As a result of a grant from the Hispanic Impact Fund to provide leadership opportunities to students, campus cohort clubs were created at Austin Community College. Instructor Tina Buck’s cohort “The Ascender Scholars Club (Dead Poets Society)”  is a group of  Comp II students that select alternative narratives to analyze for their Comp II writing assignments. Comp ll, English 1302, focusses on composition and critical thinking. As a class, students read about fifteen short stories throughout the semester, and during class, all the students discuss the stories and analyze them according to the seven elements of fiction: central idea, character, conflict, point of view, setting, language and tone.

With leadership intern and club president, Isabella Miranda, leading the meetings, The Ascenders Scholars Club students choose alternate narratives to analyze for their papers. They meet outside of class to discuss their selections. They then turn in papers with the same guidelines and schedule as the rest of the class covering their club narrative.

In February, the Ascender Club students selected the TV show, Wednesday and analyzed the first episode. For March, they selected the movie, Mcfarland, USA which they analyzed for their next paper.

Club secretary, Shea Longoria, included this in her summary of the movie: “These characters show how a strong family should work together and what values they hold to their culture. There are racial tensions between McFarland and other schools where they compete, along with the initial cultural differences between the main character and his students. The film highlights how these conflicts are overcome through perseverance and hard work.”

“I really have enjoyed the narratives they have chosen,” Instructor Buck said. “I watch whatever they choose and then write out discussion questions for them to use that focus on the specifics of the course.  I really enjoyed McFarland, USA and the papers were very good on this movie. McFarland, USA explores the mixing of cultures in California and Texas and shows how there is prejudice and strength on both sides which can be overcome! I really loved the movie and cried at the end! It was such a good choice for Ascender students!”

 Next month, the club will attend the play, Luchadora at St. Edward’s University and base their analytical     research paper on the play. Luchadora is written by Texican playwright, Alvaro Saar Rios.

Related Posts

Our Training Has Helped Professors Close the Opportunity Gap

Students taught by CTN-trained faculty earn more degrees and spend less on their education.