The classes a student takes in his or her freshman year have the power to make or break the rest of their college career. Yet fundamental courses like first-year composition are increasingly relegated to the instruction of adjunct instructors or are moved online.
For the MLA, the topic of teaching first-year classes, particularly composition courses, is a critical issue, as evidenced by the many panels dedicated to the topic of first-year instruction at the 2015 MLA Conference.
With regards to entry level composition classes, one challenge arises from the fact that written communication is rapidly evolving with technology. So while a composition class dedicated solely to academic writing may have sufficed even five years ago, now students must also to learn to write for the web. Professors and instructors too must adapt with the times and learn to teach new styles of writing.
Dr. Jessica Beth Yood, a professor at Lehman College at CUNY, described some of the challenges her institution faces with regards to undergraduate writing courses. She told Diverse that the number of students taking such classes has increased dramatically, even as the university has asked instructors to compress the time spent on each course. <Read more.>