Dual Enrollment students present research

Published 3:33 pm Monday, December 12, 2016

Olivia Payne, left, Gustavo Gonzalez. Cassidy Knapp and Miranda Smitherman presented their research on the Wendigo. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

Olivia Payne, left, Gustavo Gonzalez. Cassidy Knapp and Miranda Smitherman presented their research on the Wendigo. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON —Dual Enrollment students from high schools throughout Chilton County got their first taste of presenting research in a conference setting during English 101 at Jefferson State Community College.

“Because all three dual enrollment classes are at the same time in the morning, the last 4 classes of this semester for all three classes have been set up to be a large symposium in the CPAC (Conference Performing Arts Center),” Ashley Kitchens, Clanton Campus associate dean, said.

Students presented the core components of a group research paper.

Junior and Seniors presented their research in five to eight minute speeches. Kitchens taught the 12th grade class, while Nicole Burn and Jamie King taught the 11th grade classes.

On Monday, the topics included the history and cultural relevance of monsters as well as impact of habits on social movements.

Dragons, mermaids and Wendigoes were among the topics researched by King’s class. Each group highlighted how their specific monster has been depicted in modern entertainment. Students explained how the view of dragons and mermaids has changed overtime, so now each is seen in a different, kinder light.

Students in Kitchens class read “The Power of Habit” before beginning their research projects.

“The research section of our class looked at three social movements that happened over the years and how they are based out of habit. We looked at the Mississippi Summer Project, Montgomery Bus Boycott and Saddleback Church,” Kitchens said.

Each group of students picked one of the three historic movements to research. Then, each student chose a modern movement to research and make comparisons. Several students chose Black Lives Matter as a modern movement to research. Some students compared the Black Lives Matter Movement with the motivations and actions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Other modern movements students chose to research included All Lives Matter, Pro-life, Speed the Light, zombies, Made in America and the ALS ice bucket challenge.

“This symposium is introducing students early to one of academia’s most honored traditions – sharing topics and research.  This should be preparing these students for some of the opportunities offered to them in four year colleges and beyond, and hopefully giving these students some confidence in their speaking and writing/research skills,” Kitchens said.

For many of the students, it was their first dual-enrollment course.

“It was difficult, but it really opened our perspective of what college is going to be like,” Kelsey Trice, a senior at Thorsby High School, said.

She said she was glad to have the opportunity to get college credit before graduating high school, so she could finish her degree sooner.

Olivia Owens, senior at Isabella High School, said she “enjoyed meeting all the people from the other schools” and getting a jumpstart on college while taking the course.

“I think it’s a good way to get ahead over AP courses at the high school,” Jadon Downs, a senior at Chilton County High School, said.