Introduction to Volume 5, Issue 1
Introduction to The York Scholar, a collection of essays from the College-Wide Writing Program.
Michael J. Cripps Karin A. Wolf
are privileged to present the fifth volume of The York Scholar. The
first volume of The York Scholar was published five years ago with the
goal of providing a wider audience with exposure to the exciting
research being done by the students in The College-Wide Writing
Program. Since then The York Scholar has been also been published
online and added to the York College Library databases of periodicals. The
student essays published in The York Scholar are now frequently used in
Writing 300 courses as models for students beginning work on their own
research projects, which may one day be published in these pages.
Publication in The York Scholar has become a source of great pride for
the students whose work has been chosen to be included in these
volumes. Of course, many other quality research projects have been, and
continue to be, produced by students in the Writing 300 courses and in
other writing intensive and discipline-based research courses. We
regret that we cannot publish many more of these essays to share with
York College community and our ever wider audiences.
York Scholar publishes essays produced by students in the 300-level
research writing courses offered by The College-Wide Writing Program.
Students have a choice of one of three courses offered in this
independent program. Writing 301 (Research and Writing for the Major)
serves students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Writing 302
(Research and Writing for the Sciences) serves students in the Natural
Sciences and Mathematics. Students in all other majors and programs,
including York’s ever expanding health programs, are usually enrolled
in Writing 303 (Research and Writing for Professional Programs). These
students include those enrolled in the Nursing, Occupational Therapy,
and Physician Assistant programs, a few of York’s very popular degree
programs in the health sciences.
Students in Writing 300
classes choose a research topic that interests them. Through a hands-on
research process, students are guided as they formulate and narrow a
research question. They learn to locate and become familiar with
academic resources in their disciplines, including peer- reviewed
journals, specialized reference books, electronic databases, and
professional and academic web resources. Many of these students also
learn to utilize specialized libraries in their disciplines. Students
learn to analyze and synthesize source materials as they apply critical
thinking skills to use these resources to develop their own arguments.
They develop skills for reading complex materials, annotating them, and
using quotes, summaries, and paraphrases from the materials judiciously
to support their own ideas. After they outline and draft their papers,
they receive feedback from their professors and their peers that will
guide them through a rigorous revision process. Students ultimately
produce a final draft of their paper using the appropriate academic
format for their respective disciplines. It is a collection of these
final drafts that we proudly present in The York Scholar.
purpose of this journal is to share the ideas and showcase the talents
and hard work of our student researchers. The wide range of topics in
these papers reflects the diverse student community at York College and
the global concerns and interests of many of our students. These papers
have been selected because they reflect the quality of research,
analysis, critical thinking, and writing that sets the standard for
students in York’s upper-division research writing courses of The
College-Wide Writing Program.
This year The York Scholar
is being presented in two issues, each consisting of three student
essays. The first two essays in this issue (Volume 5, Issue 1) deal
with educational issues. Linda Campbell’s essay, “ESL Programs and the
American Dream,” examines the effectiveness of ESL programs in enabling
immigrants to obtain the education necessary to secure and advance in
good jobs. Ms. Campbell examines factors that can affect the pace of
learning, the role of teachers in the learning process, and the
customization of ESL programs in order to assess ways to make ESL
programs more effective. Drawing on information from academic journals
and academic books on ESL education, Ms. Campbell first outlines the
current problems in ESL education and obstacles to the improvement of
ESL programs. The essay focuses on the need for increased funding to
train teachers properly and the need for customization of ESL programs
to specific ethnic and language groups to facilitate learning. The
essay reaches the conclusion that interaction among the various ethnic
groups that live in America can only be achieved through sharing a
common language. Therefore, in order to help immigrants achieve the
American dream and integrate into the American culture, improved ESL
programs are essential.
The second essay in this issue,
written by Gaell Jocelyn-Blackman, asks the question, “How Are Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youths Affected by Discrimination
and What Can Schools Do to Help?” The essay shows how discrimination
leads to increased high school drop out rates for LGBT youths and, of
even greater concern, increased rates of suicide and substance abuse.
Ms. Jocelyn-Blackman gives examples to show how the schools and parents
often contribute to the discrimination that causes these problems. This
student researcher draws on information from academic journals in the
field of education and on organizations like Human Rights Watch and
P-Flag that monitor and address issues of discrimination. The essay
goes on to show how the physical, verbal, and emotional abuse endured
by these young people affects them psychologically and often disrupts
their education. Ms. Jocelyn-Blackman attempts to convince parents and
teachers to abandon their own biases in order to foster the well being
of LGBT youths who are struggling with their own identities and in
desperate need of acceptance and support in order to complete their
education and go on to live satisfying and productive lives.
last essay in this issue examines a topic that affects developing
countries around the world. Student researcher Nikeisha Stephens asks,
“Do Remittances Spur Development in Social Services?” Her essay focuses
on analyzing whether the money sent by immigrant workers to relatives
in their native countries offsets the negative effects caused by
skilled workers leaving their native countries to pursue better
opportunities and higher paying jobs in developed countries like the
United States and Great Britain. The essay demonstrates that the loss
of well-educated and highly skilled professionals depletes the human
resources necessary for development in many countries around the world.
It goes on to show that the loss of tax revenues from these workers
actually causes a decrease in social services that cannot be matched by
the money they send back to their families. The information for this
essay is gathered from news sources around the world, academic
journals, and international organizations like the United Nations and
the World Bank. The writer uses this information to show that although
developed countries benefit from the influx of skilled professionals,
the countries these professionals leave are affected negatively in many
ways. One of the most serious consequences involves the health care
sector where the lack of physicians, nurses, and other professionals
leaves developing countries unable to deal effectively with serious
health problems like the spread of AIDS.
We thank these
student researchers for their informative and thought-provoking essays.
We hope that these essays will open conversations among faculty members
about the quality and impact of student research at York and ways that
we can all support our students in their endeavors. For students, these
essays can provide models for their own research and encourage them to
produce work that they will be proud to submit for consideration for
publication in future volumes of The York Scholar.
cover of this issue of The York Scholar features Kyle Dabrowski’s
photograph of “Build-Grow,” a stainless steel sculpture by Richard Hunt
that can be found at one of the entrances to York College. This cover
represents the second time The York Scholar has featured student art.
We look forward to continuing this emerging tradition and invite
student artists and photographers to submit their work for the covers
of future issues of The York Scholar.
We extend our thanks
to all those who make the publication of The York Scholar possible: the
Office of Academic Affairs, the Auxiliary Enterprises Corporation, York
College Printing Services, the Web Team, and the faculty and staff of
The College-Wide Writing Program.