Students Dive Deeper During J-Mester Session

Date Released: January 19, 2017

A dozen or so Men of Morehouse participate in an activity during a class led by Dr. Adria Welcher, assistant professor of sociology. It is the first time no hands are up and no one is asking questions, because they are in disbelief in the discrepancies between the Black and white middle classes. Welcher’s “The Black Middle Class Dilemma” was one of many courses offered during Morehouse College’s mini-semester in January, referred to as the “J-mester.” With classes running from January 9th through the 13th, J-mester gave students an opportunity to have a non-traditional learning experience and take a deeper look at a variety of topics ranging from a math refresher to current events. The small class sizes of no more than 20 allowed for the students to be more engaged in conversations in the classroom. 

“Because it’s so small and there are no competing courses, students can focus more on the topic,” said Darren Jones, assistant dean of the college for academic and student engagement and one of the organizers of J-mester. “Faculty members are also able to focus on what their area of research is.”

For Welcher, the Black middle class was the topic of her dissertation and is a subject she is passionate about.

“There’s not really a place to teach it in depth,” Welcher said speaking of her regular sociology classes. “So many of our students are part of the middle class and don’t understand all that comes with it. And so I thought this opportunity was ideal to begin to delve into the dilemma, the complexities of the black middle class.” 

Sociology major Darquise Brashers ’17 is on track to complete all of his courses, but decided to sit in on Welcher’s J-mester class in hopes to gain extra knowledge and take part in in-depth conversations. 

“[Dr. Welcher] knows I’m passionate about sociology, and just everything that comes with that. I love the classes, I love talking about education and wealth, and I love hearing what my brothers have to say about some of these topics,” Brashers said.

In addition to the classes, J-mester also featured one day developmental sessions. These included sessions on networking and job searching, as well as the Leadership Education and Development, or LEAD, program. LEAD is a requirement for any student wishing to hold a leadership position on campus.

Enrollment in J-mester saw a significant increase in this, its second year. In 2016, 226 students signed-up for the courses. This year, 368 enrolled.


Last Modified: May 31, 2017, 15:05 PM, by: Synera Shelton

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