The most recent “For Your Enrichment” column in Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ 55:1, Fall 2015) features a piece by our colleagues Laura Barrett, Ridie Ghezzi, and Jay Satterfield.
In “For Your Enrichment: Jay Gatsby Goes to College” Laura, Ridie, and Jay describe Dartmouth’s First Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP) and the Library’s role in the 8 day pre-orientation for the participating first generation college students.
ABSTRACT: Jay Gatsby, the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, is a self-made man. He entered St. Olaf College in Minnesota but then dropped out during his first term because of the humiliating circumstances of his poverty. Gatsby’s flight from college contrasts with the Ivy League education of Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, the Yale graduate better equipped to navigate East Egg’s social world. Gatsby’s experience is still relevant today: while the transition to higher education is often difficult for young people, it is especially so for first-generation students. Many students can call on the experiences of family members to help them acclimate to the college environment, but first-generation students lack a road map for academic success and social comfort in what can feel like an alien world. These students often face even greater hurdles at highly selective institutions such as Dartmouth College, where expectations for academic achievement are high and the social climate is often unfamiliar.
Read the full article here.
FYSEP in 2015:
- 14% of Dartmouth’s incoming Class of 2019 are first generation college students.
- Over 50 of those students participated in FYSEP this fall.
The library session was closely aligned with a class taught by Reena Goldthree, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies. The course on modern Caribbean history focused on the U.S. occupation of Haiti (1915-34). The students’ assignment asked them to explore the long history of U.S. expansionism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each student was expected to take this broad topic and identify their own more specific topic to research and write about. Laura, Ridie, and Jay along with Andi Bartelstein, Amy Witzel, Sarah Scully, Jill Baron, and Morgan Swan worked with the students to brainstorm topics they might pursue for their papers and then discussed research strategies with the students to identify both primary and secondary information resources.
- A few of the items that students used during the session in Rauner include:
o Geography: Bry, Theodor de. Collectio navigationum in Indiam occidentalem. 1611.
o Pirates: Exquemelin, Alexander Olivier. Bucaniers of America. London: Printed for William Cooke, 1685-1685.
o Haitian Revolution: Edwards, Bryan. An historical survey of the island of Saint Domingo, together with an account of the Maroon negroes in the island of Jamaica; and a history of the war in the West Indies, in 1793 and 1794; by Bryan Edwards, esq. Also, a tour through the several islands of Barbadoes, St. Vincent, Antigua, Tobago, and Grenada, in the years 1791 and 1792. By Sir William Young, bart. Illustrated with copper plates. 1801.