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Credentials Display

Karen Goodlad, is an Associate Professor of Hospitality Management at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. Her work involves a variety of subjects ranging from beverage management to bringing high impact practices to more classrooms. She serves on the steering committee for the college's First Year Experience program and is as a Faculty Leader for City Tech’s First Year Learning Community program, and teaches FYLC courses.

Sandra Cheng, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of art history at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. Her research interests include caricature; drawings and studio practice; and intersections of early modern art and science. She has served as a Faculty Leader for City Tech’s First Year Learning Community program, and she continues to teach FYLC courses.

Jennifer Sears is an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. She is as a Faculty Leader for City Tech’s First Year Learning Community program and is a dedicated FYLC instructor. Also a fiction writer, she received creative writing fellowships in 2018 from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Mery Diaz is an Assistant Professor in the Health and Human Services Department at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. She holds a doctorate in clinical social work from the School of Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Diaz practiced as a licensed clinical social worker with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of mental health settings and was also a consultant in New York City public schools, supporting the development of integrated mental health systems. Her research interest includes mental health and social justice issues in education.

Ashwin Satyanarayana is an Associate Professor with the Department of Computer Systems Technology, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, where he serves as a Faculty Leader for City Tech’s First Year Learning Community program. He is also currently serving as Chair Elect of the ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) Mid-Atlantic Conference.

Philip Kreniske is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. Dr. Kreniske’s research focuses on health and adolescent transitions in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Kreniske earned his doctorate from the CUNY Graduate Center where he created a digital network, and then studied the ways that first-generation and low-income students used the network to generate a system of support in their transition to college.

Keywords

Learning Communities, student narratives, reflective writing, digital writing, first-year transition, digital pedagogy, faculty development, narrative theory

Abstract

Analysis of diverse first-year and first-generation learning communities students’ reflective narratives shows this population of students at an urban commuter college of technology face significant challenges in the transition into college. Designed to assist in this transition, the “Our Stories” digital writing project incorporates reflective writing in the long established, yet recently revitalized, learning communities program. Through analysis of the “Our Stories” project, we examine how the structure of our learning communities program, together with writing on an open digital platform, builds community and has the potential to positively influence students as they identify, and begin to make sense, of the social, emotional, and bureaucratic challenges in their transition into college. The role of peer mentors, faculty and administrators in this project is discussed.

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