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Theses/Dissertations

Iowa State University

1999

Higher education

Community-Based Learning

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Status Of The Freshmen Learning Community Initiative At Iowa State University, Laura Jo Doering Jan 1999

Status Of The Freshmen Learning Community Initiative At Iowa State University, Laura Jo Doering

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

One type of experience in higher education today that encourages students to get involved in their learning, both in and outside of the classroom, are learning communities. Learning communities are "relatively small groups of students (and faculty) working together to enhance and integrate students' learning and to help students become well-rounded, broad based individuals" (Lenning & Ebbers, 1999, p. 15). Learning communities, when intentionally structured and centered on learning outcomes, enable students, faculty, and student affairs professionals to shape and mold the learning experience, and to do so in an energized environment. Ultimately, learning communities can increase retention, and improve student academic performance. The first purpose of this study was to increase understanding of whether freshmen learning communities at Iowa State University contribute positively to student persistence at the University and to student academic achievement (measured by grade point average).;The second purpose of this study was to explore which characteristics of learning communities at Iowa State University make a difference. This study compares the retention rates and GPA performance of learning community students based on five learning community characteristics: (1) lived together in a ...