Offering an interdisciplinary qualitative approach, this book examines and evaluates the role and benefits of a Learning Community (LC), a high-impact practice for student retention in higher education. Grounded in in-depth case studies and first-person student experiences, the authors studied four student cohorts (sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students) who participated in a full immersion LC experience at an urban public four-year college in New York. Focusing on the maturity students develop as they progress toward their degrees, the authors evaluate the impact of the learning community on the students’ experiences, perceptions, successes and obstacles. A powerful demonstration of the effects of connection and comradery on learning, this account explores how the LC helps the decision-making of those in higher education administration regarding high impact student interventions.
Part 1: The General and Particular Genesis of Our Learning Community Experience 1. The First Step: The Overview of the LC Construct 2. The Second Step: Institutional History or How We Do It Here 3. The Third Step: This is What We Do 4. Methodology Part 2: "I’ve got this!" 5. "Is that all there is?": Introduction to the Sophomore Cohort 6. Holmes 7. Swag Part 3: "I am just so busy!" 8. Introduction to the Junior Cohort 9. Tron 10. Tamar Part 4: "It went so fast!" 11. Introduction to the Senior Cohort 12. Gypsy 13. Gambit Part 5: "All grownup!" 14. Introduction to the Postgraduate Group 15. Soul 16. Miracle Part 6: Discussion and Conclusion 17. Results and Theme Analysis 18. Conclusion: What Does It All Mean?