Koret Fellowship Program
Child Studies & Ethnic Studies major, Class of 2018
During the summer of 2017 I had the opportunity to be able to take my research in Social Sciences, LBST 100, class online thanks to the help of the LEAD Fellowship. This class was essential to being able to continue on with my Child Studies major and keep me on track since it is a prerequisite for the Capstone class. Since the class was online, it meant that I was able to complete the assignments and lectures at my own time and at my own pace. For the final assignment of the course, I was to select a topic to focus on for the summer which would then be the focus of my literature review. I decided to focus on the retention of women of color in higher education.
My summer class was very different from what I am used to. Prior to this summer I had never taken an online class and I was honestly scared. I was worried because I did not understand how I would be learning the material, however, it was a very valuable and satisfying experience mainly because of the quick responses on behalf of the professor. The course was very well outlined and gave us the necessary time to complete the assignments. We began by getting to know the proper way of conducting research through databases. We had several small assignments that ended with one big assignment which was our literature review. I had other courses that had done the same thing but this course really focused on educational articles, which I had not had much prior exposure.
The class itself was able to bring me to a much better understanding of how I should be completing my written work. In terms of my vocation and career, I found to have a very deep and important connection to the topic of retention of women of color in higher education because of my personal experience with the higher education system. I decided to pursue this topic in greater depth through my senior capstone for Child Studies this quarter and the upcoming winter quarter. I hope to continue to find more information about what has been done and what can still be done to help with the retention of women of color. I will be conducting the majority of my research with a student led organization on campus, Hermanas Unidas. I want to see the impact that the members may seem to have had by the organization in their overall sense of wanting to stay at Santa Clara. Overall, I want to see the amount of support that this student organization, as well as others that support women of color, receive from the institution or if the organizations are just another check off the list of providing resources for students of color.
I am deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to be given the resources to take the class online during the summer. Without the financial support, I would have had to continue taking over 20 units every quarter on top of working 20 hour work weeks. The opportunity of having a professor that was so responsive also changed my perspective on how to provide feedback for my future students one day.