We are all experiencing a moment that has already had dramatic effects on our lives and the lives of those around us. There are very few aspects of higher education that have not been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and administrators, faculty, and students are still working hard to adapt to our new learning and teaching conditions. The physical, emotional, and psychological effects of such a sudden crisis have yet to fully be seen, so we are all simply doing our best to adjust to the new normal. What that looks like, of course, varies widely, but in the case of higher education, the goal seems to be to carry on with learning as best we can. My approach is to incorporate the current climate of crisis into our class readings and writings, so that we can all benefit from the catharsis that comes from writing, the lessons we can share with each other, and the solutions we might offer through our thinking and research.
Your ability to write a quality argumentative research-based essay is essential to your success in writing at the college level. For this essay, you will investigate a topic grounded in the Covid-19 crisis, as it relates to higher education. We will use our class Facebook page to brainstorm issues and research questions, but approaches could include the following:
Problems related to unexpected transition to remote teaching/learning
Campus housing/food shortages
Impact on student workers
Student loans and other financial aid
Access to mental health services
Logistics (problems with getting back home)
Impact on international students (travel restrictions)
Problems specific to students with learning disabilities
Unequal access to technology
Impact on nursing students/students majoring in public health
Grief and the loss of traditional ceremonies and college events
Student athletes and sports programs
This assignment provides the opportunity for you to think, read, research, and write about a wide variety of issues related to this unique moment in our lives. I encourage you to approach the assignment from your own vantage point, critically thinking about the specific ways in which your experience as college students have been and will be shaped by this ongoing event.
I will provide you with a collection of articles related to this issue in order to get our discussions going and offer ideas for topics. These are articles published recently as events have unfolded. You will then conduct research using the librarys databases to find supplementary essays that enhance your ideas, support your argument, or present an argumentative framework to which your essay responds.
I also encourage you to use other elements that may help you make your argument: music, video, images, and/or art. As long as these elements are relevant to your approach to the essay, you may use whatever *feels right* for the purpose. Think about this as a compositiona thing you are piecing togetherrather than a strictly formal written paper.
In addition to the traditional goals of a research essay, the goals of *this* paper are (among other things):
to give you an outlet to discuss your own personal experience with this crisis
to document your ideas, feelings, and hopes for how colleges might improve their handling of crises like this in the future
IV. Writing & Research Requirements:
7-8 pages in length, NOT including the Works Cited page
Include 4 sources that are credible and relevant. Two of these MUST be scholarly in nature. The others may include newspaper articles, documentary film, web commentary, editorials, interviews, blogs, or other digital media.
Articles from popular journals should be substantial works on the topic at hand and written by credible authors.
V. Sample Readings
Coronavirus: What this crisis reveals about US – and its president BBC
When Covid-19 Closed Colleges, Many Students Lost Jobs They Needed CHE
How is Covid-19 Changing Prospective Students Plans? CHE
Make All Course Pass/Fail Now? –CHE