Princeton is facing a crisis, and the solution is not as simple as getting students to sign up for supplemental essays, said a memo from the university’s president, Christopher L. Meyer.
The university has made a huge commitment to offering supplementary essays to undergraduates for the first time since the end of the academic year in April 2017.
But Meyer said he has heard no evidence that the university has succeeded in changing students’ minds about taking up the course.
“We’ve had to do a lot of soul-searching about what we’ve been doing and why we’ve not been doing a lot,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve got enough supplemental essays to go around.
I don’t know what the answer is.”
The Princeton Review for the First-Year Writing class in 2019 is scheduled to begin in September and last four weeks.
A handful of students have already enrolled.
For the first-year writing class, students can choose from three writing prompts.
In one, students must describe the day, week or month of the year, and answer a short survey that asks about what they enjoy about themselves, their parents and the world.
Another prompts students to write about the events of the past month, such as a trip to a park or a family reunion.
Students can also choose from six essays from a range of topics, including personal finance, how to start a business, the importance of social justice, and a look at what it means to be American.
For more information about the supplemental essays course, visit www.princeton.edu/writing.
A few weeks ago, the university said it was working on a supplemental essay course that would include additional questions to encourage students to take up the writing course.
The courses were developed by an outside group that includes Princeton University professors and alumni, but the university declined to provide more details about the plan, citing student privacy.
Meyer said in an interview that he hopes the university will make supplemental essays more widely available, but that his goal is not to change students’ attitudes toward the writing class.
He said that he would like to see the supplemental essay program expanded to include more courses on the topic of history and global studies.
“It’s a huge undertaking and it’s a big problem that we’re facing right now,” he added.
“If you want to fix the problems, you have to make the students’ lives better.
Losing the writing program is a setback for Meyer, who had hoped to boost enrollment by about 5,000 students per semester this academic year. “
The problem is we don’t have the resources, we don’ t have the people, and we’re not getting students involved.”
Losing the writing program is a setback for Meyer, who had hoped to boost enrollment by about 5,000 students per semester this academic year.
But he said that his hope for the supplemental writing course was to provide a way for students to experience the writing component of the class and to learn about the writing community.
“There’s an element of risk in the whole writing program,” he explained.
“What we hope is that by having this supplemental course, people will have a sense of the richness of the writing, and I think it will encourage a new generation to want to do it.”
The university recently announced it would spend $400,000 on supplemental essays this academic semester, which will include a course on history and the writing of nonfiction and other essays, including one on how the writing profession can be more inclusive.
Students will also be able to choose their own writing prompts and submit a letter of recommendation to be considered for a $50,000 grant.
Students who enroll in the supplemental courses can choose to take the supplemental program for the fall, or they can choose an alternative course, which is also part of the $400-million investment.
In addition to the supplemental course and the supplemental scholarship, the University of Pennsylvania will also offer an alternative writing program.
The alternative writing course will be offered this fall at the University at Buffalo.
Under the alternative program, students will write a short essay that will be assessed by a professor who will evaluate it and make recommendations on how to improve the writing.
The course will focus on writing and reading, with one course each semester devoted to psychology, philosophy, history, literature and social science.
Students may take the alternative writing as a one- or two-semester course.
There is no specific funding allocation for the alternative programs, but Meyer said the university would be interested in seeing the writing classes become more popular as the number of students enrolled in the writing programs continues to grow.
The first- and second-year courses in the alternative courses will run concurrently with the standard writing courses.
The new writing program was launched in March by the Princeton Review, which has been a supporter of supplemental essays since the beginning.
“In our view, supplemental essays provide a critical lens through which we examine the history and present-day challenges