• "A New Species of College Student: The 'First-Year' with Advanced Standing"

    Miles McCrimmon (see profile)
    HEP Community Colleges
    Education, Higher, Teaching, Rhetoric
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    131st Annual MLA Convention
    Conf. Org.:
    Modern Language Association
    community colleges, dual enrollment, first-year composition, mla16, Academe, Composition, Pedagogy
    Permanent URL:
    Several significant policy statements have articulated threshold concepts in FYC in the last decade, the most influential being the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, an amalgam of the WPA Outcomes Statement and "habits of mind" research. Two collections of essays have also explicitly asked, What Is 'College-Level' Writing? Other collections have explored disruptors of the traditional setting and timing of FYC, including Hansen and Farris's collection on dual enrollment, AP, and IB, College Credit for Writing in High School. These statements and collections are at their best when they abstract the cognitive skills, academic competencies, and affective dispositions that characterize college-level writers, no matter their age or setting. Conversely, arguments that borrow their legitimacy from the ambience of traditional college settings and presume the first year on a residential campus is the optimal place and time for college writing (such as the 2013 NCTE Research Policy Brief, “First-Year Writing: What Good Does It Do?”) come across as defensive, territorial, and elitist. Fifty years ago, community colleges challenged these same spatial and temporal assumptions. Today, in an era of innovation in dual enrollment and distance education, it may be time to challenge once again the notion that there is a fixed point and time of entry into college-level writing. We may need to question the utility and accuracy of the “threshold” metaphor itself, and the single portal into the single house it suggests. We would do so not to bury FYC, but to praise it and ultimately to expand it.
    Portions of this draft will be presented in Session 419 at MLA Austin on Friday, January 8th at 5:15pm in Room 10B of the Austin Convention Center: https://apps.mla.org/program_details?prog_id=419&year=2016.
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