A Qualitative Investigation of Student Outcomes in a Residential Learning Community

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Academic Affairs/TRIO


Researchers conducted a qualitative study of students' in- and out-of-class experiences in a residential learning community at a mid-sized public institution. Focus group interviews were conducted to explore (a) the outcomes of learning community membership from participants' point of view and (b) the connections between participants' reported perceptions and behaviors and the measurable outcomes of the program (i.e., those previously assessed using quantitative means). Based on the qualitative analysis, seven themes were identified. This report identifies and explicates those themes and provides illustrative quotations from focus group participants. Based on the findings, recommendations for learning community program development and administration are presented.

Publication Title

Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition