An evaluation of student participation in residential learning communities at Georgia State University
De LaRoche, Marilyn Alica
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Learning communities are a current initiative at many colleges and universities that seek to organize students and faculty into smaller groups, encourage integration of the curriculum, and help students establish academic and social support. At urban institutions, the city environment also impacts the experience and expectations of students as it relates to their residential learning community. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the urban environment on student's expectation and level of participation in learning communities at Georgia State University. The participants were residential students during the 2010/2011 academic year involved in three learning communities: Atlanta Based Learning, Sophomores Achieving in Life (SAIL), and Living Green. Findings suggest that successful learning communities must take into account program design, benefits, student learning, staff involvement, accountability, and the urban environment. Findings from this study also yield suggestions to increase staff involvement, to improve programming options, and to broaden community support to increase opportunities for student engagement.