fatalities occurred” (Thomas and Foster). This particular scenario is one that we can implement into the circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in. The confession this school had to make was due to the fact that they felt that they had upheld their goal– to maintain distance from the severity of the outbreak–until soldiers that were headed to war were assigned to them. Simply put, this was a result of there being too many individuals in one place and even resulted in individuals’ deaths. For us now living through this coronavirus pandemic, we must take this as a valuable lesson and one that we should implement in the school setting. Although the military soldiers were not students, it is apparent that the same would have happened had there been 600 students in the institution at once. Therefore, we must make an effort to avoid these kinds of scenarios and remain in very small groups, if in any groups at all. 


Both the influenza and coronavirus pandemics have had crushing effects on low-funded schools in America, and Peter Grant detailed the experience Haskell Institute underwent in Lawrence, Kansas. Undergoing similar circumstances at the time was the State College of Washington in Pullman, Washington. Although each school has its own response, it is very clear that using previous experiences that occurred during other pandemics, such as the Spanish flu outbreak, can prove to be useful in helping us better our college experience while remaining safe and leaving 2021  high school seniors with much more to look forward to than those of 2020.


Works Cited:


Thomas, James W., and Holly Ann Foster. “Higher Education Institutions Respond to Epidemics: History of Education Quarterly.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 14 July 2020,

Grant, Peter. “A 1918 Influenza Outbreak at Haskell Institute: An Early Narrative of the Great Pandemic.” Kansas History, vol. 43, no. 2, Summer 2020, pp. 56–82. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=khh&AN=145396653&site=eds-live&scope=site.


Research Project: First Generation College Students

Emma Cohen

Engl 1102 Section 330

Summary, Analysis, and Response Essay

April 27, 2021 



      There is no doubt that being a first-generation college student is difficult. The purpose of this research project is to understand and investigate what it is like to be a first-generation college student. First-generation college students are more isolated, have a harder time affording school, and face a lot of advantages and disadvantages that other students do not. Anne Dennon, in her article, “What Is a First-Generation College Student?” This article identifies who exactly qualifies as a first-generation college student and provides key tips about how they can navigate through this new experience. From the article, this research will give a larger understanding of first-generation college students and their experiences. 

      First-generation college students suffer from experiences and disadvantages that need to be talked about more. It is a topic that is not discussed because it is not broadcasted as an issue or brought up on the news/ media. The topic of first-generation college students matters because they deserve the recognition of defying odds that most people do not understand or even know to exist. People should open their ears and listen more to the topic of first-generation college students because anyone can help out and make this new experience for them easier. 



      First-generation college students face double the amount of problems that normal college students do. Over the past couple of years, statistics show that 56% of incoming students are first-generation college students. The rate of first-generation college students just applying to universities has increased greatly as well. In the article “First-Generation Students” by Factsheets, they explain that it is more likely to have non-white first-generation college students who do not speak English as their first language. “42% of Black students and 48% of Hispanic students were first-generation students, compared to 28% of white students. English is not the first language for nearly 20% of first-generation students” (par. 5). As if the struggles of being the first person to attend college in your family were not enough, they now have to push through ethnic struggles that come up as well. However, language is not the only struggle they face. Many first-generation college students suffer from a lack of college experience or expertise to help guide them. Not in all cases, but in most, the student’s relatives have not attended college because of the financial aspect of it all, so that usually carries over to be a struggle for the students as well. 

      The biggest thing about the first-generation college student topic is how to know who qualifies as one. According to the staff writers at Affordable Colleges Online, first-generation college students are “defined as learners coming a family where neither of their parents or guardians has obtained a bachelor’s degree” (par.1). Furthermore, if a student’s family member obtained an associate’s degree, they are still classified as a first-generation college student. When applying to most universities the application asks whether or not you qualify as a first-generation college student, but most people do not know exactly if they qualify or no so they usually put no. If people talked about first-generation college students more and tried to understand the issues these students face, the lines between yes and no in that question would not be so blurred and confusing. When incoming students who will be first-generation college students are applying to universities and they are not sure if they qualify under this category and put no, they are removing themselves from scholarship opportunities that they are actually eligible for. When the financial aspect of college is already a struggle for most first-generation college students getting removed from university scholarships because of a missed clarification is a huge disadvantage. If the media discussed topics like first-generation college students more, the confusion about who qualifies as one would decrease significantly. 

      Not only would it be helpful if the media discussed more who qualifies as first-generation students, but it would also be helpful if there were more stories from first-generation college students out there that could be used for inspiration. Many students who would qualify as first-generation college students if they applied, do not even consider applying to a university because they feel that they would not make it through college since they do not have much parental experience to guide them. Deciding to attend college is a hard decision for these students and being exposed to stories of others who faced similar struggles could be a valuable resource and a helpful guide to navigating them as they pursue this journey. After reading quite a few stories that were shared by first-generation students, I found Annie Hoang’s to be both inspiring and useful. Hoang talks about how her experience as a first-generation college student. She told readers that “When you’re the first person, there’s a lot of fear and apprehension that comes with it and there’s a lot of low-self-esteem, just being in denial like I can’t do this, there’s no freaking way” (Hoang par. 8). If other possible first-generation college students knew that they were not alone and others have had the same stressful feelings and made it through the college journey okay, they might feel more inclined to follow through with the college process. Hoang pushed past these feelings and was accepted to Yale for her undergraduate years, and later to UCSF for a medical education program. Hearing other first-generation college students’ stories and the struggles they overcome would be extremely useful for incoming first-generation students who need a guide to navigate through this new educational experience. 


