The Influence of Learning Communities on the Interaction Levels of Developmental English StudentsReport as inadecuate




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Inquiry, v14 n1 p55-67 Spr 2009

Achievement and retention of students are significant concerns for American community colleges. While 86 percent of the students surveyed by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) indicated a goal of completing a certificate or associate's degree program, less than a quarter of those enrolled in the 1995-1996 academic year earned this credential in the subsequent six-year period. For students entering college underprepared, these risks are magnified, increasing the possibility of low satisfaction rates, low achievement rates, and high attrition rates. Demographically, underprepared students are similar to the overall population of community college students. However, research shows that they often have a more difficult time connecting with the academic environment, are uncertain of their goals, have little academic direction, and share many of the non-cognitive characteristics found in first-generation and minority students. Studies on retention that have been applied to developmental students have concentrated on the high attrition rates, but few have considered the theories of Alexander Astin or Tinto in relation to these students. Even fewer have reviewed the influence of learning communities on developmental English students. This study investigates whether learning communities significantly increase the level of interaction of community-college students enrolled in developmental English. To test this, an independent sample t-test was conducted on each of the five subscales of the Institutional Integration Scale (IIS) to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in the level and type of interaction experienced by learners based on course format. The results indicated a statistically significant difference (p less than 0.05) between students participating in a learning community and those not participating in a learning community in the level of peer interaction, the level of faculty interaction, but not on the perceived level of faculty concern, level of academic and intellectual development, and level of institutional and goal commitment. However on all scales, the learning-community students had a higher perceived level than the non-learning-community students. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: First Generation College Students, Community Colleges, Low Achievement, Academic Achievement, Interaction, Educational Environment, Minority Groups, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Active Learning

Virginia Community Colleges Association and Virginia Community College System. 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-819-4666; Fax: 804-819-4771; Web site: http://www.vccaedu.org/inquiry





Author: Wilmer, Elizabeth

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2915&id=EJ833919



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