High School students present research

Published 11:57 am Friday, December 15, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Some Chilton County dual-enrollment students got a taste of presenting a college level research paper during a multi-day symposium for their English 101 classes at Jefferson State Community College’s Chilton-Clanton campus.

“All of our classes had them put together some type of annotated bibliography or research,” Associate Dean Ashley Kitchens said.

Then, students began working on the actual paper.

In two of the classes, students worked in groups. In Kitchens’ class, students wrote individual papers paralleling recent grassroots movements with past grassroots movements, including Saddleback Church, Mississippi Freedom Summer and   the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Students researched topics, wrote research papers and then shared some of their research with the students in the other classes during the symposium.

For many students, it was their first time taking a dual enrollment course.

“For many of them, I would say this was their first real research paper, where they had to spent extensive amounts of time researching their topic, which is why I chose to make it a group project, so they could kind of help each other get through that process,” Professor Nicole Burn said.

Students in her class chose their topics from a list.

Kathryn Taylor of Thorsby High School said she enjoyed taking the course with Burn. She said her brother had taken the class with the same professor last year.

Burn said she wanted to take the course to “get it out of the way.”

“I’ve learned a lot this year,” Burn said.

She said she enjoyed the English symposium because she was able to get to know the other students.

Her group’s topic was why cheerleading should be considered a sport.

“I wanted to go ahead and get my core classes out of the way, so I could have a jump start when I get to college,” J.P. Gibson of Isabella High School said.

He said the final project “was really fun because I’ve never done anything like that before.”

He said it was challenging to keep everyone in his group on task.

His group’s research topic was hunting, and he said he learned a lot of interesting things researching the topic.

“I feel it’s a really good preparation (for college),” Gibson said.

Gibson said high school students considering dual enrollment classes should go ahead and do it.

Professor Jamie King had her students choose an aspect of popular culture to write about.

Kitchens said English 101 was a good first course for dual enrollment students because it “prepares them for anything they take afterward — history, psychology.”

She said the exams for the history class were “writing intensive.”

“This is really great for students, especially those that are going straight to a four-year university, because it can be an eye opener,” Kitchens said.

Additional topics at the symposium included negative impacts of helicopter parents, National Anthem protest and its impact on the NFL, the ice bucket challenge, Black Lives Matter and monument removal.