        Works Cited Page

  • Dennon, A. (2020, July 01). What is a first-generation college Student?: BestColleges. Retrieved May 01, 2021, from
  • Factsheets. (2021, February 01). Retrieved April 20, 2021, from
  • National data fact sheets. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2021, from
  • First generation college student guide. (2021, April 27). Retrieved May 01, 2021, from
  • Bai, N. (2021, April 12). Students who are first in their family to attend College share Stories, experiences. Retrieved May 01, 2021, from


Sabria Hall

English 1102-Weaver

May 1st 2021

The Experience of  First Generation Working Class Black Women in College

Williams Qua’Aisa et al. “Exploring Black Girl Magic: Identity Development of Black First-Gen College Women.” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Oct.2020

Lewis J,Mendenhall,R Harwood,S & Bowne Huntt,M (2013) Coping with Gendered Racial Microaggression among Black Women College Students. Journal of African American Studies

Research Paper: The Use and Acknowledgement of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement

Ellie Hegwood

English 1102 Weaver

Research Paper

30 April 2021

The Use and Acknowledgement of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement

            The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement or NSLVE for short is a database that allows for Universities to have access to their data on their campuses voting tendencies and provided information to participating schools on political climate and student voting habits. As well, the service provides information on the engagement of college students in voting and their participation in democracy. The NSLVE is mentioned in the article, “Student Parent Voices Are Critical to Colleges Civic Engagement Plans” by Nicole Lynn Lewis in which she describes the benefits this data collection can have for keeping track and providing demographic data on student’s race, age, sex and area of study collected from free reports of voter turnout and voter registration data provided by the NSLVE to participating universities. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement is a valuable resource used by colleges across the country to raise awareness for voter turnout and democratic involvement as well as provide free statistical reports to campuses to allow for appropriate engagement of their student body in this attempt to answer the call for an increase in civic learning.

            The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement was launched in 2013 by Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. For this reason, Tufts University is regarded as the place to gather the most information on the process of NSLVE  and what it stands for. Being that the service is still under ten years old and highly centered around elections and voting data there is still a growing amount of information to be spread and gained through the NSLVE as well as there still being a significant lack of knowledge that this program even exists. To date there are one thousand two hundred participating campuses in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement program, with this including colleges from all fifty states. The involvement in this program is something colleges may be all too familiar with, even when the general public is still in the dark about it. The largest part of where the NSLVE comes from is the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, or IDHE, at Tisch College who is responsible for the awareness, information, and coordination of the NLVE. Providing guides to universities on how to be involved and even assisting in guiding colleges in their own self studies, IDHE has become the foundational place for all things political statistics when it comes to college students.

Apart from the statistical data on campus voting rates and registrations that NSLVE brings provides to universities such as Cornell University and Baylor University, IDHE at Tisch College also founded a program known as Politics 365 in which they study “qualitative research to examine the campus climates and institutional characteristics that lead some colleges and universities to have higher than expected political participation,” (Tisch College Website, Politics 365). A study done in 2017 by Nancy Thomas and Margaret Brower is one of the most informative pieces on what the qualitative study of a campuses political climate can look like and be attributed to as they narrowed it down to five characteristics from this study as being social cohesion, compositional diversity, social mobility and equal opportunity, pervasive habits of political discussion, and student political actions. The impacts of this study, the use of Politics 365, and the benefit of NSLVE all center back around on that of a campus’s interest in their student population regarding civic engagement. The focus of NSLVE is to provide information on voting rates including registration and voter turnout on college campuses as a way to evaluate the engagement in democracy, public policy, civic involvement, and social action in a targeted demographic of the population. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement accomplishes all of this while also maintaining a free and easy to use system and emphasizing the protection of student privacy.

The history and eventual founding of the NSLVE can be dated back to 2012 when the government, or more specifically the United States Department of Education issued a call to action as the call it for the advancement of education on civic involvement and the incorporation of experiences to spread a greater knowledge of ways to be involved in democracy and social action or change. An ironic twist to this road map laid out in 2012 can be seen in November of this past year where the statistics of the 2020 election show a surge in youth voter turnout, higher than it had ever been in previous years. Increasing from between 42% to 44% turnout for eighteen to twenty-nine year old Americans in 2016 to between 52% to 55% turnout for eighteen to twenty-nine years old’s in 2020 according to data from CIRCLE at Tufts College.

Whether this increase in youth voter turnout is linked to a call to action for civic learning or the effects of a global pandemic and a need for social action, there is one certified system that can be counted on to collect the data. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement works to provide what has become vital information in a time that is so desperate for social change. Working to record data and represent student political climates is a tool that can go unrecognized despite its usefulness. Focusing on change and education while protecting student privacy makes the NSLVE stand out, and are reasons why it is worth learning about and why it will continue to grow beyond the one thousand and two hundred schools and ten million students that it already supports.